Pleasanton voters have been casting their ballots on a myriad of issues and candidates in today's Primary election, ranging from candidates for president, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to State Senate and Assembly, judges, a $25 million annual San Francisco Bay parcel tax and a $950 million Las Positas College general obligation bond issue.
Polls close at 8 p.m. today.
It could be a record turnout for a primary. Political Data Inc., a Los Angeles County firm that tracks state voter trends, reports that more than twice as many Californians have registered to vote this year than in the same four-month period in 2012.
A major issue attracting Pleasanton voters is Measure K, a referendum that appears at the bottom of the ballot that, if approved, would allow Greenbriar Homes Communities to build a 43-home development on Lund Ranch II in the southeast corner of the city or, if rejected, would block the City Council-approved development for at least for another year.
The Measure K ballot question reads: "Should the Lund Ranch project in Southeast Pleasanton, which consists of 43 single-family homes on approximately 17 acres and 174 acres for permanent public open space and 2 miles of public trails, be approved?"
The simplicity of the ballot question belies the history and complexity of the Lund Ranch II issue. Plans for a housing development on the former Lund cattle ranch date back to September 2002 when 113 homes were proposed for construction on 12,000-square-foot lots.
The proposed development then changed hands and it was not until April 2007 that a new builder proposed 149 homes on 3,000-square-foot lots. Those plans again were delayed and, a year later, Measure PP, which requires the city to restrict development of housing and commercial structures on steep slopes and within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline, was approved by voters. To meet those rules, Greenbriar's 43-home development would be built on Lund Ranch flatland.
But 50 yards of an extension of Sunset Creek Way, one of two roads planned to connect to the development, would have to cross a steep slope that falls under Measure PP's terms. The issue has now become whether the extended road is a structure, like homes, or not.
The issue has pitted one neighborhood -- Bridle Creek and Sycamore Creek at the end of the extension of Sunset Creek Way -- against the older Ventana Hills and Mission Hills Park communities on the other side, with both resisting the additional traffic Greenbriar's 43 homes would add to their neighborhood streets.
Those who oppose the extension of Sunset Creek placed Measure K on the ballot to block the housing project; the Ventana Hills homeowners want the project to proceed, saying it offers the least objectionable traffic plan they'll ever see from a Lund Ranch development.
June 7 candidates
Although Measure K will be decided by voters in the June 7 primary, candidates for federal and state offices will be seeking nominations to appear on the General Election ballot on Nov. 8.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are the key contenders for the Democratic Party's presidential preference with Donald Trump still facing Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore for the Republican nomination on the California ballot despite all but Trump dropping out of the race.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, lead the long list of candidates seeking to gain enough votes to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. A third popular candidate is Tom Del Beccaro, a Republican attorney. The top two vote-getters will compete on Nov. 8 regardless of party affiliation.
The same is the case for U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Dublin Democrat seeking re-election in the 15th Congressional District, facing lone competitor Danny R. Turner, a Republican. Both will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.
State Sen. Steve Glazer is being challenged in his bid for re-election in the 7th District that represents Pleasanton by Tyson "Guy" Moore, a fellow Democrat and president of the Mt. Diablo Education Association, and Joseph A. Rubay, a Republican and real estate appraiser. Those receiving the top two votes will move on to the general election on Nov. 8.
State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, a Republican, is facing former Pleasanton City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a Democrat and retired teacher. Again, because they are the only two candidates in the race, they will see each other again on the Nov. 8 ballot regardless of how many votes each receives.
Zone 7 Water Agency
Seven candidates are vying for election to fill three available seats on the board of directors for Zone 7, formally called the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.
They include three incumbents who are seeking re-election: Sandy Figuers, owner of a geology/engineering firm; Angela Ramirez Holmes, owner of a political consulting and public affairs firm; and Dick Quigley, a retired Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory senior logistics coordinator.
The others are Alfred Exner, a financial analyst; Victor Karpenko, a mechanical engineer; Eric Thiel, an Amador Valley High School biology teacher; and Jacqueline Williams-Courtright, owner of Alden Lane Nursery.
The board oversees the water wholesale agency that serves much of the Tri-Valley's municipalities and water agencies. Zone 7 also provides flood protection for the Amador and Livermore valleys. The race is not partisan.
Alameda County Supervisor
Also to be decided in the June 7 primary is a race between Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, a four-term incumbent who is seeking re-election in District 4, where he represents Pleasanton on the county board, and challenger Bryan Parker, a former Oakland mayoral candidate and former Oakland Port Commissioner. Parker lost to Libby Schaaf in the 2014 Oakland mayoral election.
Pleasanton voters also are being asked to approve a $950 million bond measure June 7 for improvements to Las Positas and Chabot College campuses, as well as a $25 million annual parcel tax for 20 years to pay for a San Francisco Bay clean water program.
The community college bond measure, which requires a 55% voter support to pass, was approved by the Chabot-Las Positas board of trustees March 1. The measure will cost a home with an assessed median value of $376,000 an average of $92.12 per year.
College administrators say they need the money to pay for new classrooms at both the Hayward and Livermore campuses, along with three new lecture halls, new health science classrooms, new facilities for the welding department and horticulture and new offices for faculty.
A two-thirds voter approval will be required to approve the Measure AA parcel tax being sought by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. That would authorize a parcel tax of $12 a year for the next 20 years on all properties in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Marin counties, which are considered part of the Bay Area.
The tax, which would automatically expire in 2037, is designed to restore wetlands near the San Francisco Bay. It would produce about $500 million in revenue over 20 years and would be the first local parcel tax in the history of the state to be levied throughout an entire region and multiple counties.
Judges serving Pleasanton
Superior Court Judge, Office No. 1: Candidates are Scott Jackson, a law professor; David Lim, a county prosecutor; and Barbara Thomas, a victims' rights attorney in the State Attorney's Office.
Superior Court Judge, Office No. 2: Jennifer Madden, human trafficking prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office, and Jonathan Van Ee, a public interest attorney.
Superior Court Judge, Office No. 14: Margaret Fujioka, an administrative hearing officer.