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What Are Your Opinions About The Mayor and Each Councilmember?

Original post made by Stacey, Amberwood/Wood Meadows, on Jun 28, 2008

I've refrained mostly from writing on this subject before. I think it is time to bring it out as warm up for the election this year. Keep in mind that only Hosterman, Sullivan, and McGovern's seats are at stake for the election. Let's try to stick to opinion based upon facts and actions instead of unverified rumors about these people.

Matt Sullivan - Tends to bend an ear towards whoever can shout the loudest. Believes that is a sign of not including everyone in "the process" and tries to find a way to placate everyone. It is certainly a leadership style. Does it work? I think the jury is still out on that.

Jerry Thorne - Tends to stick to the relevant and substantive facts on issues. Speaks quite eloquently.

Jennifer Hosterman - Seems to be practicing for higher office. Has gotten quite good at non-committed politician-speak.

Cindy McGovern - Tends to fixate on a single issue and will vote accordingly, even if the Fire Captain whose job it is to deal with the problem will tell her otherwise.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio - Places value upon the principles embedded in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (considering she teaches the stuff). Appears to vote accordingly.

Comments (18)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 30, 2008 at 7:41 am

What? No biters? Everyone satisfied to leave anonymous comments about these people hidden in other threads?

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Posted by Bored
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Stacey, you have way too much time on your hands!

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Bored is so much so that Bored found time on Bored's hands to comment on Stacey's time being too much on her hands.

With that said, I would go further and say:

Sullivan: Tries to always be on both sides of an issue and will always defer his franchise as elected council representative to yield to those who squawk the loudest in the name of direct democracy. Fails to perform his charter as an elected official and best outcome is he should be voted off the council in the next election.

Thorne: Straight shooter. Takes positions based upon careful weighing of inputs and votes accordingly. Articulates clearly the what, the why, and the how he votes.

McGovern: Clearly has her mind already made up on issues, which most observers can predict ahead of time. Finds singular issues which may or may not make sense as reasons for her vote. These issues never involve the larger picture but in her mind these narrow reasons serve as good reasons for usually voting NO. This pleases the factions that support her. In the next election voters should send her packing. We need someone who looks at complex issues and works through the complexities.

Hostermann: Moved somewhat to the center from the left when she became mayor. Continues her left leanings regarding using her mayoral role as a platform to speak out on national issues, but learned that at home she must fulfill a role to broadly represent the interests of ALL stakeholders. Not just those of narrow interest factions but those of property owners too, for example. Good job, in my opinion, but you decide whether she stays.

Cook-Kallio. The new face on council that brings a fresh approach. After teaching government for many years she is now practicing it. As time goes on she is finding her backbone and speaking up forcefully and convincingly at council meetings. We really need this.

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Posted by Jim
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jul 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Sullivan: Typically tries to preserve neighborhoods. Consistantly slow-growth or possible "almost no growth".

Thorne: Usually a follower. Is afraid to take a stand that might not be liked by others unless the position is supported by a majority of the Council. He has voted for all developments in front of him. He has also been a consistant pro-growth and has worked on most initiative campaigns in the past on the pro-growth side of issue.

McGovern: She spends the most time researching issues and talking with city staff on the issues. She has consistantly been slow-growth and supported many slow-growth campaign/initiatives before she was on the Council.

Hosterman: Her mind is already made up before the meeting so she cut the public talk time to 3 minutes so she does not have to "waste" much of her time. Has a habit of interrupting speakers in mid-sentence before their time is up and is condencending to those who do not have her viewpoint. She leaned much to the left and was advise to not do this by her campaign advisor and did so until recently when she could not help herself this month at the mayor's conference. She used to be slow-growth but now has approved everything that has come her way. Feels that all prior planning documents are meant to be "flexible" (i.e., does not rely on planning documents). She has her eye on higher office but is getting frustrated since she keeps flunking the California bar exam that she finds important for her resume.

Cook-Kallio: Thinks she is smarter than anybody else. Cites constitutional law when it benefits her cause. She also supports all development because she strongly believes that property owners have rights to do what they want with their property. She has never been on a city commission or task force and was only involved in the city of Fremont where she works. She has no background in planning concepts and ignores any previous planning work and has stated she was elected to make decisions and she could interpret any previous planning document the way she wants.

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Posted by greg
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

OK Stacey, but lets take a look at some of the other likely candidates as well.

Matt Sullivan: Serious minded, well meaning Socialist. Unfortunately, Matt has recently joined the ranks of the Ayala mob whick is a situation hopefully will not last long. Unless Matt can finad a way to move to the middle politically his extreme leftish views are not reflective of this community and he should be removed from office in November.

