Town Square

Post a New Topic

The Right choice for city council

Original post made by Kevin , Pleasanton Valley, on Apr 9, 2013

Ballots are starting to arrive for Pleasanton's special City Council election. I've read each candidate's statements in the sample ballot. I have also looked at each candidate's list of donors. I am concerned with the long list of developers financing Narum's campaign. Her donors also consist of people who have a stake in the decisions she has made on the task forces she touts as qualifications for city council. She makes decisions that favor these donors as a member of these special task forces, takes their money for her campaign, and if elected will be in position to make decisions in their favor again. I am so tired of electing politicians whose greatest concern is the special interests of those who financed their campaigns. I just want someone whose first priority will be the average residents who elect them to the council. David Miller did not work his way up through the political hierarchy – an advantage in my opinion. His donors are average Pleasanton residents, not a "who's who" list of special interests. Those are the type of people he will represent as a city council member. His experience in the private sector as an engineering executive will serve him well in the position of city council. He has also been involved as a community watchdog in Pleasanton's pension liability situation. As a concerned parent with three children in Pleasanton's school system he has a stake in the future in our town. I trust him to keep his promise to fight the urbanization of Pleasanton and to be the voice of average Pleasanton residents, homeowners, and taxpayers. That is why I will vote for David Miller and encourage others who want their voices heard to vote for him as well.

Comments (36)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

So, I'm sorry, have I missed something? What, exactly, has this guy done? Coached Little League? Run a lemonade stand? Oh, he's just a common Joe? And that's why you're supporting him? Wow, guess it doesn't take much to impress you. I'm supporting another candidate, and not Narum; but your dish of mud doesn't seem to recognize that true leadership, on a city council, is part and parcel of working together with people on endless committees. Shouting about the Constitution just doesn't cut it. Someone has some growing up to do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

if you were at the forum tonight it is apparent that Olivia is the next wave of leadership. She is intelligent and well educated, obviously engaged. She ls on the economic vitality committee and a community volunteer among other things. she is my choice after listening to all the candidates.

Am excited to have someone so enthusiastic who is data driven and looking for solutions!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 7:41 am

Two things that concern me about Miller are that he has only lived in Pleasanton for 4 years and he is part of the Tea Party. I also have trouble reconciling his opposition to the $98 per year parcel tax yet he has 3 children in school and lives in a million dollar home.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sal
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:10 am

Olivia was the most impressive last night and she has my vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Annie
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

I talked to friends and have to agree that Kathy has too many ties to developers. I think our town is great and we don't need more growth, traffic, crime and students that lower our school scores.

Kathy sits there all glum and talks about her years in this committee and that, but not one concrete story about what she has done to make Pleasanton better.

I don't want a bench warmer, I want someone that will work to Save the Hills, Slow growth or balance the budget.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:00 am

Kathy was the clear winner last night. Everyone else was all flash and no substance. They should think more about Pleasanton and less about their own egos and get involved in commissions for a few years and do work for Pleasanton when no one is looking before running for council.

Kathy is the only candidate with the experience and leadership record running. The developer arguments are specious and unfounded and meant to be a distraction from the true issues in this election.

Besides. Over half of what the other candidates said was untrue and I was sorry no one corrected them.

I'm definitely voting for Kathy and encouraging my friends to as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shelia
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:08 am

I am voting for someone with ethics, energy and education. I have heard that past mayor Hosterman controlled a lot of these Commission jobs, and I was NO FAN of hers.

