More Letters to the Editor


Keep Jerry Thorne in office

As Election Day draws near, we continue to receive Letters to the Editor regarding the candidates.

I ask your readers to vote for Jerry Thorne for Pleasanton City Council on Nov. 2. Since his election to a first term, Jerry has shown the fiscal responsibility we expected from his background. He has worked to maintain discipline in city budgets, and Pleasanton is the envy of most California cities for its strong financial position in the face of this economic downturn we are still struggling with.

With his strong management background he understands the need for a vibrant local economy in which small business can succeed. He knows that small business is the engine which provides new jobs.

Jerry is tireless on traffic issues. He has worked for Highway 84 improvements, Stoneridge Drive extension, and countless local neighborhood issues. He is also at the forefront of capital projects benefiting culture in the city, such as the Veterans Memorial Hall and the newly dedicated Firehouse Arts Center

Jerry represents the city on many important local and statewide organizations. It is important to maintain this representation, since a new council member would have none of those contacts.

Please join me and many other supporters in bringing Jerry Thorne back to office.

Robert E. Butler, Past mayor and council member


Support Karla Brown

I enthusiastically support Karla Brown for City Council. I met Karla a few years ago while I was collecting petition signatures to referend the Oak Grove ridgeline development project and ban further ridgeline construction. Karla was committed to doing all of the hard work that was needed to research and bring these issues to a public vote. She succeeded against well-funded, persistent, professionally-organized opponents, and maintained her good humor and positive energy throughout.

I also admire her for highlighting economic revitalization among her campaign goals. Filling commercial vacancies will be good for all of Pleasanton, and her focus on this issue shows good sense. Along with Cindy McGovern as mayor, Karla Brown's election to the City Council will be a win for non-partisan interests and truly representative local government.

Anne Childs


Laursen for School Board

As the parent of two sons educated in Pleasanton Schools, and as a middle school teacher, I am voting for Joan Laursen for School Board. She is a person of great integrity who has the best interests of students at heart.

Joan is a champion for excellence and for programs that will benefit all students. She has served on multiple school site councils, and her wisdom and support as a dedicated member of Harvest Park's GATE Advisory Committee have ensured continuation of programs like Breakfast with an Expert, Middle School Poetry Society and Destination Imagination.

Joan is also an ardent supporter of the arts, coordinating Walnut Grove's art exhibit and PTA Reflections Program. As a dedicated band parent, she supports the instrumental music programs at each of our schools.

Joan is highly intelligent, creative and hard-working. She possesses the gifts and talents necessary to be an effective school board member, including a strong financial background, the ability to see problems from multiple perspectives, the desire to work with others, a vision for sustaining and improving our school district, and a genuine concern for what is best for children.

Please join me in voting for Joan Laursen for Pleasanton School Board.

Lynn C. Gatehouse


Laursen for trustee

I have known Joan Laursen for about 15 years, since we worked together on the PFA board at Walnut Grove elementary school. Joan was the treasurer then and really improved our policies and procedures to ensure proper practices and accountability. In addition, Joan and her husband, Darrel, were part of the team that built the first computer lab at Walnut Grove, using donated equipment, and conducted computer classes for the students and staff. Since that time, I have been aware of her various roles in PTA leadership and other school district committees. Joan has been a behind-the-scenes soldier for Pleasanton students, putting in hour after hour for the good of the many causes she has supported for Pleasanton schools, such as differentiated curriculum to meet the needs of all students, technology support and music education, to name just a few. Her experience has given her a wide range of knowledge and information about education and the state funding process. Her intelligent, thoughtful attitude will make her an excellent school board member. I hope you will join me in voting for Joan Laursen on Nov. 2.

Linda Flagler


Vote for me

I am Karla Brown, a candidate for Pleasanton's City Council. Over the past three years, I have been a leader in collecting over 10,000 signatures to protect our scenic southeast hills. I co-authored Pleasanton's ballot measure PP to protect the ridges, plus co-chaired a referendum for No on D/Oak Grove (a ridge top development). Both issues were strongly supported by the voters, but NOT the two incumbents up for re-election.

