News


City manager calls citizens' coalition claims inaccurate, irresponsible

Former councilman Matt Sullivan leading group's inquiry into alleged 'secret' meeting between city, Costco

Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth (PCRG), an advocacy coalition, has filed complaints with both the state's Fair Political Practices Commission and the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury over what it claims were secret negotiations between city of Pleasanton and Costco, claims Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho insists "are simply not true."

Former City Councilman Matt Sullivan, a spokesman for the citizens' coalition, accused representatives of the city's council-directed Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone planning effort, developer Nearon Corporation and Costco meeting over the last two years. The discussions, according to Sullivan, concerned public subsidies to pay for the infrastructure and roadway improvements needed for a project that would provide Costco with the land use zoning needed to build a store here on Johnson Drive.

Sullivan said that a California Public Records Request filed by PCRG revealed an agreement between the city, Costco, and Nearon for almost $20 million in taxpayer subsidies for the project which has been kept hidden from the public. In addition, he said, Mayor Jerry Thorne has been advocating for the Costco project for two years while owning Costco stock.

The FPPC recently issued a finding that Thorne's activities are a conflict of interest under the state of California Political Reform Act and he has recused himself from any discussions on the City Council concerning Costco.

"The city of Pleasanton has been engaged in secret negotiations with Costco for two years to provide an almost $20-million taxpayer give-away to the multi-billion-dollar corporation to entice it to build a store in Pleasanton," Sullivan said. "The details of these negotiations have been withheld from the public and distorted by the mayor, the City Council majority and city staff."

But the Pleasanton City Manager said there was never any "deal" or agreements and, in fact, there is no proposal before the City Council regarding Costco.

“We wholeheartedly support transparency in government," Fialho said. "It is a fundamental hallmark of serving the public. The citizen coalition’s suggestion that the city of Pleasanton has operated in secret is simply not true. There is no deal, there are no agreements and no proposal was put before the council."

Fialho continued:

"Now that the issue of building size within the JDEDZ has been put on the upcoming ballot, it is important people decide based upon facts. As a city, we welcome the dialogue and value the fundamental right to express our opinions.

"However, to assert that city staff has been complicit in any backroom deal is stunning and without merit. Staff has been working up various draft proposals with the specific purpose of bringing that framework back to the Council for its consideration.

"We were exploring tax sharing agreements, which are used throughout the state, to fund needed infrastructure improvements. To suggest that this exploration was tantamount to a backroom deal or a secret agreement is inaccurate and irresponsible.”

Comments

69 people like this
Posted by Alexey
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 12, 2016 at 9:10 am

I do not see how it changes anything. As with many business discussions, they are negotiated for a long time before an official meeting is done. But I am biased - I would prefer driving to Jonson Dr instead of Livermore.


78 people like this
Posted by Trumped up
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 12, 2016 at 9:48 am

Costco would reduce traffic and pollution by reducing longer trips out of town. Traffic timing would also NOT be at peak commute times, as would happen if other tenants eventually occupy the space. Costco is one of the few businesses that can contribute substantially with money needed for improvements at that intersection. They also would contribute about $2 million per year in sales tax to the city budget. All the locals that I know are in favor of this improvement for Pleasanton.
This appears to be a classic case of a smear tactic planned for just before the election, with "trumped" up accusations. How many people are actually in this "coalition?" - Matt and three of his friends who opposed everything that has ever been discussed for improving Pleasanton?


69 people like this
Posted by ken1944
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

ken1944 is a registered user.

What is all the hubbub about? For 25 years we were a single issue city. No more growth period. We elected single issue mayors most of the time. When Moonbeam caught on he sued us and it cost millions of dollars to lose our religious commitment to no growth.

Currently we have an initiative sponsored by someone who doesn't even live in Pleasanton to usurp the staff processes that have served Pleasanton reasonably well over the same 25 years. Just because Black Tie is impacted( I'm not sure why they are impacted except that they would like more hotels to use their services) we do not need to intercede in the tried and true staff processes that have served so well in creating what we have today.

So I'm voting no on Mm primarily to let staff and elected officials do their job as they should in a representative democracy. I also would like a Pleasanton Costco

Be careful of people who live in Glass houses.


64 people like this
Posted by Jean
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:11 am

About time we got a business that is large enough to generate substantial revenue for our city without causing major traffic issues and is well placed. Hoping they will also have a gas station to keep gas costs more reasonable. Hate having to drive either to San Ramon or Livermore for Costco because of the traffic along both freeway corridors. If revenue dollars are generated perhaps the city will want to pass less bonds that burden the homeowners for our future. No problem with having Costco here especially since over the years the city planners have pushed other businesses out to Dublin or Livermore.