If Narum was put in place by Hosterman, I am looking elsewhere for my candidate. The Chamber and developers controlled Hosterman, and I don't want another rep. that is a puppet for them. Sorry. You seem nice, but I just can't go there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:29 am

Sarah, I assume you have never been at an economic vitality meeting. This is one of those waste of times committee where staff spends their time arm-wrestling the members to agree with staff on items so staff can go to the council and say they have the backing of the 'economic vitality' committee members.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

David Miller was the only candidate who had signs plastered all over town before the official start of the campaign. How can I trust him to run the city, when he can't even follow some basic common-sense campaign rules?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

" basic common-sense campaign rules"? No such rules. Political signs are protected under free speech and cannot be regulated by the city. Go ask the city attorney if you don't believe this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Why did David sign the campaign pledge if he had no intention of following it?!?!?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

The last thing our city needs is a tea partier. No school tax? shame. Miller will only hold back Pleasanton. Kathy looked good and she has a track record for helping Pleasanton and thats the experience we need. Olivia a close second. Will be a runoff for those two.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

b, being that you are a union rep it is understandable that you didn't appreciate the efforts of Bart Hughes & David Miller when they challenged the PCEA contract.

I appreciate their efforts which have already saved Pleasanton residents/taxpayers probably a million dollars or more. The fact that a union rep, that could care less about Pleasanton, doesn't support David Miller is an endorsement for David Miller, IMO.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Arnold, being that you are a chicken little alarmist who bartends on a part-time basis, I understand how you are envious of teachers and other public servants who earn a relatively decent wage. Instead of supporting a destructive candidate such as Miller you should try to be positive for the sake of the community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Roots, your silly comments do nothing to change my opinion of a union rep pretending to be someone concerned about Pleasanton. I'm thankful we have several good candidates running for city council. IMO, David Miller is one of the good candidates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

My silly comments only parallel your own, silly goose. Fact is, you know probably less about 'b' than I know about you. That you can't see the idiocy of your own remarks indicates how intellectually lacking you are. Irrespective of 'b' serving as a union rep or not, your assumption that union reps don't care about Pleasanton is unfounded and, frankly, even sillier than most of your comments. Next you're going to accuse 'b' of not owning a surfboard with which to surf the coming tsunami you talk about, and talk about, and talk about. Here's another asymmetrical remark for you, buddy: Because you are obsessed with your money fetish, you couldn't possibly care about Pleasanton. You goose. Your slavish obsession with your own tax dollar makes you unqualified to say anything intelligent about Pleasanton's community needs. All you're capable of doing is putting your own private/personal interests/fetishes first. But, apparently, you can't figure this one out. Such is the warped pretzel-like thinking generated by Republican Tea Party ideology.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Roots, Your comments: "My silly comments only parallel your own, silly goose. Fact is, you know probably less about 'b' than I know about you. That you can't see the idiocy of your own remarks indicates how intellectually lacking you are. Irrespective of 'b' serving as a union rep or not, your assumption that union reps don't care about Pleasanton is unfounded and, frankly, even sillier than most of your comments."

If you believe that it is fine with me. I know better!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

You say you know better, Arnie. But you only think you do. In fact, you don't know anything, as indicated by your inability to mount an argument. All you can muster is 'I know better[than you do]', which is not only false, but laughable. You've got nothing except mud and blanket assertions (biases), wrapped up in your own fetishistic world view. Step outside of your redundant calpers links and you've got nothing.

To repeat: Arnie says union reps don't care about Pleasanton. He offers no supporting evidence. Only his belief.

If we are to accept Arnie's shabby reasoning, then we cannot trust anything Arnie says because he's got his own fetishized interests in keeping his tax dollar from going to govt -- which includes Pleasanton. Just like his mythical union rep he's incapable of acting in the interests of the city.

But, of course, Arnie's shabby reasoning is not to be accepted. We are left with little respect for his views or his ability to think through his blanket assertions. Unions are BAD; private greed is GOOD. Because, 'he knows.' But we know he's a goof. End of story.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Roots, I guess you've nailed it. I'll be sure to vote for whomever you endorse just so I don't have to waste my time reading another one of your unmedicated diatribes.

I think we have several excellent candidates running for city council and I'm thankful for that. I still think David Miller is one of those excellent candidates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

That's right, Arnie. When you have no argument play the 'unmedicated diatribe' card. Sorry I used so many polysyllabics in my argument, which you admit to being unable to refute.