At every step, the incumbents have fought against us. They campaigned against placing these issues on the ballot. One incumbent tried to eliminate our right to rebut their ballot statement. They both supported Measure QQ, which the Valley Times/Tri-Valley Herald newspapers called, "The Council's sleazy attempt to confuse voters with a gutless competing measure." This is not good government.

I want to return to local government that operates for the citizens. My campaign contributions are all from Pleasanton residents. I have not received a penny from political action groups or lobbyists. I am a fiscal conservative and will institute slow and smart growth plans for our city.

For these reasons and more, The Tri-Valley Herald, The Valley Times, The Independent newspapers and the Sierra Club all strongly endorse me. I represent a government that works with its citizens, not against them.

Karla Brown, candidate for Pleasanton City Council


They need to listen

Throw the (Pleasanton) Bums Out.

Mayor Hosterman has stated she doesn't believe the citizens should have the right to circulate initiatives or referend specific council actions; it was certainly OK for herself when she opposed the original Oak Grove (Kottinger Hills) housing development. Councilwoman Cook-Kallio has also stated that the citizens should not question their government officials once they have been elected; and she teaches high school government classes. Both have said we should just vote them out of office if we don't like the way they vote.

Not only have Hosterman and Cook-Kallio ignored the citizens of Pleasanton after they voted for hillside protections several times, they actually fought the voters by placing competing measures on the ballot and then actively campaigned against their constituents. They are still at it and have enabled several lawsuits against the city by their actions. This is no way for leaders of a "Community of Character" to act.

Let's take their advice and vote both of them out of office. We need elected officials that actually listen to their citizens rather than rationalize their way around them. Vote Cindy McGovern for Mayor and Karla Brown for City Council.

Nicole Johnson


Re-elect McNerney

I write with rage and confusion to ask what David Harmer proposes to do when "government exits the business of running and funding schools" (SF Chronicle op ed 2000) My rage is because of the overuse of the word "government" that is tiresome and undefined. The government that runs and funds public schools is local and state government. The K-12 schools are governed by my neighbors elected to School Board. Public higher education is funded by our state income taxes and controlled by the elected legislature, and has been the economic driver of every success our state has produced, from teachers to CEOs.

My confusion arises because I don't know what Mr. Harmer will do. Stating, "Because we know how the government schools perpetuate themselves, we can design a plan to dismantle them." (CATO Policy Analysis 269). Is that what Harmer will do? I know exactly what Jerry McNerney will continue to do if elected. He will continue to find ways for our business to create jobs. He will continue to write legislation that helps veterans succeed in our communities. He will continue to respond to constituents through a well-educated staff. We need to re-elect Jerry McNerney.

Bette B. Felton


Keep moderate McNerney

David Harmer scares me. The more I learn about him, the more uneasy I become. First, it was his idea to privatize Social Security. But now, I learn that he wants to abolish public education. Not just reform it, not just have more school vouchers and charter schools, but as Harmer himself puts it, "government should exit the business of running and funding schools," bemoaning the fact that "as long as the state Constitution mandates free public schools, a voucher system is the best we can do." Oh, that pesky state Constitution. Why would we want to educate all our citizenry, when, as Harmer advocates we should return education to "the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood," when there was no guarantee of education for all.

Harmer's views are just too extreme. Clearly, Harmer is way out of step with his own Republican party, whose standard-bearer Meg Whitman puts supporting and improving education, for all our citizens, at the top of her agenda. She knows that in order to compete in the global marketplace, America needs an educated citizenry. We need to keep our more moderate congressman Jerry McNerney in our more moderate district.

Janine Berube


Laursen for School Board

Joan Laursen is the best choice for the Pleasanton school board. Joan is a tireless volunteer. In the mid-1990s, she began her involvement with the Pleasanton Unified School District at Walnut Grove Elementary School where her son was attending. From there, she has served the PUSD in numerous capacities: school site councils, PTA and PFA boards, various districtwide committees, band booster groups, president of the PTA Council, CORE fundraiser and more. She is surely qualified. Experience, however, is not all that distinguishes a school board candidate.

Joan is a person of integrity and character. She's reliable. Joan listens and considers points of view opposite of her own. She has a sense of humor. She is well-read and has varied interests. She works hard. How do I know? I have known Joan since 1996 and I live near her. I have watched her two children mature. I have also seen Joan's enthusiasm for her children's education grow over the years. That enthusiasm has become a passion for all Pleasanton children's education.