Welcome Costco!


83 people like this
Posted by Rod
a resident of Old Towne
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:17 am

Thanks Matt. This City needs to change the way it does business. Too many secret deals. We are told $11 million, now find its $20 million. Don't trust any of them. Backdoor, secret deals.

Starts and ends with mayor.


28 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

For all the out-cry about government transparency this process hasn't been completed. The city council haven't even had the Johnson Drive Economic development Zone on their desk to make any decision.

There is a lot that can be done before any applicant can be accepted, from anyone, including Costco. The initiative has put everything into a holding pattern.

Lets vote NO on Measure MM.


100 people like this
Posted by Lee G
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

Throw all the bums out! Check their pockets first.


47 people like this
Posted by M. Smith
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:37 am

M. Smith is a registered user.

Please let's investigate. Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth has done us a huge favor. No City make a deal to giveaway $20 million and then tries to hide it -- unless there is corruption. Follow the money.

Did anyone ask you about the deal? Not me. It's our money!


56 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

This is a terrible deal! After learning all the fact I'm voting Costco out!
And I'm voting these city council members out the next chance I get!

Allowing Costco to enter our wonderful town to save on large bottles of ketchup and paper goods seems an enormous price to pay.

Vote YES ON MM


45 people like this
Posted by Dave J.
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

Dave J. is a registered user.

Mayor Davis of Elk Grove exposed the Costco dishonesty. He said that Costco wanted to hide the kickback to Costco by giving the money to the developer, which would in turn lower Costco's rent.

He said we need transparency (in Elk Grove). Got none here in Pleasanton. Let the Grand Jury take a look. Better look at developers, Chamber, BACPAC's, etc.

Growth, growth, growth!!


39 people like this
Posted by Joan T
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:01 am

How could anyone believe this is on the up and up? $20 million. Borrowing for 25 years. Unmitigated traffic, no CalTrans approval, pollution that is bad, ugly warehouse that will be moved or closed before debt is paid.

Of course this has been secret.


33 people like this
Posted by mg
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:03 am

I’m taken by the Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth (PCRG)group, what is the impact to the true city citizens as there is NO residential housing miles away from the proposed Costco store.

Oh Yes, let’s listen to a person that does not even live in Pleasant and is only focused on his own good and not the well-being of Pleasanton!

Driving to Danville and Livermore is 100% inconvenience that impacts all of us in Pleasanton.

Vote NO on MM !


38 people like this
Posted by Betty Sue
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:04 am

Dishonesty! Lies and more lies! There has been no transparency. This is a terrible for Pleasanton. How can this be allowed? I'm very upset at our city leaders! They have been dishonest and smug about this deal.

We must vote Yes on MM to stop Costco!


13 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:04 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

I support costco coming to town, and also agree with looking into why this deal ended up where it is.

Politicians need to be held accountable


45 people like this
Posted by Maria N
a resident of Rosewood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:13 am

Whoa, people have definitely drunk the City kool-aid and are swallowing the argument about millions in tax revenue and less traffic without really questioning it. The city's own EIR says Costco will bring 7,000-12,000 more vehicles daily to the Stoneridge/Johnson Drive area, which will never be offset by the trips from local residents now going to the other Costcos only 8 miles away. And this bad deal means we will not see the millions in tax revenue until the loan from them is paid off in 25 years. Think, people. It's our duty to question whether the city government is acting in our best interests when you get facts like these.


26 people like this
Posted by Kris Santos
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

Wow! this is crazy. Why are we giving Costco special treatment that's not given to other businesses. It's not like we are a desperate city. We don't need Costco!!!!


56 people like this
Posted by Len B
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 12, 2016 at 11:18 am

Gotta stop the madness. Chamber's been running this city since 2006. If you didn't know this, you've been asleep. If you say let the elected officials do their job, you will get what you get. Chamber elects them with developer money and controls them.


35 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

Joan T, you mention "no CalTrans approval".

This cannot be overlooked or minimized. I was at a counsel meeting and the staff was admitting that the 580/680 interchange, with the increased traffic from Costco, was a serious issue. Concerned citizens were speaking up. Many who live off of Stoenridge don't even use ramp, currently, because it is simply too dangerous.

The point I am trying to make is that getting CalTrans approval is a HUGE long shot and, even if they were to make the necessary freeway improvements, it could take many years.

Once again, no transparency from the City of Pleasanton and its leaders on this topic. Yet, lives are at stake and this portion of the freeway has caused many injury-related accidents.