No one cares what candidates you say are bad or good, because you consistently exhibit flawed judgment founded on illogical assertions. Keep up the good work, though. And there's always a tsunami to warn us about somewhere over the hill.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To: Community Roots
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

If you're incapabable of accepting others may have a differing opinion than yourself, you need help.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wait I have a question
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

R u saying Arnold is Arne Olsen of the PC?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares?
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

who cares who arnold is? his inane ramblings are enough to dismiss him as nothing more than a chicken little tea party alarmist.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I was impressed with Ms Narum. She seemed grounded and clear in why she had her positions. Although I did not agree with 100% of her outcomes, I appreciated her detailed thinking and willingness to take a stand.

In contrast was David miller who made a number of unsubstantiated claims with no support or plans behind them. For example, he said he would fight to overturn RHNA and housing, but then did not say how. He said previous council may have done best they could but hie woud find a way to do better (but what is that David?????The previous council lost over $3M trying to protest our control and state law prevailed. I guess that is why the Independent found in their candidate interviews that David Miller had ideas but no plans on how to get there.

We can do much better than this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Note to David
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm

If it was easy, don't you think this council and the last ones would have done it? They all want local control, lower pension debt and property rights?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gabbie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Fact Checker,

I was thinking the same thing. I wish we could overturn housing cap but hard to change state law. I hate to fight uphill battle and lose millions more. Does anyone know what "by right" means? I had heard we could also be forced into "by right" if we did not settle lawsuit on high density housing or tried to fight it further.

I appreciate David wanting to fight but hate to have someone in office who does not seem grounded in reality and might cause us to lose more money and lose even more control than we have now. That really scares me and why I cannot vote for miller.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm

"I appreciate David wanting to fight but hate to have someone in office who does not seem grounded in reality and might cause us to lose more money and lose even more control than we have now. That really scares me and why I cannot vote for miller."

Agree. He also comes across as quite arrogant and negative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Posted by Note to David, "If it was easy, don't you think this council and the last ones would have done it? They all want local control, lower pension debt"

You would think so, especially the lower pension debt part. When the former mayor was running the show she wasn't at all concerned about the skyrocketing pension debt. Nor was she at all concerned about the rapidly rising employee compensation which increased the rapidly rising pension debt. Nor did she acknowledge the recommendations of the county wide pension task force that Pleasanton management helped to create. Hosterman did nothing but brow beat local residents until a few fed-up citizens challenged her while providing city/calpers numbers to back up their argument.

Even then the former Mayor refused to do the right thing while completely ignoring the growing problem of unfunded pension & healthcare debt. When the PCEA contract was finally approved, with concessions that were only achieved because of public outcry, the new contract didn't even include some of the most basic provisions recommended by the very same group she said was working to solve the problem. She ignored the recommendations of the county wide pension task force that she had previously touted.

The Police contract was more of the same. The city of Pleasanton promoted the fact that the PD would begin paying toward their own pension. The taxpayers had been paying the entirety of the police pensions which amounted to something like like 43% of pay (the 9% employeee portion + the 34% employer/taxpayer cost). The city manager was quoted as claiming this was a cost saving to the taxpayer of X dollars. The CC Times reviewed the contract and discovered that the savings were offset by increased benefits, meaning some of the "CLAIMED" savings weren't really savings at all. I looked at the contract and discovered the CC TIMES missed othe perks that essentially eliminated ALL savings that the city of Pleasanton was claiming.

How can you trust city management when they tell you a contract prrovision will save you 300,000 dollars and then you discover they gave back 300,000 dollars in additional perks to the same group, while pension & healthcare costs are increasing. The net of the savings the city has claimed are actually increased employee costs.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community Roots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2013 at 12:46 am

Chicken Little strikes again. More gibberish, arbitrary numbers, no logic, couldn't think his way out of a paper bag. Doesn't care about the city; only cares about making sure others can't get what he can't get.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Apr 11, 2013 at 8:51 am

Can David Miller or his campaign team tell us what specific meetings and dates of meetings that David attended to fight RHNA and help influence Housing Element Task Force.

We were at almost every meeting and he was MIA. You can check meeting minutes with city and you will not find him there.

