Letters of Endorsement
Lone slow-growth candidate
Julie Testa is the only slow-growth candidate for mayor in Pleasanton. Her candidacy allows for community dialogue on the current issues facing Pleasanton.
Julie wants to slow down growth until the issues of traffic, long-term adequate water supply, overbuilding of residential units per acre, overcrowded schools and lack of infrastructure to support further development are planned for and addressed by our elected council. I want that too.
For decades, I have worked and volunteered with Julie. I know her to be a sincere advocate for children and schools and our city. She has served on numerous committees and projects and was a city Human Services Commission member for 11 years.
Further, no resident I know spends the amount of time Julie does to study issues, speak at city and school board meetings and meet with other residents, city staff, district personnel and elected officials as Julie does. Julie Testa truly cares about our town.
Critical questions remain. When will the impacts of excessive growth be addressed? Will the council approve development of the east-side properties before they resolve the above issues? Will residents’ water conservation be used to allow more development on the east side?
Karla Brown and Julie Testa
The debacle surrounding efforts to bring Costco to Pleasanton demonstrates the importance of electing people who will serve as watchdogs, protecting the interests of residents.
Emails have shown that city staff, working in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, aimed to circumvent opposition to Costco and undermine Measure MM, the “Costco initiative” in the November ballot.
The Fair Political Practices Commission has released a letter saying it will look into Mayor Jerry Thorne’s actions in promoting Costo while owning stock in the company. He has since sold the stock and recuses himself from any discussions. He has said that he was not aware that his portfolio contained the stock; he just watched the bottom line.
There is an effort to replace current councilmember Karla Brown with Chamber backed candidate Herb Ritter. The goal in electing Ritter would be to create a council that speaks with one mind on development issues by removing the one voice speaking out for what has been referred to as the “noisy minority.”
It’s time to send a message that cronyism and backroom deals will not be tolerated. Sending Karla Brown back to the council and electing Julie Testa as mayor will send that message. It will also help to slow down proposals that work for the Chamber and against broad community interests.
Vote for Slow Growth
Pleasanton voters — please don’t complain about traffic, overcrowded schools, water restrictions, degradation of our quality-of-life and the historic downtown, etc. when you elect (re-elect) the government officials responsible for these problems.
Do not vote for Jerry Thorne, Jerry Pentin and Herb Ritter. These are not slow-growth candidates, but rather they represent the excessive growth of the Chamber of Commerce and rewarding developers with millions of dollars while we, the residents, take on the additional traffic.
Please vote for Julie Testa for mayor (the city went to court and spent taxpayer money to block her ballot statement), re-elect Karla Brown for City Council (Karla consistently is the lone vote on the City Council for opposing greedy growth), vote Yes on MM (to stop the huge subsidies/giveaway of taxpayer money to get Costco to come to town). You can just imagine what traffic on Johnson Drive, Owens and Hopyard will look like — a true nightmare.
The pope says, “Apathy is a sin.” You can help with the campaigns of Julia Testa, Karla Brown, Valerie Arkin and Yes on MM by helping at the Farmers Market, sign-waving at major intersections, writing letters-to-the-editor, making donations to slow-growth candidates and placing signs in your yards and cars.
If you are a Pleasanton resident who is concerned about the recent splurge in high-density housing in town, the outrageous traffic and the crowded schools, you should be thinking very carefully about whom we elect for mayor this November.
Julie Testa is the only choice that makes sense. Julie has fought for 30 years to make Pleasanton a better place to live while Jerry Thorne has spent the last eight years in office proudly bringing us to this unfortunate situation.
Julie’s experience with city commissions, her regular attendance at City Council meetings and her incredible attention to detail have given her a set of skills that will be invaluable in keeping what’s left of our fair city intact. Julie understands that allowing more housing without adequate thought to school space, water resources or traffic impacts is exactly what we don’t need to preserve the Pleasanton we love.
If you remain unconvinced, do yourself a favor and take a drive through Hacienda Business Park and look at all the new featureless high-density apartments going up. Pay particular attention to the one lane on Owens Drive in front of the BART station. Jerry Thorne let that happen. Vote Julie Testa on Nov. 8.
PleasantonVoters.com endorses incumbent Karla Brown for Pleasanton City Council and Julie Testa for mayor.