Cindy McGovern: Mouthpiece for the Ayala Mob. Every single issue becomes emotional. Seems to make up her mind before the Council meetings ever start based on inputs received from the Ayala Mob. Must be removed from public office in November. We need a voice for the community as a whole and not one small segment of it.

Jennifer Hosterman:July is still out on her recent"move to the middle" politically. Not sure what will trigger her sprint back to the left, but expect to see it sooner or later.

Jerry Thorne: Analytical voice of reason. Makes decisions based on facts rather than emotions. Should be mayor.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio: Seems to be another voice of reason. HJoopefully that she will continue to govern from a moderate polition rather than moving to her leftist roots. At some point she may be a good candidate for State Legislature or County Board of Supervisors in a Demotratic district.

No for some of the other likely candidates.

Kay Ayala: Godmother of the Ayala mob's "Character Assiaaination, Inc.". The Boss. Must never be allowed to hold public office again.

Steve Brozosky: "made" Under Boss in the Ayala Mob's "Character Assassination, Inc." Reputations and Characters assassinated after becoming a City Council member: Debra Mckeehan, Jennifer Hosterman, Michal Roush and anyone else who dared to disagree with his point of view. Reputations and Characters assassinated after becoming a choll Board member: Pat Kernan(used Julie Testa for dirty work)and John Casey. Contracts currently out: Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Jerry Thorne, Nelson Fialho, Matt Sullivan(removed Temporarily)thePleasanton Business Community, etc. Karl Rove has nothing on this guy.

Julie Testa: Potential candidate for School Board "Made hit person" for the Mob's "Character Assassination, Inc. Most recent hit was Pat Kernan. Very confrontational approach to negotiation. Must never be allowed to hold public office.

Jerry Pentin: Could be our next voice of reason on the Council. Should be elected.

Brian Arkin: Another member of the Ayala Mob's "Character Assassination, Inc" who should never be elected to public office. Hypocrite. Scolds others for accepting large sums of money from developers when he accepted the largest check ever from a developer. Claimed he would not take PAC money only after everyt PAC he applied to turned him down.

Dan Faustina: Limited background. Very little involvement between elections. Good candidate for city commission.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Well Greg, it sounds like you have a point of view that does not support anybody who asks questions or challenges the city to do a better job. Your anger for anybody who supports slow-growth is quite obvious. You might be happier in Dublin.

I moved to Plesanton some 35 years ago because of the downtown area and the scenic hills. I am thankful for those who have campaigned for protecting the hills and limiting our growth thoughout all these years. Our council today has centainly become pro-growth. To make it worse, they are willing to do it at the expense of destroying our hills and cutting down our beautiful native oak trees.

While I do not consider myself a true environmentalist, it makes me sad to see these recent project approvals by the mayor and council which require the cutting down of many, many oak trees. You cannot just replant a tree to take its place. It will take many generations for new trees to be the same magnitude of the trees they are cutting down. In just a couple of years, this Council has approved items that have destroyed our environment for generations.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm

What are your opinions of each person? I meant for this thread to be a chance to let people give their opinions on the Mayor and Council (and eventually candidates) without being criticized for them.

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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm

If you listen to the last council meeting, the slow growth issue was somewhat addressed. This council is the slowest growth council in recent memory. According to the council meeting (and this can be verified) between 1996 and 2005 there were something like 2200? 2500? units approved. Since 2005 there has only been 200.

Don't let facts stand in your way. To characterize any of the five council members as progrowth is ridiculous.

The city has an arbolist and the tree removal issue is tightly controlled. Trees do have a lifespan and when any are removed many are replanted and then it is monitored to make sure a certain amount will grow into adult hood.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Factchecker, I wrote those stats down too.

Between 1995 - 2004, 2000 to 2500 units were approved (roughly 277 units per year)
Between 2005 - 2008, 200 units approved (roughly 67 per year)

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 4, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Mike moved to Pleasanton in 1973 (according to him) because of the downtown and scenic hills. It would be interesting to hear what about downtown attracted him. The downtown was not anything in 1973 near to what it is today. It was maybe 20 years after he lived here that it became today's downtown... (I came in 1979, and downtown had mostly gas stations, a few restaurants, the old St. Vincent de Pauls in place of the Rose Hotel, the museum was the police station, etc....). And the hills are very much today as they were when I came. Meanwhile, during this time Pleasanton more than doubled in size and today has a lot of traffic problems. All of this occurred on Mike's watch, so to speak, not in the last five or so years. It seems that Mike was not too concerned by all the growth that was not limited through the years by earlier councils as he watched.

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Posted by should be embarrassed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm

This is an opinion of our CC from the Valley Times.
I agree.

Should have done job!