So, why is he telling public he was very involved in fighting this and participating in city meetings? We need leaders who are honest and have more than just talk and promises.

I will vote for anyone but Miller as he cannot be trusted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Truth
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

Arnold...you need to do your homework. The number you have quoted are not accurate and you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You want to change the benefits of Officers who have served our community for the past twenty five years because you think Pleasanton cannot afford these costs? The new Mayor himself, stated in the State of Pleasanton speech, "Pleasanton enjoys a robust recovery and substantial liquid assets in excess of 85 million dollars."

Police Officers do not receive Social Security and work towards their retirement under our established agreement. They have already changed the tiers for new hires in an effort to give back to community they have chosen to serve.

Perhaps your efforts would be better spent by investigating and resolving the spending issues of your own household ....or by just understanding both sides of an issue rather than a one sided approach .....which is what Miller will apply.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

"Curious" and his like are what scares and concerns me most these days.

Let's (once again, ad nauseum) follow the parcel tax mindset.

Since the fist failed parcel tax initiative was obviously too much to stomach by the citizens of good ol' P-Town lets try a smaller amount the next time that we can tell everybody,

"Hey look, it's ONLY $98 this time, don't mind that it is barely ONE THIRD of what we wanted to take from you before and that amount wouldn't have even covered 60% of what we REALLY needed at the time, but hey! It's ONLY $98 and you can certainly afford that, right? I mean it's not like the $98 is going to do us any real good but at least we'll get our foot in your front door and then the NEXT time, we'll get ALL the $$$$$ we need!"

(BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH = evil laugh from school board)

The concept of throwing an ineffectual amount of money at an almost immeasurable program deficit from the citizens of this town just to be doing the "right" thing still sickens me. Yet after all the positioning, hand wringing and crying NONE of the prognostications from the "give us your money or we shoot the dog" crowd have manifested.

So yes, the fact that Mr. Miller was brave enough to now stand up put his name and future political aspirations on the "We're not gonna take it anymore" anti-parcel tax crowd and produce actual solutions, formulas and scenarios for reducing the financial burden of the city of Pleasanton THAT gets him my vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm

"Posted by Truth,

Arnold...you need to do your homework. The number you have quoted are not accurate and you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You want to change the benefits of Officers who have served our community for the past twenty five years because you think Pleasanton cannot afford these costs? The new Mayor himself, stated in the State of Pleasanton speech, "Pleasanton enjoys a robust recovery and substantial liquid assets in excess of 85 million dollars."

Police Officers do not receive Social Security and work towards their retirement under our established agreement. They have already changed the tiers for new hires in an effort to give back to community they have chosen to serve.

Perhaps your efforts would be better spent by investigating and resolving the spending issues of your own household ....or by just understanding both sides of an issue rather than a one sided approach .....which is what Miller will apply."

Hey "Truth"(?), what's your issue with transparency?

I'll say it again, The city of Pleasanton promoted the fact that the PD would begin paying toward their own pension, claiming contract savings. The taxpayers had been paying the entirety of the police pensions which amounted to something like like 43% of pay (the 9% employeee portion + the 34% employer/taxpayer cost). The city manager was quoted as claiming this was a cost saving to the taxpayer of X dollars. The CC Times reviewed the contract and discovered that the savings were offset by increased benefits, meaning some of the "CLAIMED" savings weren't really savings at all. I looked at the contract and discovered the CC TIMES missed other perks that essentially eliminated ALL savings that the city of Pleasanton was claiming, while both pension and healthcare costs were increasing dramatically. There were NO net contract savings. The cost of the contract has only increased.

During a time when taxpayers are demanding/begging for transparency the PD contract was anything but. The City of Pleasanton should be ashamed for promoting anything that resembles savings when it is THE FURTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH.

Just one more reason not to support any candidate the unions are promoting. The unions just have too much control over both city politics and, as I'm trying to identify, even the misleading and deceptive messeges being disiminated to the public. Apparently You just can't trust anyone when it comes to taxpaer money.

