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Guest Opinion -- Fading but not lost: Pleasanton's competitive edge

Original post made on Feb 7, 2023

I grew up in Pleasanton, intrinsically aware of the bubble I was able to call home. Unfortunately, this suburban utopia, renowned for its landscape, downtown, schools and charm, is slowly and steadily losing its competitive edge.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 6, 2023, 10:57 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by zz
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:11 am

zz is a registered user.

We just narrowly passed the recent PUSD bond measure. It’s a shame. Our schools literally have leaking roofs. Public property belongs to everyone in the community. Why do people vote against their own interest. Sometimes I feel like we get obstruction of any development.

In the meantime, how did narrowing Owens Drive get quietly approved? That’s the most ridiculous land use.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:16 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The problem with the bond is its language that gives the district the choice of what to do — or not. The voters have given the district $395mm (pay out estimated at $800mm?) with no guarantees of what will get done. It is absolutely the wrong approach.

Posted by Vin Kruttiventi
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Vin Kruttiventi is a registered user.

Amen to that!
We are stifling the progress and prosperity in the name of controlled growth. Long gone are the glory days and attractiveness of the city. There is so much to do keeping the country side feel, but we are in our own way. Great article Derick. We all want to make this a city in to something our kids want to settle and raise a family not bail after high school and never come back to settle.

Posted by brad
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:20 pm

brad is a registered user.

Derek is a clear thinking young person. Great insight. Congratulations on his willingmess to speak up.

Posted by Al Bronzini
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Al Bronzini is a registered user.

I agree with Ruegsegger.
It is neither a new issue or problem. When you ask the tax payers for money to improve schools, you must have a punch list of specific issues that will get done with that money and stay true to that commitment. If not the voters will be reluctant to support the bonds.
I remember the Main Street beautification project in the early 90’s , there was just so much money to work with, no room for extra stuff, and nobody got their fingers in the Pie We had a very good contractor and a team of dedicated watchdogs who held his feet to the fire, It can be done. In too many cases the money gets approved for projects but the people who paid for it don’t see the result.

Posted by Joe V
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 8, 2023 at 10:32 am

Joe V is a registered user.

If you think that the school bond that recently passed should have been voted down, you continue to be part of the problem of what has slowed Pleasanton's growth, as this man has explicitly explained.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 8, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

If you vote on emotion and headlines you continue to be part of the problem by not holding leaders accountable for delivering on their commitments and you further put at risk future investment at due to lack of trust.

Our schools didn’t loose distinguished status because of not passing a bond measure.

Our students grades and test scores didn’t slide more than others during COVID due to lack of community investment, that was poor administrative execution

Our teachers didn’t have lack of printed materials at start of school yr because of not passing a bond measure.

Consolidating district it services downtown and taking immidiate on site responsiveness away from teachers wasn’t a community decision

Creating “global citizens” when you’re not even top in the state isn’t a problem with community engagement

now I do agree with you on downtown. Livermore and Danville have done some excellent moves and deserve recognition for that.

I have mixed thoughts on housing, I don’t like being forced to do something that infrastructure doesn’t support but I agree if you have to do it, I’d rather own it vs being told what to do

Posted by Karl A
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2023 at 3:17 pm

Karl A is a registered user.

Pleasanton needs to get back to being “The City of Planned Progress” ideals. Pleasanton is the envy of many people who live in other Silicon Valley cities because of the nice Main St. and an abundance of countless city parks and walking trails. These were planned for and paid for by developing the area. The city is also surrounded by an abundance of open space provided by East Bay Parks and the city of Livermore’s Sycamore Grove Park.

All this changed when Pleasanton transformed into an enclave of selfish, elitist, rich NIMBY people who moved into the community, building huge expensive houses average people can’t even dream of buying. The people moved here then quickly closed the door to supposed “low income people” by restricting any sort of affordable, higher density housing.

Now it’s time to pay the price by having the state force the citizens and city of Pleasanton to do what they should been doing all along. Be “The City of Planned Progress” again and start making Pleasanton an open and inviting community for even those “low income deplorables” everyone has worked so hard to avoid.

One simple solution would be to develop a plan for the eastern part of the city to meet the state mandates. Higher density affordable housing, and make sure the developers have to sign over acres and acres of land for open space, trails and parks. Increase the density to lower unit cost.

No more excuses that there’s no water or too much traffic. The state won’t accept the excuses. No more lawsuits that waste money.

The TriValley area is no longer the semi-rural suburb the elitist NIMBYs want to protect. That train left the station the end of the last century.

Pleasanton can still be a desirable place to live with development demanded by the state. But it is going to take a new paradigm and new attitudes to develop the new standard for what is desirable.

Is Pleasanton really “The Community of Character” is proclaims to be? Hmmmm we will see.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 8, 2023 at 8:55 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

“No more excuses that there’s no water or too much traffic. The state won’t accept the excuses. No more lawsuits that waste money. “

These aren’t excuses, they’re realities as are impacted schools. I agree housing planning needs to be more balanced, but smashing a state problem into a community without giving funding to support infrastructure expansion is wrong.

And I’d love to see the homes of every politician forcing the hand on this issue.

Posted by PTown Player
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 8, 2023 at 10:12 pm

PTown Player is a registered user.

Longtime resident here. The culture and demographics have changed quite a bit since we moved here nearly two generations ago. Talking with some newer residents who moved from Fremont and the South Bay, it is shocking to hear their interpretation of how bonds and our tax dollars are utilized. They have no clue!

Posted by Karl A
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2023 at 4:31 am

Karl A is a registered user.

Time to wake up to the “new” reality - the state does not care and sees water issues and traffic issues as excuses.

Equity is the top priority and they don’t care about anything else.

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