No transparency on the mega gas station that will come, either. We are talking 1,000,000 gallons a month. This is equivalent to about 10-12 gas stations. The traffic is going to be insane. Have you heard anything from the City on this? No.

This lack of transparency makes me feel that the City does not have our best interest. Why can't they come out and talk about the special treatment Costco is getting, the 20 million in borrowing, and the fact that this isn't just 3 or 4 people against Costco. Have you been to the Farmers Market? Looks like support is gathering quickly for "Yes on MM". I saw many people walking around with a yard signs and fliers.

Please forgive me for wanting to keep Pleasanton slow growth. Honestly, that's why I moved here.


20 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

But yet whatever else goes in there won't bring increased traffic????

And without traffic how is revenue generated?

Stopping costco on the basis of traffic doesn't make sense as the land will be developed and traffic will follow. And anything that brings less traffic will bring less money in revenue. If anything, costco is better because the revenue spend per trip is greater than anything else.....short maybe a casino


26 people like this
Posted by Allen B.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Allen B. is a registered user.

The argument MM is premature or unnecessary because there has been no application made and that the JDEZ hasn't been voted on by the city council is pure subterfuge. Based on documents released by the city, city staff, at the direction of the council has been negotiating with Costco and Nearon for well over 2 years. They are dotting the i's and crossing the t's on Development Agreements and Letters of Intent. Every member of the council has already made their position clear. If you wait the council votes to put the JDEZ in place, its too late. The structure of the JDEZ limits public input on uses and the deals the city makes.

Yes on MM


34 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

I know it is hard to believe that here are higher principles than greed. Yes, we could do all kinds of things to bring more revenue. Heck, you mentioned a Casino--great example!

What about quality of life?

What about keeping Pleasanton unique, with a small town flavor?

What about the 20 million borrowed and won't be paid off for 35 years?

What about the small businesses that will be impacted and surely fold?

I don't want to live in the biggest growth city! I want to keep Pleasanton pleasant. I have been shopping at Costcos my whole life. I don't need anyone to tell me that it will bring a ton of traffic. Pretty much coommon sense, folks. Every Costco has about as much foot traffic as, well, what "Pleasanton Parent" suggested, a casino.

This is a terrible spot, on a tiny road, next to a bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic. Yes on MM!


24 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Exactly why the location is good. Keep the traffic to an isolated part of town near two major freeways.

I agree the deal negotiated is bad, but again, look who's on your side of the issue. Shell and Valero.....and they've been happy to suck $730k from you annually...per station. What's been their community involvement...oh, supporting issues and growth that benefit them.

Costco at least engages in the community - look at the wine selection in livermore, it highlights more regional wine than Napa wines. Look at the gift cards for restraints, they are of local flavor, same with services...local contractors.

Costco drives business through local business, treats employees well, and doesn't gouge customers.

I'll take costco over allowing the status quo to continue to deceptively profit of a hard working community


14 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

You think shell protested the housing addition to Bernal and Stanley? The new Starbucks? Clearly an increase in traffic, no mass protests then, silently I bet they contributed to the campaign to bring the housing in.

Pick your allies wisely.


31 people like this
Posted by Alisa
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Alisa is a registered user.

Never in my life seen a a city with such lack of transparency, especially involving so much of taxpayers money, such as this Costco deal. If a thorough investigation is done, there must be corruption found. No one would make a deal like this unless there were some payoffs -- somehow; someway.

As Allen B says above, the deal is done. Sure it's on hold until Nov 8, but if MM fails, there will be no changes. Not one person from the City or Costco says there will be a better deal!! Not one! If you want any chance of stopping this horrible deal, you must vote yes on MM

Yes on MM


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

If you believe corruption brought this deal to fruition, and the same people remain in office to develop the next, why would you expect behavior to change if you believe this is motivated by devious greed


27 people like this
Posted by Kelly K.
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Kelly K. is a registered user.

Costco had influence! Costco got greedy "deal non- negotiable". Costco got caught! They lied about millions of dollars in sales tax revenue in their letter. Said please help us expand. Yeah! $20 million. They must think most of us are fools.

Well, guess what the Citizens for Planned Growth (CFPG) said: lets get the signatures to put it on the ballot. Now the Pleasanton Residents for Responsible Growth (PCRG), a second group, said: lets investigate this bad deal. Now the Pleasanton Voters (PV), a third group says : We endorse Yes on MM (No Costco).

Three separate citizens groups all for Yes on MM. Who does the other side have? Politicians, Developers, the Chamber.

Easy decision for me! I'll go with the citizens groups who care about our community!


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Developers are neutral, they win either way.

City could have said no deal, costco is taking advantage of a deal the city gave.

Poor negotiations on the city I agree.

