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Special election set for May 7 to fill vacant Pleasanton Council seat

Original post made on Dec 20, 2012

Voters will be asked to choose a candidate for the Pleasanton City Council May 7 in a special election that will be by mail-in balloting only.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 20, 2012, 7:42 AM

Comments (17)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Don't you dare try sneaking anything else on the ballot because you are counting on noorganized opposition and low turnout PUSD.


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

May 7? Not much time for the opposition is what I'm thinking.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Dec 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Jerry,
NO appointments!!!! Do not take away my vote for my representatives. For over a decade the school board manipulated all vacancies so they could appoint rather than risk the voters choosing the trustees. It got to the point that only one out of the five seats had originated from the voters. Once appointed the incumbent has a huge advantage. Watching the abuse of the school board positions is why our council changed the ordinance to eliminate appointments of elected seats. Perhaps the council members who run from a safe seat, vacating the seat they asked to have for four years, should pay for the special election. Or eliminate the ability to run from a safe seat before a council members term is up.







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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I agree. Running from a safe seat should be eliminated....


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

I realize that everyone immediately jumped right into the School Board issue. Understandable since everyone is unhappy with the School Board. However, one notes that the story refers to a vacant City Council position that was created when Mr. Thorne was elected to the post of Mayor.

I agree that the position should remain an elected position by the people. Otherwise it will return to what it was years ago, an appointed position by Council insiders to maintain control of the council. This is the natural result of people selecting "like-minded" people to join their private group. Counter opinions and positions are prevented through appointment.

The current election requirement to fill vacant Council seats should be maintained. As for the cost of the election, it is incidental compared to the right of the people to choose their own representatives.

And besides, with the exclusion of postage, the Council can control the costs to a degree. It is the Council who agrees to the wage and benefit package of the people assigned to manage an election.

I for one would rather spend $250,000 to maintain to continue the right to elect Council Representatives, than give it away to another $244,000 per year employee hire to fill a questionable position in the City.

The current Council should be admonished for spending "taxpayer money" towards the goal of eliminating the peoples right to election, by directing City staff to investigate how to get the election process removed. And the "Newly-Elected" Councilman Jerry Pentin should keep this in mind.


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Posted by Frank Lynn
a resident of Valley Trails
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

I agree it shouldn't be some political appointment - but it's too bad we should have to spend so much - even on a mail ballot. Why couldn't we use ranked-choice voting or go back to the election results and look at the city council candidate with the third most votes in the last election?


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Posted by Dom
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

Frank wrote "Why couldn't we use ranked-choice voting?"

Because they tried this in Oakland, and look what they ended up with: Jean Quan.


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Posted by Casey
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

The Planning Commission, albeit by appointment, has an alternate position who chirps in when a commissioner recuses themself or is absent. Why don't we elect an alternate, who could step into a vacancy until a regular/primary election?


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Posted by Jill
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I don't see what the problem is in having 4 members voting. The only thing different would be that 3:2 split votes before that passed will be 2:2 split votes that would not pass. Perhaps this will require some working together to get controversial things passed.

I 100% agree that we should not do appointments from the council. Either we do with 4 people or we wait till the next election and have the people elect the replacement. Sort of an abuse of power for a newly elected person thinking they should have the power to appoint replacements instead of allowing the people to elect who they want. Looks like the power has already gone to somebodies head.

If members of the council are so concerned on the price of a special election, anybody running from a seat which term is not expiring should give up their current seat when they file for papers for the new seat. The only reason there is a cost to the public is because somebody wants to run from a safe-seat, meaning they have no personal risk. They have already made the statement that they are not concerned on the cost of a special election, assuming they personally benefit.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

When a council person gets elected for a four year term, they should fulfill their commitment...


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Posted by Suzy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

But Jack, the only 2 candidates for Mayor would have both given up their seat to run. If I follow that logic, we could have an all new 4 person council and an experienced Mayor. That is a lot of turn-over for such an important job.


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Posted by Jill
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

Then that would show that the council members running for mayor really do not care about the city; only their own careers.

There is actually a simple solution to this all. Instead of having a directly-elected mayor, have 5 council members and rotate the mayor job through them each year. It used to be done that way. In our city, the mayor does not have any more power than the council members. The mayor has one vote out of 5, just like a council member. The mayor does run the meetings and represents the city in certain events (although our previous mayor was usually "too busy" for that and delegated that to the vice mayor).


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 28, 2012 at 10:49 am

Suzy, if they had to give up their council seat to run for mayor, I seriously doubt both Cheryl and Jerry Thorne would have run for mayor. And what do you want to bet, that in two years, Brown, from her safe seat, takes a run at Thorne?


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Posted by June
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Its a shame to waste so much money on a special election when it could be a mayor appoinment and still subject to a majority vote in public hearings.

I guess Pleasanton thinks we are some big city like San Francisco and that our councilmembers are really, really important politicos. What ever happened to councilmembers of small to mid-size cities focussing on the typical municipal issues. Now the taxpayers have to forfeit tens of thousands of dollars (and thats a conservative guess) for an election for a single vacancy. And I think of how that money could have been better used. . . . helping seniors subsidize their rents, park equipment, fixin potholes, and the list goes on and on and on.


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Posted by Freedom has a costs
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm

There is a cost to all elections, even if it is at the same tie as a governor or presidential election. Even the poorest town would not suggest taking away the people's right to their own representation. An appointment is ludicrous and Pentin should be ashamed for bringing the idea to the council. This is not just about money, it is about something much more important.


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Posted by June
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Dear Mr. Freedom,
Let people voice their opinions without getting high and mighty about yours. Obviously those of us who think an appointment would be an appropriate or reasonable alternative to spending taxpayer money to have a special election to fill a vacant seat on an interim period is not the preferred approach. Thanks for conveying your opinions in the future without patronizing those who dont agree with you.


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Posted by Freedom has a cost
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Our fore fathers fought and many died for the right to representation from their governing body. Remember no taxation without representation and the American Revolution? These men were not fighting for an appointed representative.


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