Council member Karla Brown has approved projects which enhance our city. As vice chair on the Wheels board, she promoted new routes and ridership on our buses; led the opposition to East Pleasanton’s 1,400 housing development due to its impact on our traffic, schools, and voter-approved urban growth boundary (UGB); supported 10 miles of recycled water piping.
Julie Testa has 30-plus years of community service. Well-versed in the needs of our schools and finance, she participated in numerous budget and planning committees for the city of Pleasanton and the school district, including the Citizens’ Debt Management Committee. She believes in balancing growth with infrastructure needs and sees no need to “plan” for the east side since we have met our mandated housing numbers.
We need more than one perspective on the City Council. Candidates Brown and Testa support slow and controlled growth and do not bow to developers’ demands. Re-elect Karla Brown for City Council and Julie Testa for mayor.
PleasantonVoters.com is a non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to preserving ridgelines, open space, our UGB and retaining the best qualities of Pleasanton.
On the elections
If you like overcrowded schools, traffic gridlock, taxpayer subsidies to support billion dollar corporations and developer-financed elected officials whose pictures appear on developers’ glossy fliers, then you’ll certainly want to vote for those that embody Pleasanton pay-to-play politics: Hosterman (BART), Cook-Kallio (Assembly), Thorne (Mayor), Pentin/Ritter (City Council).
They seem to work not for the interests of the people and open space, but for corporate interests and developers, for example recently convicted Charter Properties’ developer James Tong.
Their dismal environmental records speak for themselves. Thorne, Pentin, Cook-Kallio and Hosterman, who used Charter Properties office space for her mayoral campaign, actively worked with Charter Properties to block Pleasanton signature-gathering efforts to save local ridgelines. After that failed, they placed a developer-sponsored do-nothing countermeasure on the ballot to confuse voters.
Thorne, in secret backroom negotiations, has worked to have Pleasanton taxpayers on the hook to fund infrastructure improvements for Costco rather than have a billion dollar corporation that he holds a financial interest in fund it themselves.
Karla Brown has consistently fought to save open space and ridgelines starting with a citizen’s initiative. She advocates for Pleasanton residents, not out-of-town corporations.
As a former member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, I will be voting Yes on Measure MM. I’ll also be casting my vote to re-elect Catharine Baker to the Assembly, Karla Brown to City Council and John McPartland to the BART board as well as elect Julie Testa for mayor.
Vote Yes on MM, Julie Testa for Mayor
Due to the back-room dealings, there is no way to clean up the muck associated with the Costco project.
- It costs more than the City Council/Planning Commission indicated.
- Mayor Thorne illegally promoted Costco deal for two years while owning Costco stock.
- Released documents obtained by the Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth show a concerted effort by the city to conceal details of negotiations (e.g. a suggestion to form a subcommittee including two council members to expedite the process was rejected by city staff as it would have to be “publicly noticed” and would make for “awkward negotiations”)
There was an intentional lack of transparency by city staff. Vote Yes on Measure MM to stop Costco and send a message to city administrators, the mayor and council to stop back-room dealings with developers.
Finally let’s vote Thorne out of office with a vote for Julie Testa for Mayor.
Brown and Testa for the future of Pleasanton
Please be careful with your vote this week. If you want the same old, same old, then don’t read any further.
But if you want two candidates who will listen and respond to the citizens of Pleasanton, support our schools, respect and preserve our hillsides and environment and protect our small town character from out-of-control development, then re-elect Karla Brown to council and give Julie Testa, a longtime Pleasanton resident and activist, your vote for mayor.
Does anyone like what the Mayor Thorne-led council majority has done to Pleasanton over his past four years as mayor? His “good ol’ boy” council majority bows to developers, and his re-election campaign is supported by them (no surprise).
Karla Brown is the only council member that listens to us, stands up for slow growth, fights to protect our hills and environment, does not venture or flip-flop from her stated election promises to us and takes no money from developers or the chamber of commerce.
Thorne and his council majority cohorts just keep saying yes and making exceptions for their developer buddies, even bending hillside protection laws for them. Thorne even approved spending $300,000 city funds to put the Lund Ranch initiative on the June ballot instead of $50,000 to place it on the November ballot so it wouldn’t get in the way of his own re-election campaign. Wasteful self-serving.
Let’s re-elect Karla Brown, and give Julie Testa a chance to change the future direction of Pleasanton for the better.