Give me the restructure the Costco deal option and I'm in. I've been told it's vote costco out completely or support the deal.

I like costco, so I'll take the deal and vote out the politicians that agreed to it


33 people like this
Posted by E. K.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 5:16 pm

E. K. is a registered user.

$20 million @ extra $400,000 year in sales tax = 50 years to break even.
My business degree equates that to 50 years to break even. In fact my 3rd grade math equates it to 50 years.
My great, great grandkids will still maybe see the first $$ of profit. I will not burden them with this.

I don't eat hot dogs, I don't buy 10 lb jar of mayonnaise, I don't wait in line 45 minute for gas.


25 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

As I have said before on two other threads, we have yet to have even one Pleasanton leader or staffer chime in any of these threads to correct anything written that might be false. No one has said word one, making me believe it is all true, and as said by Allen B and Alisa, the deal is clearly already done. I challenge anyone, be it Thorne, Brown, Narum, Olsen, Pentin, Ritter, O'Conner, Balch, Allen, Nagler, Brown, or any city employee, if ANYTHING on these threads are wrong, please correct them. So far, they have said nothing. I predict, they will continue to be silent (which isn't really going out on a limb).

"Costco ... doesn't gouge customers."
Perhaps not, but they are gouging the city of Pleasanton with this deal.


54 people like this
Posted by M. Jensen
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm

M. Jensen is a registered user.

@ Get the Facts

Not one City leader has come forth. This is your third (or fourth) challenge. Let's hear one of the people that you mentioned above dispute the information quoted:
$20 million in city expenditures
$10.7 million in loan payback over 25 years
A lot more traffic with Costco

They cannot say this is not the deal! They may say it's not signed, but it will be if the politicians, Chamber and Nearon win in November. It's a done deal. Nearon announced this long ago!


29 people like this
Posted by Kelly K.
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Kelly K. is a registered user.

@M.Jensen
@ Get the Facts

Ask the city leaders if they have CalTrans approval also. Timeline!


8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The city staff is available eight hours each day Monday through Friday at the city offices. They are approachable and will readily answer your questions. The City council, the Mayor, are available to take questions twenty-four seven. They also meet in public every Tuesday. They are not hiding.
[removed]


24 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Mike W. is a registered user.

Don't need to call the city to hear coverup and lies. We have the documents!
Get the Facts has challenged them to dispute the documents we have.
The silence is defening.


24 people like this
Posted by Maxed Out!
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Maxed Out! is a registered user.

I plead with you, City of Pleasanton, If it takes 50 years to break even, why are you pushing this? How, with a straight face, can you tell my children, grand children, and God willing, great grandchildren, that is the best option for Pleasanton.

As said above, the silence is deafening. All we need is one person to go on the prime time news and say the facts... People will be shocked!


34 people like this
Posted by Nan
a resident of Rosewood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Nan is a registered user.

Sick of deviation from the topic.
Let's see what the Grand Jury and FPPC find. Facts are insurmountable that this deal has corruption written all over it. If it was above board, there would not have been this secrecy. The lies about the amount of borrowing and the amounts to be contributed by each party and the missing minutes and tapes from April 12. Lies! Secrecy! Coverup!


2 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

[Post removed because it referred to a previously removed post]


24 people like this
Posted by M. Smith
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

M. Smith is a registered user.

Missing minutes and tapes? Pleasantongate. Very suspicious. I hope the Grand Jury knows about that! This may get fun!

Yes on MM!


17 people like this
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm

Registered Joe is a registered user.

The city council is blinded by the prospect of additional tax revenue, which we don't need, and which in any case would be used for infrastructure improvements needed for the new Costco.

Corrupt? I doubt it. In touch with the needs of the city and its residents? Not at all. Simply blinded by the prospect of those tax dollars.

The few times I go to Costco (San Ramon, Livermore) it's a zoo. Traffic is awful and you can be sure I don't go there during rush hour, when it's worse.


26 people like this
Posted by Bobbyboo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Bobbyboo is a registered user.

Not EVERYBODY wants this Costco for Pleasanton. So stop assuming we all do! Can't stand it when someone says ' most people I speak to want it'. Pleasanton needs another High school not more flipping huge superstores!!


24 people like this
Posted by Anon1
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 13, 2016 at 6:38 am

Anon1 is a registered user.

Holy Toledo. The fact that some of these people are disturbed to drive 10 minutes out of the way is sad. This area should not be developed for a big box store. Someone has their hands dipping into someone else's pockets and it's been happening for years. As a long time resident, it's sad to see what's happening to the city.


2 people like this
Posted by Ptown Dad
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 13, 2016 at 7:25 am

Ptown Dad is a registered user.

