Two incumbents and the chairman of the city Planning Commission have launched campaigns to win two open seats on the Pleasanton City Council Nov. 8.
Council members Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin, whose first four-year terms expire this year, will seek re-election. Planning commissioner Herb Ritter announced his plans to seek election to the council at a campaign launch last week.
Mayor Jerry Thorne also has announced that he will seek a third two-year term as mayor in the November election. As of today, he will be unopposed.
Candidates can file formal papers with City Clerk Karen Diaz starting July 18 with the filing deadline Aug. 12.
In alphabetic order, here are summaries of the council candidates qualifications:
Councilwoman Karla Brown
Brown was the top vote getter in 2012 and said she has a passion for serving the residents of Pleasanton. In addition to her council duties, she is a local Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices on First Street.
Council member jobs in Pleasanton involve more than the two times a month City Council meetings. Brown was chosen to serve as vice chair of LAVTA/Wheels bus board.
In addition, she is a member of: Pleasanton Audit Committee, Civic Center/Library Task Force, Fair Liaison committee, Livermore Liaison committee, Waste & Recycling committee, the East Bay Regional Park District Liaison committee, Zone 7 Water Liaison committee and the Regional Water Policy Roundtable committee.
Brown said in launching her campaign for re-election that she will "continue to offer slow and metered growth policies along with hillside protection, develop plans for a new and larger city library and Civic Center, reduce long-term pension debt, support a thriving downtown with additional parking, and partner with small businesses and residents to form a winning team keeping Pleasanton great."
For more information Karla Brown's re-election bid, sign on to her website at www.vote4Karla.com or contact her by email at Karla@Vote4Karla.com/
Councilman Jerry Pentin
In a campaign kickoff breakfast at the Alameda County Fairgrounds Pavilion, Pentin, who was first elected to the council four years ago, talked about the challenges and tough decisions he faced during his first term and the opportunities he sees in the coming years.
"I believe I have served the city the best I can," Pentin said. "I've done my homework, studied the issues, met with both sides of many items before the council and then voted for what is best for all residents in Pleasanton. And I'll keep it up for the next four years."
A 25-year resident of Pleasanton, Pentin and his wife Josine have a daughter Joi, who is a graduate of Amador Valley High School and UC Berkeley and now works in Silicon Valley.
Pentin served in the Marines from 1975 to 1980. He owns and operates Spring Street Studios, a media production company in Pleasanton.
Pentin told his supporters: "When I came to you four years ago, I told you I would be supporting our public schools, working to find a way to solve some of the traffic issues we have in the city, making public safety a priority and supporting open space, smart growth and affordable housing. I'm proud of the efforts I've made on these issues."
On specific issues, Pentin said he has worked with the Pleasanton School District to help it maintain the city's high quality of schools, insisted that the city's in-lieu housing fund stay separate from other funds in order to someday pay for another private/non-profit development and that he has maintained strong support for the city's police and firefighters.
He believes the council has done "an awesome job" of protecting open space in Pleasanton.
"For all the naysayers, our city is a leader in dedicating open space," he said. "Take a look around: 43 parks, Callippe Preserve with its 340 acres of preserved open space, Bernal Community Park with another 350 acres of dedicated parkland and sports fields."
For more information about Councilman Pentin, sign on to his webpage at www.VotePentin.com/
Planning Commission Chairman Herb Ritter
Ritter announced his candidacy for the City Council at the end of Pentin's campaign launch at the Fairgrounds and later at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, where he also is a past president.
At a campaign rally last week, he told supporters that if elected to the council, he will work with the school district to improve education, drive economic vitality and promoting "smart engagement" on the environment.
"Building on my experience, civic leadership, and a 'roll up my sleeves' attitude over the past decade, I look forward to serving our increasingly diverse Pleasanton population as a trusted voice, but more importantly as an active listener both on the City Council and around town," Ritter said.
He said moving to Pleasanton from Washington State 26 years ago was "critical" to his success in life, and that he feels strongly about giving back to the community.
"My passion and care run deep for this amazing community," he said. "It's never been my intention to get into politics, yet by serving on the council I can increase my engagement with decision-making in the city and make more significant, enduring contributions to public service."
He continued: "I want to do all I can to preserve our small town feel while driving positive change in Pleasanton, making it an even better place to work, live, raise a family, and retire. I'm all for smart planning for a better city for today and tomorrow."
For more information, sign on to Ritter's campaign web site at www.herbritter.com/