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Hosterman lists top priorities: Hunkering down as weak economy hits city, Pleasanton downtown

Original post made on Nov 7, 2008

Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, re-elected to a third term Tuesday, said the City Council and city staff will start immediately to focus on economic problems affecting municipal revenue and Pleasanton's downtown.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 7, 2008, 7:13 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 7, 2008 at 10:24 am

Downtown is getting more and more in the hole. With Acc'sentials closing for various reasons and Pasta's on it's way out as well, there's going to be some significant vacant space to fill. I don't envy anyone at this point on how to do that properly and without putting in more nail salons and banks.

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Posted by Brainstorm it...
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Nov 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Brainstorm ideas to revitalize our downtown:

Think long term strategy, not short term tactics.
Politicians: Limit the damage they inflict. Politicians create obstacles to wealth creation. Cheerlead yes, meddle, no. Here’s what politicians should do: Streamline permitting process - be business friendly. Here’s the hard one, especially during tough economic times- Reduce fees passed along to businesses. Over time, sales tax revenue will more than make up the difference.

Embrace the free market. Competition works. Don’t be afraid of the mini versions of big name retailers. The best bring customers in to downtown. Local businesses and national retailers can co-exist.

Exceptional products and extraordinary service are two keys for success in any business. Simple, but very hard to get right.

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Posted by Business Owner
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Fellow Business Owners:

As a business owner who employs 120 people, we have resigned ourselves
to the fact that Barack Obama will be our next president, and that our
taxes and fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, we figure that the Customer will have
to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8-10%. We will also
have to lay off 25 of our employees. This really bothered us as we
believe we are family here and didn’t know how to choose who will have
to go. So, this is what we did.

We strolled thru the parking lot and found twenty Obama bumper stickers
on our employees cars. We have decided these folks will be the first to
be laid off.

We can’t think of another fair way to approach this problem. If you have
a better idea, let me know.

We our sending this letter to all business owners that we know.

Business Owner

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 7, 2008 at 2:09 pm

You do not own a business and you know it. You are a bitter loser. Try to be a bit more like me and take the HIGH ROAD!

If you can't, try a lil bit harder(Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

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Posted by Barney G.
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Cholo, probably know a thing or two about trailers! Go crawl back into your Livermore hole, you scum sucker.

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Posted by chico
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm

"Hosterman said she will ask the council to schedule a retreat for early next year to address financial and other problems, as well as a way to move matters before the council more expeditiously."

retreat? i hope that doesn't mean going to Napa or Carmel for three or four days at $300 a head per day. maybe i'm way off base here, but since the idea is to streamline and be more efficient, maybe the "retreat" can be in the council chambers? hopefully "retreat" means something different than what i'm thinking.

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Posted by Lou
a resident of Danbury Park
on Nov 7, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Chico, excellent point. Keep it local and order food from vendors downtown. Make your voices heard! Let the mayor know how you feel, I will!

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Posted by Saddened
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2008 at 9:18 pm

A transition of our downtown to service the Community, within all age groups, will embrace a sense of unity to engage our local merchants. Finally, the opportunity to quit pretending to be something we are not. Our think tank should hole up some where, without food and water and somehow recognize a new and better beginning. Quite frankly, I don't expect anyone to understand.

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Posted by Janine
a resident of West of Foothill
on Nov 9, 2008 at 8:50 am

I believe the mean age of Pleasanont is 38 with children! We have enough fine dining downtown. Now we need to focus on bringing in businesses that are child friendly that will also attract teens downtown. Since we are so behind on the eight ball, we need a committee with forward thinking who can wake up these building owners. Isn't it better to charge less rent than having a building vacent for a year plus? Let's make this downtown the #1 priority!

Concerned 13 year citizen of Pleasanton with 2 kids

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2008 at 9:33 am

A city can't tell a property owner what to charge or for that matter what business can be put in a space.

A city or downtown association can recruit or suggest but ultimately it is up to the owner of the property. People do try to do as you say, Janine. The downtown buildings are not owned or operated by the City of Pleasanton.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

"Isn't it better to charge less rent than having a building vacent for a year plus?"

That answer depends upon how wealthy the building owner is and if they can afford to lose money for a short-term period by having it vacant. At some point market conditions would force an owner to lower rents if they end up bleeding too much.

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Posted by Ceasar
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Let's go down the list of failed businesses

Pure Girls
Antique Store
Silver Palate
Pasta's? Is it really closing?
The Coffee shop across from pasta's
The Pub that has been demolished (no tenant so they will leave it that way? outrageous!)
Wa Mu

Did I miss any?
Do you see a pattern? None are national chain Stores.

You must think big downtown.
Major reconstruction and development with housing above and retail on the ground floor. If nothing is done, the list of failed businesses will grow.

Think big Mayor.

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Posted by voter
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 9, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Stacey says: "That answer depends upon how wealthy the building owner is" Well since many of the building owners are mormon, and some, if not all, donated tens of thousands of dollars each in favor of the yes on 8 campaign, maybe they CAN afford to be vacant. Right up til they get tax audits for criminal fraud for trying to deduct those hate campaign donations as tithe.

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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Nov 9, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Mayor Hosterman's understanding of economics is about as extensive as her understanding of the Law (is that oh for five or oh for six on the bar exam?)

In case you all haven't noticed - it is Depression 2.0 out there.

If City Government doesn't work quickly to cut costs by at least 20-30%, we will be Richmond. We'll be scrambling to figure out how to pay our Firefighers and Police officers while Ms. Hosterman plans another trip to DC with Ms. Cook Callio to "lobby" for us or plans another Mayor's Conference junket on our dime to discuss nuclear weapons proliferation. She does like to spend out money. She must not feel the pinch the rest of us are feeling.

All you who think this is a short term problem haven't studied history or do not understand of how far in the hole Washington and Wall Street combined just placed us in. This is not a "Republican's are the problem" or "Democrats like Barney Frank took their eye off the Fannie/Freddie ball" problem. It is global, deep and not going away soon.

Save your pennies. Shop where it is less expensive (Dublin and Livermore). Downtown P-town is too expensive for Depression 2.0 When downtown merchants figure out they need to be cost competitive with the rest of the region - downtown will come back. Until then - forget it.

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Posted by Don
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 10, 2008 at 8:36 pm

I have an idea over on Around Town related to this thread. Sorry I post in the wrong thread the subject is "Helping Down Town business". Leave comments or ideas.


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Avila
on Nov 10, 2008 at 11:16 pm

The mayor needs to look at downtown Los Gatos- you can't even find a parking space there! Our town is so much more charming - we just need to draw more substantial businesses.

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

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