First world problems. Seriously people. There are bigger things happening in the world that we could be worrying about.


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:59 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Ptown dad, you're correct that there are bigger worldly problems to solve, and regardless of which side of this issue you're on, you want a community that is engaged and cares about the community they live in - I welcome this discussion, as involvement in local issues will only build the required foundation to take on larger worldly issues as well.


33 people like this
Posted by HT
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 13, 2016 at 9:24 am

HT is a registered user.

Are you kidding me? This is about corruption in Pleasanton not whether you have to drive a few extra miles to Costco or not! Mayor Jerry Thorne has been advocating for this for 2 years while being a Costco stockholder which is a blatant conflict of interest and yet he did not recuse himself until forced to! Although there may not be "deals" in writing with Costco, there is clearly a plan, the first step was to push the rezoning through the city council which the city council did against the wishes of the people it represents that's why we have measure MM on the ballot. People, we are spending a lot of money time and effort to force our elected officials to do what the PEOPLE want. Personally I don't care that much either way if Costco comes to Pleasanton or not. What I care about is the blatant corruption going on in Pleasanton planning & city council. Wake up voters!


32 people like this
Posted by 34 year resident of Pleasanton
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

34 year resident of Pleasanton is a registered user.

The Mayor, Planning Commission and Staff continue to demonstrate their preference for supporting profit, greed and growth ("economic developmen"t) over the clearly stated desires of their constituency for slow growth and preservation of what makes (made) Pleasanton the jewel it is. We never envisioned Big Box stores or three story stack-and-pack high density housing defining Pleasanton's future.

We are being sold down the river for the all mighty dollar again.


37 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

JJ is a registered user.

@Pleasanton Parent
I agree. There are other more important issues in the world, but our local issues are, too, important; and involvement critical. We each have a huge investment in where we live. Not only in our homes, but our city values and government.

You and I may not agree on Costco- but, we must have honest leaders who represent us. An investigation into the secret negotiations with Costco, and determining the real motives for this very lucrative deal for Costco, need to come to light.

Certainly, we know the Mayor should not have been involved. His campaign manager should not have been involved after the City Attorney told the Mayor to stay away from decisions. The staff's secrecy with negotiations for 2 1/2 years is suspicious. Giving the public the wrong borrowing negotiations was a lie and wrong.

It will be best to get this matter reviewed, and for us to either regain confidence in our current leaders --or, to get new leaders. Continuing to allow the Chamber the power that it has maintained over our City for the last decade, can only lead to corruption.

I will vote Yes on MM, because this is a bad deal. Our City deserves better than to be known the most money ever given to help the behemoth company.


40 people like this
Posted by Kelly K.
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

Kelly K. is a registered user.

Let's tell it the way it is!
The mayor knew he had a conflict of interest, but stayed involved for more than 2 years! He influenced the council who wrote the ballot arguments for Costco. He had his campaign manager sign them! More will come out on his involvement.

The City Manager and staff lied about the details of the deal. It was not $6 million in borrowing as we were told. Costco /Nearon were not putting in $5 million as we were told. Missing minutes and tapes! Lies; coverup.

Nearon said the deal was done in January. The City says no deal. More lies.

Stop this crooked deal. Yes on MM


9 people like this
Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 13, 2016 at 1:46 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

More trumped up nonsense and waste of money from Matt Sullivan and his cronies...including Karla Brown - I think smear campaign when I see this kind of false information. Go to meetings, ask questions, they have all been open with their answers. I am voting NO on MM, this is not about Costco but about limiting sizes of businesses. Get the facts.


14 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 13, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Mike W. is a registered user.

Not nonsense. Not trumped up. More documents will come to show secret meetings. Fialho is not telling the truth. Complicit!


11 people like this
Posted by JohnS
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm

JohnS is a registered user.

We need on and off ramps at 680 and Las Positas Blvd. or Stoneridge will be horrendous at times. Has anyone even addressed this while weighing the pros and cons of adding Costco traffic to the area?


16 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 13, 2016 at 2:29 pm

JJ is a registered user.

JohnS
You make a very good point. CalTrans changes and improvements are necessary. A Freedom of Information request was filed with CalTrans. Nothing was shown as approved. Nothing was shown in the planning process with a timeline. If the City has approval from CalTrans and/or a timeline, I suggest they reveal it now.

This is one of the most important requirements- or, no one should be talking about Costco!


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Jj
I hope you'll put as much energy into stopping the current gouging that shell and Valero are stealing out of your pockets to the tune of $730k annually per station. Don't Pleasanton residents deserve better? Or is the status quo here acceptable?