Julie Testa for Mayor
Who are you going to trust to manage growth and the impacts on the quality of life in Pleasanton? The current mayor is not listening to concerns of citizens regarding traffic, overcrowded schools, water allocation, etc. Mayor Thorne did not even show up for the recent Crossroads debate regarding local and Tri-Valley growth. Julie Testa brings a sensible approach to growth in Pleasanton. Julie shows the courage to take on the entrenched political machine that controls Pleasanton. Julie is a 30-year
resident of Pleasanton and has been actively involved in the community, including serving 11 years on the City Human Services Commission and an advocate for maintaining the high quality of our city schools. Are Pleasanton citizens aware that moving the library, police station and city hall will cost many millions of dollars and likely sets up sale of that property to developers for mixed-use residential high-density housing in that location? Julie is opposed to residential development for this property; it would severely impact our historic downtown. Vote for Julie Testa for mayor. We need her.
Vote Julie Testa for Pleasanton Mayor
Our family has known the Testa family for almost 20 years. Julie is dedicated to her family and passionate about Pleasanton. Julie has always been active in the community, particularly when it comes to supporting our Pleasanton schools. Julie understands the issues associated with population growth without a coordinated effort in creating a sustainable solution for quality schools, water and services. Her comments at the Oct. 13 forum in Pleasanton were very much on point, “We need to stop and not approve additional housing until we can catch up with the infrastructure for schools and traffic.” Julie’s platform of slow growth is needed in Pleasanton. Let’s stop and catch our breath so that Pleasanton can develop a collaborative approach to ensuring our schools, water, city services and road infrastructure can support the already burgeoning growth. Julie Testa can lead this effort. We encourage Pleasanton voters to elect Julie Testa as our next Pleasanton mayor.
Support MM, Testa
Vote Yes on MM, Julie Testa for Pleasanton Mayor
The current crop of Pleasanton’s elected officials and city administrators have lost sight that they represent the citizens of Pleasanton, NOT the interests of out of town commercial real estate investors. Nothing further is needed as proof than the two years of talks and secret negotiations forming an “Economic Development Zone” as cover for taxpayer giveaways to locate the warehouse retailer Costco to Pleasanton. Despite the obvious facts that horrific traffic would result on I-680 freeway and Stoneridge Drive, city leaders worked with the investor offering sweetheart deals at the expense of Pleasanton taxpayers.
Our mayor publicly promoted the Economic Development Zone and other proposed arrangements, despite owning investments in Costco and violating state law against participating as our elected official.
Pleasanton needs new leadership in Julie Testa that will put Pleasanton taxpayers first and will protect our local businesses and residents from investors-developers whose only interest is to extract wealth to the detriment of our small-town community.
Please join me in voting YES on Measure MM and JULIE TESTA for Pleasanton Mayor on November 8th.
I’ve been Pleasanton resident for 40 years. I have concerns regarding the growth of our downtown area and Julie Testa is the only one candidate that’s talked about the impact the rezoning of the civic center would have on downtown. Not only is the cost astronomical, but the traffic it brings to this already congested area would wreak havoc. We don’t need any more three story housing developments in this area. If we can’t have a parking structure for the Ace Train rider’s that was promised years ago to be placed on the same property they are now planning on building the new civic center, where [on Earth] are these people going to park? My streets are filled up because of the Ace train ridership; Pleasanton has allowed our neighborhoods to be turned into expressways. Kids walking to school need to be extra cautious because the cars flying down put them at risk. We have no crosswalks, no flashing lights for the kids to use. I can’t even back my car out of our garage safely. Let’s get these cars off our residential streets and put in a parking structure for Ace Train users and others.
I’m Voting For Julie Testa
The City of Pleasanton has already approved 1,200 units beyond that required by the State lawsuit settlement. We are done meeting those requirements until at least 2022. We cannot continue this rampant approval of new housing developments without considering the inadequacies of our current infrastructure.
Our city streets are commonly backed up with our own residential traffic as well as cut-through traffic, and we now have a new traffic problem in front of the BART station because of a decrease in lanes in favor of a new housing development.
California’s drought could last forever and our water rates are about to be increased. When new residents move into these new housing developments, where are they going to get water? Well, we will be sharing our current water supply with them; and when there isn’t enough, we will all be paying even higher water rates. Pleasanton residents, overall, did an excellent job of saving water over a 2-year period. But, why should we have to skimp on water so that new developments can be approved and then use up what we’ve saved? That’s absurd.