The next logical step for Joan is the Pleasanton school board. I urge you to cast your vote for Joan Laursen.

Cathy Needham


'I've seen Joan's commitment'

I served on the Harvest Park Site Council with Joan Laursen for two years, and have known Joan for almost 10. Her passion for improving education in our schools is demonstrated through her tireless volunteering and involvement in School Site Councils, assistance with the School District's Budget Advisory Committee and the PTA. In the two years we served together, I found Joan to be informed of the issues facing our schools, a critical thinker who could find ways to improve education within given monetary limitations, and someone who listens to both sides of an issue. I have seen Joan's commitment and her desire for our youth to have a quality education. Please join me in voting for Joan Laursen on Nov. 2 for Pleasanton School Board.

Patti Joki


Vote for McGovern, Brown

We are voting for Cindy McGovern for mayor and Karla Brown for City Council. They are the only candidates who do not take political contributions from special interests -- especially landowners or developers who seek to influence the decisions of local council members. Cindy is a proven leader -- always responsive to the interests of the citizens of Pleasanton -- not to developers' interests. Together Cindy and Karla worked to keep houses from spoiling our ridgelines and when elected will continue to work to insure permanent protection of our hills.

Brian and Christine Bourg


McGovern respects everyone

Over the last three years, I have attended most Pleasanton City Council meetings. I have witnessed the discussions that take place between the council members and with the public. During that time, I have been impressed with Cindy McGovern's willingness to both listen to and represent ALL of the citizens of Pleasanton, not just those with the deepest pockets. She is both thoughtful and deliberate as she considers the issues at hand; she also respects the ideas and opinions of her fellow council members -- something that has been lacking too frequently from the incumbent mayor.

It is time for a change; Cindy will be the kind of mayor that we need to lead us through these difficult times with honesty and integrity. She will represent the best interests of the entire community and will insure that dollar signs don't block her vision of what is right for the citizens of Pleasanton.

Karla Brown will also provide the change we need on the City Council -- someone who knows what it means to fight for what is right for the community. Please join me in voting for Cindy McGovern for mayor and Karla Brown for City Council.

Kathy Dowding


'We're voting McGovern'

We are voting for Cindy McGovern because she has the kind of integrity that we need in positions of leadership in our community. She has remained independent from special interest groups so that she can make decisions based on their merits and not upon groups to whom she owes favors. She is dedicated to providing the highest quality of life for the people who live in this city benefiting our children and our children's children rather than being focused on short term gain.

Darlene and Mike Miller


Pleasanton needs McGovern's leadership

Pleasanton deserves a mayor who will fairly study and listen to ALL sides of an issue. As a former Hosterman supporter, I have been GREATLY disturbed by her disrespectful behavior toward citizens, and fellow council members, when they don't blindly agree with her personal agenda.

Countless times over the years, it was clear that Hosterman had decided how she would vote on an issue, BEFORE she heard the concerns or additional information council members, staff and citizens shared at council meetings.

Pleasanton needs a fair and respectful mayor, instead of one who is arrogant and dismissive toward alternative viewpoints. During Cindy McGovern's many years as a School Board member and council member, she has consistently demonstrated her ability to listen and thoroughly study all sides of an issue, ask important questions, and respectfully discuss it before making a decision. Unlike our current mayor, Cindy McGovern has the intelligence and integrity to put the best interests of Pleasanton first.

We need and deserve Cindy McGovern for mayor.

Amy English


Keep proven leadership

There are a handful of unhappy folks in town that are busy trying to manufacture a crisis of leadership at the local level where none exists. Yes, the economy has made things tough on a lot of people, but Pleasanton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Our streets and neighborhoods are among the safest in the country; in fact, crime is going down in Pleasanton, not up like in many other towns.

Our parks, ballfields and recreation facilities are not only green, they are well maintained and the envy of visiting teams from all over California.

The city of Pleasanton has rainy-day reserves, and unlike other cities, has not had to ask voters to tax themselves or face cuts in public safety, parks and road maintenance.

The sky is not falling. In fact, Money Magazine recently rated Pleasanton among America's 100 best places to live.