10 people like this
Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 13, 2016 at 7:12 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

MikeW - you say you have the documents -
Prove it. Where are they? I doubt there are any such documents. Voting No on MM here.


12 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Mike W. is a registered user.

Just returned from the Tri-Valley candidates forum at the Fierhouse Art Center. Strange: No Thorne; No Pentin; No Ritter.

Ms Vic, the documents I have shared were given to me by Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth. As I understand, all have been turned over to the Alameda County Grand Jury. They may have already been posted on the PCRG website. If not, it is my understanding that they will all be made public in the near future.

You and I may disagree on Costco, but please understand that I would not be so foolish as to quote from a document that I do not personally have. The City has not disputed one document that I have quoted. Each has dates, sender, addressee.


7 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 13, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

Endorsement from 3 citizen groups:
Citizens for Planned Growth
Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth
PleasantonVoters.com

Good job!

No doubt, much will come from the investigations which are the topics of this thread. . This deal is too bad to be legit.
Just talked to some fine people who have lived in Pleasanton for over 30 years. "Don't need Costco!"

Yes on MM.


2 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Oh those pesky facts...

The City said $16 million in needed traffic improvements. There is no subsidy. No taxpayer money you have paid will go to the improvements. Improvements to be paid for by developer funded traffic impact fee, Costco, property owner, and future sales tax revenue. Costco will be paying their fair share.

The City has a responsibility right now to make improvements to that area due to the General Plan Buildout, even if not a single other thing is built on Johnson Drive. The City is considering a loan to allow the City to complete their required improvements before Costco would open. Of the ideas discussed, the City would get sales tax revenue in YEAR ONE.

No secrets...Cities borrow at low interest rates for infrastructure projects all the time. Negotiations for cost sharing happen all the time before presented to City Council. How does one think development agreements are done? No one sees any negotiating at Council meetings because they are negotiated in advance and presented at a public hearing for discussion and approval.

Before the City had to halt all planning for the Johnson Drive Economic Zone due to the initiative, the City was proceeding with the regular public process. Prioritizing the Johnson Drive Economic Zone received a unanimous vote from the City Council. If you vote NO on MM, there will still be the continuation of the public process. There will be at least 4 more public hearings, including discussion of any cost sharing agreements.

You can look at all of the documents yourself at Web Link and if you can't figure it out, call the City and ask.


5 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 13, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Mike W. is a registered user.

Fact Checker,
Of course, I disagree.
Too late tonight. Will pull out documents provided by the City to PCRG which show this is incorrect.
Until tomorrow... Good night.


10 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 14, 2016 at 7:16 am

Mike W. is a registered user.

MsVic
I have been advised that the documents are posted on the Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth Fcacebook page, and have been given this link.

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Krc
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 14, 2016 at 7:30 am

Krc is a registered user.

The issue is not Costco the issue is process. Lets let staff do their job just like we have done in the past. There are several if not many opportunities in those processes to say no. Just because Mr. Sullivan feels left out is not enough reason for all this grinding of teeth.

We should be grinding more on our coming Presidential election (removed).


8 people like this
Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 14, 2016 at 7:46 am

MsVic is a registered user.

Mike W - so our city planning and council is not allowed to do their job and vet the options? NOTHING has been approved. All those documents relate to pre work necessary before anything can be decided through open process. sheesh - like someone else said - (removed)


13 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 14, 2016 at 8:29 am

Tom M. is a registered user.

This is such a bad deal for Pleasanton! It's no wonder Nelson Fialho has been secretive with his dealings with Costco.

This is an easy decision! Yes on MM


31 people like this
Posted by Mike W.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

Mike W. is a registered user.

@Fact Checker
To start, developers pay for roadwork to improve their property. In the forum last night it was stated, that never in the history of Pleasanton, has the City been asked to pay this amount of money. The link you gave me did not give specific information as to the deal being negotiated with Costco/Nearon. This was kept secret until the Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth demanded documents under the California Reporting Act. Most all documents are on the link above to MsVic.

Nelson Fialho's email to Mike Dobrota, Regional Manager for Costco, with a copy to Tony Perino, president of Nearon, dated April 1 outlines the details to pay for the roadwork/ infrastructure:

$7.5 million Pleasanton Contribution in borrowing @ 3% interest for 25 years ($10,767,006)
$3.17 million Nearon Contribution
$5.335 million Pleasanton Contribution from Traffic Impact Fee Reserve
$16.005 million Total

On April 5 Nelson Fialho responds to an email from from Mike Dobrota and Tony Perino. Fialho states: "We are open to considering how Nearon's portion of the project expenses ($3.17 million) could be eligible for reimbursement from the fees collected by the City in the future from other property owners/applicants within the EDZ boundary." In this case, the City would pay for all infrastructure:

$16.005,000 total roadwork/ infrastructure
$ 3,267,006 interest
$19,267,006 Total

If there are overruns in the costs, which most certainly there will be, the City pays for these too!