That's the truth,Truth.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by truth seeker
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

As far as "misleading and deceptive messages" go, no other than David Miller's false accusation that the City was ever going to or even was talking about raising taxes having anything to do with paying the unfunded liability is so misleading and deceptive. The unfunded pension liability has to be disclosed just like the cost of your house after you pay principal and interest for 30 years in order to be transparent. It is not due now and if it was the City could pay most of it, if not all of it, although we all know that would not be the wisest financial decision as the finance director said at council. The City was already changing how pension benefits were paid by employees. The reason we live here is because we feel safe, the parks are nice and clean, street lights that go out are replaced quickly, the library is awesome and that is all because the City has hired good people that do care about Pleasanton even if they can't afford to live here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

"truth seeker", I wish you would do your research first because you are not correct. Perhaps you are a union person. The city has over $120M in unfunded liability according to the city manager as disclosed at a previous meeting. This is on top of the money we have in the bank. We have money put aside for retiree medical but it is nowhere near enough to pay the liability we have because we cover from retirement till death, no matter what the cost of the premium is. If you expect medical insurance rates to stay the same or go down, you obviously have no idea on what is happening in the real world. Then for retirement, we do not have any money in the bank for that shortage. We are also going to be seeing a HUGE increase in retirement premiums coming up. Expect this after the Tuesday CalPERS meeting where they are attempting to set the rates to what is needed. They expect to vote Tuesday to do another 20% increase on average over six years. School districts and state and local governments could be hit with pension cost hikes of between 40 and 50 percent by 2020. A lot of this increase is because of the way CalPERS has done the smoothing of previous losses which were done in a way where the losses would never be paid off. Good article on this at: Web Link

We still have a significant liability in Pleasanton for retirement benefits. The last adjustments to it which they said would make it better actually increased the liability as reported by the daily paper in this area, after they researched it. We need somebody like David Miller in there who has been on top of this and not afraid to do what is required now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Posted by truth seeker: "As far as "misleading and deceptive messages" go, no other than David Miller's false accusation that the City was ever going to or even was talking about raising taxes having anything to do with paying the unfunded liability is so misleading and deceptive. The unfunded pension liability has to be disclosed just like the cost of your house after you pay principal and interest for 30 years in order to be transparent."

That statement is so false I don't know where to begin. I will say you don't have a clue and that taxes and fees are increasing just to fund pensions. We already pay TWICE the advertised cost because of the pension giveaways and retroactive pension benefits, and the number is expected rise by about 50% over the next years (even more for the teacher's retirement fund). Furthermore, it would cost Pleasanton about 360 million to exit CalPERS.

With very little discretionary income in the current budget because most of it is already committed to public employee contracts: compensation, healthcare, retiree healthcare, and pension costs. Your claim that Pleasanton can pay off most of the debt is false.

"The City was already changing how pension benefits were paid by employees"

Not really. Some employees are beginning to pay their own portion of the pension cost, which they should have been paying all along, but the city increased their contract perks to cover the increased cost. Nothing has changed. Employees paying their own share does does NOT reduce pension debt. And equating a home mortgage to paying off a pension is ridiculous. When you payoff the mortgage you end up with an asset that can be sold at market value, which has increased with inflation/market demands. Paying off the pension debt just pays off old debt. Pleasanton will pay for the next 30 years with nothing to show for it, except, probably, reduced services.

The School District is in big trouble.

"The reason we live here is because we feel safe, the parks are nice and clean, street lights that go out are replaced quickly, the library is awesome and that is all because the City has hired good people that do care about Pleasanton even if they can't afford to live here."

I agree with you, Truth seeker. If you want that to continue, as I do, then you need to understand how the pension debt explosion can damage what's been established over the past several decades.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Vote YES on Measures 45, 46, & 47, NO on 48
By Roz Rogoff | 30 comments | 2,114 views

Prop 47: not perfect, just preferable.
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 821 views

The Vranesh situation heads to court
By Tim Hunt | 6 comments | 628 views