MediaNews editorial
Article Launched: 07/02/2008

THE PLEASANTON CITY COUNCIL should be embarrassed by the lame excuse for a ballot measure that it's planning to pawn off on voters in November.

It's been more than 10 years since the city adopted a general plan that called for developing a ridgeline preservation ordinance to guard against "negative visual impacts" of building in hilly areas.

Since then, the council has done nothing to carry out that mandate. Meanwhile, last year, the council approved the Oak Grove subdivision of 51 custom homes, ranging in size from 6,000 to 12,500 square feet, in the southeast hills.

Not surprisingly, residents were upset. They are fighting the subdivision approval in court. At the same time, they have collected more than 5,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that, if approved by voters, would finally establish some hillside development guidelines.

The initiative would amend the city's general plan to prohibit grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline.

The measure would also establish a stricter definition of a housing unit, reducing the number left under the voter-approved citywide 29,000-unit housing cap.

A majority of the City Council — Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Jerry Thorne and Mayor Jennifer Hosterman — doesn't like the initiative. They've known since last fall that it was coming. They've had plenty of time to develop alternatives,

or, better yet, to approve the ordinance that residents were promised more than a decade ago.
Instead, the council last week voted to put a second, competing measure on the November ballot. It's the old political trick of putting up a competing measure with hopes that both will fail.

So what is the bold solution the council is proposing? Why, it would commit the council to preparing a comprehensive hillside regulation ordinance.

In other words, the council is planning to put up for a vote whether it should do what it promised more than 10 years ago it would do. How's that for bold leadership?

If that's the best solution the City Council can offer, it should keep its alternative off the ballot and allow residents to vote on the citizens' initiative by itself.

If the initiative loses, nothing would prevent council members from preparing a reasonable alternative. It's a shame they couldn't do their job when they were supposed to.

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Posted by Pam
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jul 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Stacey and Fact Checker, I believe most people knew the 90's as part of the fast growth era of Pleasanton. I believe it would be better to analyze each administration/term. How about 2000-2002, 2002-2004, 2004-2006, 2006-2008. I do not have the info in front of me but it seems more has been approved in the last two years than then previous 4 years.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jul 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Seems like "should be embarrassed" has conveniently forgotten that three of the loudest advocates of the Hillside Initiative (Kay Ayala, Cindy McGovern, Steve Brozosky)have been on the City Council over the last 10 years and did nothing to move a Council Ordinance forward. I wonder who really should be the most embarrassed here.

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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Pam, you may not have lived around here then, many from the previous councils ran as slow growth advocates. The council from 2000-2004 included Kay Ayala, (ran against the mayor in 2004), and the council from 2002-2006 included Steve Brozosky (ran against the mayor in 2006).
Cindy McGovern has been on the council since 2004.
The General Plan has had info in it for protecting the Southeast hills since 1996. The first time it has appeared in the council's priority list is in 2007 right after Cook-Kallio and Thorne were elected. (Thorne was reelected after winning a special election in 2005).

Keep in mind that the Times has run articles labeling Kay as a former mayor which is untrue. She lost that election.

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Posted by Manny
a resident of Gatewood
on Jul 6, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I would say the Times nailed it this time!

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm

thank goodness for fact checker and the like. a lot of bs flying around these days about how this council is SSSOOOOOOO causing growth. get over it, folks. past councils made the decisions resulting in the overgrowth you see today. ayala and brozosky are alumni of some of those councils. all this cr...p about thorne and cook-kallio being evil pro-developer council members is so much hokey. hostermann also has not been around that long either...

many residents have been here long before most of you complainers arrived... if we were to possess the same attitude you have, we would, to take a quote from George Carlin, say that "you are all diseased!" for moving here and producing this overcrowding.

CC times nailed their feet to the floor - what real connection do they have to this city and its recent history? Some editor writing this stuff sitting up in Concord somewhere only to replaced as they further downsize?

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Posted by Sal
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm

CC Times has no obvious political agendas unlike the Weekly. The CC Times is easily able to step back and look at the issue without being caught-up on the personalities. But Frank I would not expect anything less from you. You consistantly attack the people behind an issue instead of the issue. You should also check your facts as this Council has approved more houses, especially in environmentally sensitive areas, than the previous Council with Brozosky.

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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2008 at 8:57 pm

The constant refrain that this council has approved more houses than the last council is patently false and easily checked. Just because someone says it over and over again does not make it so even in an election year. Just call the planning department and ask. Check out the Times and look at the way the articles are written. Often you will see a direct quote from a petitioner or citizen and followed by a summary of what one though a council member "meant" at the last council meeting. Why not call the council members and ask? I have never had trouble getting in touch with any one of them. The numbers stated at the last council meeting are correct, 2200-2500 units from 1996-2004 and 200 units from 2005 to the present.

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

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