6 people like this
Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

MsVic is a registered user.

Mike W - again the documents are nothing but research so that informed negotiations and decisions can be made. Nothing wrong with doing homework to find out what the issues, concerns, negotiations points would be. Not doing this would be wrong. Still voting NO on MM.


29 people like this
Posted by M. Smith
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

M. Smith is a registered user.

Amazing detail Mike W. Thanks also for the link to the documents.

The City pays all! Worst deal in history of Pleasanton! Worst deal ever made in the United States for Costco!

Impossible to vote for Costco unless you are Costco regional manager, Nearon president, Chamber BACPAC, or Mayor Thorne!

Yes on MM.




30 people like this
Posted by Nan
a resident of Rosewood
on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:03 am

Nan is a registered user.

Mike W,

Thank you! This deal was worse than I could have imagined. I heard the $20 million. With overruns, it's way over $20 million.

Yes on MM!


24 people like this
Posted by E. K.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:58 am

E. K. is a registered user.

This has to be a joke. Developer/Costco pay nothing. We pay $20 million or more.
Sure wish I could develop a Costco in Pleasanton. Seems very lucrative. Taxpayers pay for all my roadwork! Taxpayers break even in 50 years.

Who believes this isn't crooked?

Yes on MM.


19 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

Tom M. is a registered user.

When you click read the full story here web link, the title of this article changes to...City manager Nelson Fialho calls citizens' coalition claims inaccurate, irresponsible.

Well of course he does! He's in so deep he needs wading boots. These facts are coming directly from his emails!

@ E. K. I couldn't agree more! This seems crooked!


21 people like this
Posted by Val
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Val is a registered user.

Mike W,
So Fialho says no secret negotiations- but "is open to considering how Nearon's portion of the project expenses could be eligible for reimbursement". The word "how" is very suspicious. "How" as in "how" to create a back door, secret kickback- so Nearon would contribute nothing.

There is either a legitimate way- or there isn't, but this "how" stuff means we will figure out a way. Fialho is creating a planned kickback from future fees to be pai by other. Doesn't sound like normal procedures to me!

This looks very bad, and should be investigated.


17 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

Fialho and Thorne need to resign before the investigations!


16 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 14, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Tom M. is a registered user.

@Lisa S. I completely agree! There needs to be an investigation.

City Manager Nelson Fialho definitely needs to go. He was selected as city manager of Pleasanton in 2004. 12 years!

He has failed to meet expectations of transparency.

It's time for a change! Nationally, the average tenure for a city manager or administrator is seven years. Fialho has far exceeded this. Pleasanton deserves someone fresh!



20 people like this
Posted by M. Jensen
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm

M. Jensen is a registered user.

Sounds like Nelson got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He states: "We are open to considering how Nearon's portion of the project expenses could be eligible for reimbursement from the fees collected by the City in the future from other property owners /applicants within the EDZ boundary."

This sounds like it without precedent. Is it legal? At the very least, certainly a secret, side deal. This needs to be investigated by the grand jury. A $3.17 million reimbursement "open to consideration.."

"We" are open. Wonder who "we" is? Mayor Thorne?


16 people like this
Posted by Lisa S.
a resident of Stoneridge
on Oct 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm

Lisa S. is a registered user.

This is all that I need to know. It is crooked and certainly unprecedented. Did Fiahlo have this authority? Sounds like a promise, but he needed to figure out how to do it. Take fees from other projects to zero out Costco/ Nearon investment. We pay it all. They pay nothing! Yet we have repeatedly been told that Nearon/ Costco were contributing 1/3. Where are the missing minutes from April 12? Missing audio? It's not like there are no witnesses to what was said. I was there. 250 people were there. It's going to be hard to hide if people are deposed.

This was in a April 5th email, stating: "we are open to considering...". On April 12, we were told lies. We were told Nearon/Costco would pay 1/3 of the $16 million. In fact, Fialho was saying to Nearon/ Costco on April 5, that we are open to considering that you pay zero! All expenses refunded.


12 people like this
Posted by M. Smith
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

M. Smith is a registered user.

Mike W,

You have the emails. Do I have this right?

Costco wanted to loan $9 million: Fialho settled on $7.5 million on April 5; he told us $6 million on April 12
Costco wanted to contribute $2 million of the $16 million; Fialho settled on $3.7 million on April 5; but told us $5 million -- but he secretly told them he would be open to considering to give back the $3.7 million by somehow taking money from other projects.

