Voters in Livermore will be choosing a new mayor and one new council member this November. This new council will be faced with the unprecedented, difficult challenges of a pandemic, economic downturn and the resulting budget shortfall.
Coupled with the fallout of the health crisis, the next Livermore City Council will grapple with moving forward with the downtown strategic plan, homelessness, policing policy discussions and a new regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) cycle likely to bring a significant increase in affordable housing obligations.
This makes the voters' choices this fall all the more critical. We believe Bob Woerner for mayor and Brittni Kiick for City Council District 3 are the right candidates to lead the city through the immediate crises and beyond.
With nearly nine years on the City Council and earlier service on the Planning Commission, Woerner has the knowledge of policy, experience on the council dias and proven ability to lead a meeting we feel is necessary for Livermore’s next mayor. With a number of accomplishments, he has been a thoughtful and collaborative council member who speaks his mind - diplomatically - when necessary, and has served on many committees both local and regional where his decisions impacted Livermore and the greater Tri-Valley region. In addition, he has a finance background, which is going to be key as the council and staff navigate uncertain economic times.
Woerner’s opponent, real estate professional and former city police officer Mony Nop, clearly shares concerns of many Livermore residents, but has not provided specific and feasible plans we want to see. We would encourage Nop to get direct city governance experience by serving on a city committee or commission and come back as a candidate for council.
This is the first district-based election for Livermore, with Districts 3 and 4 on the ballot. District 4 is uncontested, with only incumbent Bob Carling on the ballot. Two candidates are vying for the District 3 seat, and we are endorsing Kiick.
Kiick will bring a fresh perspective and energy to the council. As a photography small business owner who helps other small businesses and nonprofits “tell their stories,” Kiick will offer new ideas on how to help them survive through what will be a difficult few years as the health crisis and its economic impacts continue. She also has a track record of being able to bring people together for a common goal as a community organizer. We were impressed with her knowledge of the issues facing the city and the region and her ability to communicate her ideas.
While we commend the second District 3 candidate, Peter Patterson, for his desire to serve the community, he was not as well-informed on the issues as his opponent. We encourage him to gain experience on a city commission or committee.
Though running unopposed, incumbent Carling will still be listed on the ballot in District 4. Carling has been a committed, thoughtful councilman with accomplishments such as work on several elements in the Downtown Specific Plan, the historic train depot refurbishment, the Chestnut Square affordable senior housing complex and the anti-vaping regulations among his accomplishments in his first term. Carling has earned a second term so he can continue leading the city through the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Editor's note: The Pleasanton Weekly editorial board reached its decisions based on the candidates' performances at the Weekly's online forum, email interviews on endorsements, and our review of past reporting and research.