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Vote by Tuesday

Measure M, Zone 7 board, county supervisor lead local balloting for primary

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Rather than mailing it in, Alameda County voters can drop off their completed vote-by-mail ballot in this collection box outside Pleasanton City Hall at 123 Main St. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

Election Day arrives next week.

That means it's time to turn in that vote-by-mail ballot, look at scheduling an early-voting opportunity or decide when to go to the polls in person to vote between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

And while many eyes will be focused on the results of California's Democratic Party presidential primary, there are also plenty of Tri-Valley local issues on the March 3 election ballot.

The crowded list includes the $323 million Pleasanton school bond Measure M, the downtown hotel development agreement referendum Measure P in Livermore, two Tri-Valley seats on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, state and federal legislative positions, and the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors.

Pleasanton voters can drop off their completed vote-by-mail ballot in the collection box outside City Hall at 123 Main St. All mail-in ballots must be turned in to a designated drop-box in Alameda County or placed in the mail no later than Election Day.

Early voting -- if pre-registered -- will be available in Oakland on Friday and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office is located at the Rene C. Davidson Court House at 1225 Fallon St. in Oakland.

Polls will be open in Pleasanton from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for the primary election. Visit www.acvote.org/go to find your polling place.

And if you forgot to register to vote before the Feb. 18 deadline, California is offering "Same-Day" registration at any polling place on Election Day or the county elections office now through Tuesday -- those ballots will only be counted if the registration form passes the verification process. Check your voter status online at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

Here's a reminder of what is at stake for Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley in this primary election:

Ballot measures

Front of mind for Pleasanton voters is Measure M, the $323 million school facilities bond measure proposed by the Pleasanton Unified School District.

The scope of Measure M revenue could fund work to "upgrade/construct classrooms and facilities to support science, technology, engineering, math, arts/music and accommodate growing student enrollment; improve safety/security systems; replace aging roofs, plumbing/electrical/HVAC systems; and improve access for students with disabilities," according to the ballot question.

If approved by more than 55% of local voters, Measure M would be PUSD's second facilities bond since 2016 and usher in a new property tax of $43.10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation -- sustaining a similar tax rate to what exists now once previous bond measures from 1988 and 1997 begin to expire in 2022, according to PUSD officials.

Two other local school bonds are being voted upon in the Tri-Valley next week.

Measure J asks Dublin Unified School District voters whether to approve a $290 million bond measure (and accompanying property tax of $50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation) to fund projects such as the second comprehensive high school, a new middle school and current campus upgrades.

It would be the fourth school bond in the past 16 years for the Dublin community still grappling with school overcrowding issues amid continued residential growth.

In Sunol, voters will decide Measure O, a proposed $9.5 million bond for Sunol Glen Unified School District to fund a series of improvements to classroom buildings, technology and infrastructure, as well as a brand-new multipurpose room, at the nearly century-old campus on Main Street that serves all of the students in the K-8 district.

If passed, Measure O would be the district's first new bond issuance since 1999 and would come with a new property tax of $59 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Measure P: The Livermore community has been embroiled in a heated campaign ahead of the March 3 election on Measure P, a referendum measure over the hotel development agreement for downtown Livermore.

A Yes vote would sign off on the hotel agreement approved by the Livermore City Council to allow developer Presidio to build a three-story hotel with 125-135 rooms next to the Bankhead Theater on the east side of Livermore Avenue -- a key component to the city's downtown redevelopment plan.

The hotel location is a main source of disagreement for the No on Measure P folks. They instead want a larger hotel (up to 160 rooms) on the west side of Livermore Avenue, in keeping with their alternative idea for downtown overall. Their separate "Central Park Plan" initiative has been placed on the November ballot.

Measure C: On voters' ballots across the county, Measure C proposes to raise $150 million per year via a new half-cent sales tax across Alameda County for the next 20 years, with 80% of the funds supporting childcare, preschool and early education programs and 20% supporting pediatric health care.

Measure D: Voters in unincorporated areas of the county, including parts of Pleasanton that are outside of the city limits, will decide a $90 million fire safety bond measure (and associated new property tax of $16 per $100,000 of assessed valuation) proposed by the Alameda County Fire Department to fund fire facilities projects in the unincorporated communities.

Proposition 13: One statewide measure appears on the March ballot, Prop 13, a proposal from the State Legislature seeking voter authorization to issue $15 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund construction and modernization projects at public education facilities across California.

(This Prop 13 has nothing to do with the well-known 1978 California initiative measure by the same ballot designation number on property tax rate limitations.)

Zone 7 board

Three seats are up for election on the Board of Directors of the Zone 7 Water Agency, which provides potable water wholesale to Tri-Valley municipalities including Pleasanton as well as flood protection for the Livermore and Amador valleys.

There are five candidates -- three incumbents and two challengers -- competing for the trio of at-large positions on the board representing Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.

The incumbents on the ballot are Sandy Figuers, a Livermore resident and groundwater geologist by trade who has been on the board since 2008 (plus 12 years of prior board service in the '80s and '90s); Pleasanton resident Dick Quigley, a retired resources manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory seeking a fifth term; and Angela Ramirez Holmes, a two-term board member who lives in Pleasanton and works in political consulting.

The two challengers are Hugh Bussell, a technical writer from Livermore; and Laurene Green, a water resources engineer from Pleasanton who also serves on her city's Committee on Energy and the Environment.

The top three vote-getters in the primary will each earn a four-year term on the board.