In this article which was revised after the original article was printed, it gave Fialho a chance to respond. He said: "we wholeheartedly support transparency in government".

Lies and more lies.
Yes on MM. Yes means no corrupt deal with Costco. YES on MM, MEANS NO COSTCO!


9 people like this
Posted by Dave J.
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Dave J. is a registered user.

Let's hope the investigations are soon. This looks really bad on our community. Frankly, I am embarrassed. For the last 22 years, I have been proud to say that I live in Pleasanton. Not now. We need change.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Hearing rumors it would likely become an Indian based shopping center, similar to ranch 99, but for the asian/Indian community if costco doesn't go in. Not something I'd utilize, but I guess it would be a logical ethnic addition. Not sure how the spend per trip would compare to your costco.


6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Investigation!!!

Laughable expression based on innuendo and imagined theory
of nothing.

The commentary is a desperate attempt to convince voters there
is A criminal element in Pleasanton leadership. When in Reality
the Pleasanton leadership is the best leadership in any city in
all of California.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Imaginable theory of nothing?

We have a growing Asian/Indian community, both in Dublin and Pleasanton. We have more and more asian and Indian restaurants opening servicing these community needs. We have two Asian specific centers, three if you count the retail outlet center in livermore but nothing centralized for the growing Indiand/Desi community. It makes sense that a large Indian/Desi center is justified and a theme focused development would be the fastest to implement in order to fill much more and less Sq ft spaces. It makes a lot of sense actually, so as rumors go, there is always some level of truth to them.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Interesting response as well, I'd expect more support if a Desi center was opened as it addresses the big box, pay your own way, and community fit arguments against costco? Oh, and it still increases traffic flow without taking away business from shell and valero. Why not a more welcoming response?


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

My comment is response to Dave J. and his hope investigation will begin soon.


3 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Backroom deals? Looks like a public process to me. And there is no agreement. So, frankly it doesn't matter what negotiation happened when and with whom. The deal would have to go to the City Council for approval in a public hearing just like every pre-negotiated development agreement, fee agreement etc.

April 15, 2014 City Council Mtg
September 2015 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
September 23, 2015 Planning Commission Mtg
October 22, 2015 Community Mtg
November 12, 2015 Community Mtg
April 12, 2016 Joint City Council and Planning Commission Workshop
March 2016 Economic Impact Analysis Report
March 2016 Supplemental Environmental Impact Report Response to Comments
August 2016 Supplemental Comparative Analysis Report
August 16, 2016 City Council Mtg

The process isn't complete! More meetings ahead!
Find documents to all above meetings at cityofpleasantonca.gov


6 people like this
Posted by Dave J.
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Dave J. is a registered user.

"Citizens' coalition calls for investigation..." Jeb Bing's title. Investigation. Wonder how Fialho will explain "We are open to considering how Nearon's portion of the project expenses could be eligible for reimbursement from the fees collected by the City in future from other property owners/ applicants within the EDZ boundary". This is critical to the investigation of a deal in the making which was not known "how" to do. There was a hope of moving money from another project to Costco/ Nearon.

This investigation is requested of the Alameda County Grand Jury. It will be granted.

The agreement between Costco/Nearon and the City of Pleasanton was reached in April and confirmed by Costco to the City Financial Diector on May 12. Costco had stated "non- negotiable". The city had stated "impasse". The deal was struck. Neither side would budge.

If you don't pass MM, this is the deal you get: $20 million; $7.5 million borrowing for 25 years.

Yes on MM.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Yes on MM

Sponsored by
Black tie limo
Shell
Valero
Grocery store union workers

All in it for the Pleasanton community


8 people like this
Posted by E. K.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm

E. K. is a registered user.

Terrible deal!

Yes on MM!

Stop the corruption!


9 people like this
Posted by Kelly K.
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:17 pm

Kelly K. is a registered user.

As Lee G said "throw the bums out, but check their pockets first" Seems like many agree. Got over 90 "likes".

. Yes on MM. No Costco!


7 people like this
Posted by Nan
a resident of Rosewood
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Nan is a registered user.

Sponsored by thousands of voters who signed the petition. 6300 according to the City Clerk. Collected in a short time. More would have signed.

Back door deals end here! The citizens will decide; not the developers.


8 people like this
Posted by Dave J.
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Dave J. is a registered user.

Yes, we need new leadership. Lee G is right on! Nan is right on!

Started quietly in April 2014. Mayor should have recused himself from the beginning. Not in July 2016!


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

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