Let's keep Pleasanton great. Join me in voting for proven leadership. Re-elect Jennifer Hosterman for Mayor and Jerry Thorne and Cheryl Cook-Kallio for City Council.

Eric Nostrand

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack B.
a resident of Charter Oaks
on Oct 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

Regarding Ms. Brown's letter above, in support of herself, Alameda County Registrar of Voters counted less than 400 collected signatures before concluding that the signature gatherers likely met the required number, to place the issue on the ballot for the voters to decide. Thereafter, Ms. Brown has been seen at City council meetings along with her sidekick, Kay Ayala, proclaiming that she gathered 5,000 signatures! And, today, she is claiming, three days before the election, that she was successful in gathering 10,000 signatures! Let's hear it for restoring ethics, transparency, and responsibility to local government!

Like this comment
Posted by Karla Fan
a resident of California Reflections
on Oct 31, 2010 at 8:22 am

Jack - check your facts. There were 2 issues that signatures were collected by a small army, in order to over ride the Council's controversial decisions. EACH issue had to have over 5000 signatures collected to qualify for the ballot. In one case I know, she said over 10,000 signatures collected to put 2 issues on the ballots, i.e. OVER 5000 for each issue? Got it?

Measure PP -Current Law to protect the ridges - 5000 VOTER signatures
No on D/No on Oak Grove - 5000 VOTER signatures.

Please check your facts before you try to offer misguided information/digs.

Like this comment
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

Karla Fan,

You need to check your facts as well. You can collect as many signatures as you want. The Voter Registar's Office does a sampling of the signatures and uses that to project how many signatures are actually VALID--Pleasanton resident, registered voter and only signed the petition once. In the case of Measure PP and No on Oak Grove, I believe that the projected number of VALID signatures was between 4,000 and 4,200; in other words approximately 20% of the signatures were deemed not valid. So to say you collected 5,000 or 10,000 signatures of Pleasanton voters is really not correct when one factors in how many were actually valid.

These ballot measures are done and history now. But I have a problem with a person running on restoring ethics to twist the numbers as was done in this letter.

Like this comment
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

They were NOT two separate collections. The signature gatherers had people sign twice while they were gathering, once for Oak Grove and once for Measure PP. It is VERY misleading to represent that as 10,000 signatures.

Like this comment
Posted by Craig
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I helped gather sigantures too, and for the Referendum/No on D/Oak Grove, the signatures of 10 percent of the voting population had to be collected in 30 days after the council's approval. And they were.

The signatures for what would eventually be Measure PP were collected over a 6 month period. SOME of those signatures were collected with the referendum, but many more were collected after the 30 days cut off for the Referendum because of the pressure of only 30 days.

I agree with Karla Fan, there were 5000 for PP and 5000 separate signatures for the No on D referendum. Absolutely a total of WAY over 10,000 separate signatures. Check the City records the dates the files were turned in and you would be more accurate.

This is a classic case of folks that were not involved in the process trying to fake the facts. If you want to know the truth, try asking instead of guessing.

Like this comment
Posted by Been there
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Huh, so when I was presented with both I was mistaken?

Like this comment
Posted by Craig
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 31, 2010 at 11:17 pm

This is not rocket science. Sometimes a signature gatherer would have both the initiative and the referendum on their clip board, and other times that would just have the single issue on their clip board. Some voters would sign one topic, and some would sign them both. Either way, it was over 5000 signatures for each of the 2 different issues totaling over 10,000 for BOTH.

Like this comment
Posted by hmmm!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2010 at 9:22 am

Fuzzy math to me!

Like this comment
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

Now that the election is over, and Im happy the incumbents won for the reasons stated above by Mr. Nostrand, I have to comment on Karla Brown's letter supporting herself. Many us of "special interests" who contributed to PAC are both business owners and Pleasanton residents which she clearly prefers to chastise in favor of cheap sound-bites. And Ms. Brown claimed to champion slow growth but wants economic vitality at the same time. Helloooo?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Write a Personal Ad . . . to Your Partner . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,625 views

I’ve been Hacked! Insulted, too.
By Tom Cushing | 8 comments | 1,010 views

Castlewood members voted for major clubhouse remodeling; Second vote looms
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 556 views

Council halts plans for 90-home senior housing on Merritt property
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 30 views