Zone 7 was also set to hold an election for a fourth board seat, a special two-year term to complete the rest of an unexpired term left vacant by a midterm resignation last year.

But Director Michelle Smith McDonald, the Dublin resident appointed by the board last spring to initially fill the vacancy before the election, was the only candidate to file for that two-year position so it won't appear on the ballot, with Smith McDonald winning the term unopposed.

County seats

Tri-Valley residents will get to vote on three Alameda County elected offices being contested this winter. In all races, any candidate who receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary election will win the seat outright, whereas any county seat without a 50%-plus winner would move on to a two-candidate runoff in November.

Supervisor District 4: Pleasanton voters will join the rest of their District 4 peers voting in a two-candidate election for their representative on the Board of Supervisors.

Incumbent Supervisor Nate Miley is running for a sixth consecutive term in office, this time facing off against lone challenger Esther Goolsby, an environmental community organizer from Oakland.

Supervisor District 1: Residents in Dublin and Livermore will be casting ballots for Supervisorial District 1, which has four candidates with elected experience vying to succeed retiring Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

The candidates are Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Dublin City Councilwoman Melissa Hernandez and State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, a Fremont resident who is being termed out at the state level.

A third Board of Supervisors seat is on the ballot as well, but out of the area. Incumbent Supervisor Keith Carson is facing off against Albany City Councilman Nick Pilch for District 5, which represents Berkeley, parts of Oakland and other areas.

Superior Court: Three litigators are competing for the Alameda County Superior Court Department 2 seat opening up with the retirement of longtime Judge Carol Brosnahan -- trial attorney Elena Condes, civil rights attorney Mark Fickes and administrative law judge Lilla Szelenyi.

The other 30 Alameda County Superior Court judgeships due for re-election saw only the incumbents file, which is common. Those positions will not appear on the ballot.

Central Committees: Pleasanton residents registered as members of the Democratic or Republican parties will have their chance to vote on their representatives on the Alameda County Central Committee for the 16th Assembly District.

The Republican committee features 11 candidates for six available positions: Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne, Zone 7 board candidate Hugh Bussell, Doug Miller, Leslie Jones, Chung Bothwell, Karan Healy, Debra Del Conte, Frederick B. Volking Jr., Sara Volking, Harry Briley and Suzanne Tringali.

The Democratic committee includes six candidates for four positions: former Pleasanton city councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Dublin teachers union president Roberta Kreitz, Judy Tomic, Jeffrey Nibert, Brittni Kiick and Jacqueline Tarin-Rankl.

State and federal representatives

Pleasanton residents have the chance to vote on their representatives in the State Senate, State Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives, although each of those races won't be decided for good until the November general election.

State Senate: Incumbent Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) faces two candidates in his bid for re-election to a second full four-year term representing District 7: Democrat Marisol Rubio, a scientific research and health care provider from San Ramon, and Republican Julie Mobley, who is listed on the ballot as a community volunteer.

State Assembly: For the lower legislative house in Sacramento, incumbent Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is opposed by businessman Joseph Rubay (R-Alamo) in her bid for a second consecutive two-year term for District 16.

Congress: U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) is on the ballot with six challengers in his bid for a fifth straight term in the U.S. House of Representatives for District 15.

The list of other candidates include Democrats Samantha Campbell, a Union City native who works for New Haven Unified School District; Austin E. Intal, a sales and real estate professional from Hayward; and Tuan Phan, a biochemist from Castro Valley; Republicans Peter Yuan Liu, an Oakland resident who works in San Lorenzo; and Alison Hayden, a special education teacher whose city of residence is not listed; and challenger Don J. Grundmann, a chiropractor from San Jose running without a party preference.

Oh yeah, and there's the presidential primary.

Voters will help decide various parties' nominees (Democratic, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, Green and American Independent) to challenge President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, in his bid for a second term in the White House during November's general election.

Follow the Pleasanton Weekly's coverage of March 3 election results online and on social media starting Tuesday night and in print next Friday.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by D15 Resident
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Peter Y Liu for Congress 2020


8 people like this
Posted by PaulN
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm

Soon PUSD has another measure on the ballot asking for more of the community’s money.

In my position, with PUSD I am involved with the technologies purchased on a daily basis and although what I’ve seen has immense potential, the implementation and the necessary training are seriously lacking. Purchasing solutions is easy when you have a large coffer of money at your disposal….implementing and supporting those things in a manner that is both technically and pedagogically effective is an entirely different story. Pedagogical success requires that the technology staff understand the product and solutions they rollout and that training for teachers on how to use these technologies as instructional tools exist...the latter is fundamentally non-existent. More importantly, these must translate into better test scores and this in large part, should be the metric used to determine the efficacy and success of these projects and purchases.

These are issues with business processes, operational procedures, and the methodology behind which decisions are made, not with the specific technologies being purchased and after numerous discussions with various other staff, are not mine alone. The message here isn’t to not support the district and its technology roadmap. Rather it’s a call to action that those district leaders at every level be held to a higher level of accountability, transparency, and standards.

I submitted this letter with immense apprehension and a buffered reserve. I don’t take the words that I pen lightly and hope that the gravity of them resonate well.

[full-length letter: bit.ly/letter-to-editor]


8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 29, 2020 at 7:01 pm

VOTE NO ON MEASURE M AND ALL OTHER NEW TAX BONDS.


10 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 29, 2020 at 9:33 pm

Already voted no on all new taxes and to get Swalwell out


8 people like this
Posted by BukLau
a resident of Avila
on Mar 1, 2020 at 1:09 am

Less taxes, less government, more power to people!


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