Every Pleasanton school is beyond its designed capacity by an average of nearly 20%. This puts K-8 students at a huge disadvantage. Our high schools are nearly 30% beyond capacity. We need more schools now just to provide a good education for our current population of students.
Pleasanton can certainly use a new and larger library but, throwing a big new “Civic Center” with new city offices and a new police department into the same project – at a cost of at least $100M and possibly as much as $200M – when the city does not have the money to do so, just seems irresponsible. If we can find the money. build a new library. We do not need to spend $100M to $200M on new city offices when we need more schools and other city infrastructure improvements.
I am voting for Julie Testa for Mayor of Pleasanton so we can slow down the pace of building new developments and get caught up with our existing infrastructure needs.
Testa for Mayor
Pleasanton is the City of Planned Growth, but once real-estate interests gain the upper hand politically, that philosophy will be tossed aside as “anti-business”. The fact remains that population growth incurs costs that developers will conveniently transfer onto the public in the form of traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, water restrictions, fees and taxes. The developer fees collected for the latest 1200 housing units under construction do not begin to cover the ongoing cost of educating such a permanent addition to the PUSD school population, as the fees are only collected once.
Julie Testa is running for Mayor to defend our wonderful city against the onslaught of developer pressure to undermine our slow growth agenda. We are lucky to have in Julie someone who can be firm and unflinching in the face of the relentless “weardown” tactics employed by the developers. Public support for slow-growth has made this community very unique and desirable, and every voter holds in their hands the choice to keep it that way. In this mayoral race, the choice is clear which candidate will safeguard the slow-growth plan of Pleasanton… Julie Testa.
Julie Testa for Mayor
We need a mayor that represents the citizens of Pleasanton. Julie Testa is the real thing. She loves Pleasanton and has the courage to take on the political machine currently in control.
- Julie understands what it takes to balance growth with improved infrastructure (roads, schools, water systems,) and avoid further overcrowding of our schools.
- Her priorities include preserving ridgelines and open space, not rezoning more land for non-mandated housing.
- As Mayor she can appoint citizens to the City Commissions, including the important Planning Commission (currently rubber-stamping proposals from out-of-town developers).
- Julie was impressive in the September debate with the incumbent mayor (held at Council Chambers) and did a fine job explaining her policies and goals at the recent Crossroads debate (although the excessive-growth candidates, Thorne, Pentin, and Ritter failed to show up to discuss Tri-Valley growth).
Let’s turn things around in our local government before Pleasanton becomes more like Walnut Creek or San Jose.
Vote for Julie Testa for Mayor.
Julie Testa Thanked
I want to take a moment to thank Julie Testa for her community work over many years not only locally, but at a county level.
I first started working with Julie ten years ago on a county-wide stakeholder committee to draft a family support program, Family Education Resource Center, that now operates in 4 regions of Alameda County including our area.
It was a pleasure to collaborate and learn from Julie as I appreciated her openness in expressing her views. I find it rare and refreshing that a citizen cares enough to be passionately involved in bettering the quality of life for others, whether it be housing, supportive services or her past work as a human services commissioner.
Julie Testa for Mayor
It has been my privilege to know and work with Julie for a number of years.
My first contact with her was while she was a member of the Pleasanton Human Services Commission. I was board chairman of HOUSE, Inc. (later changed to REACH), a nonprofit established to help provide housing for adults with disabilities, and I was requesting grant funds for our organization.
Julie was always supportive of HOUSE, Inc. and the service we were providing to a very at-risk section of our community.
Julie joined our all volunteer board shortly after completing her term on the Human Services Commission and it was during these years that I became very acquainted with her.
She performed many duties for HOUSE, Inc. (REACH), most important of which was writing grants for funds and being an active member of the Housing Committee. Grant funds were essential for maintenance issues and to purchase new properties.
The members of the Housing Committee performed duties as property manager. These duties included interviewing and approving prospective tenants and handling all property issues including on-call emergency problems. Julie was always available for her tenants and often developed close relationships.
Julie has been described as an activist, but I see her as an extremely caring person who is very passionate in her beliefs and who puts her entire heart and soul into her endeavors.
Happy Testa Joined The Race
Glad to see that Julie Testa is running for mayor against Jerry Thorne. She has been involved in community activities for many years and is focused on trying to maintain the small-town character of Pleasanton and the quality-of-life enjoyed here.
She is concerned with the rapid excessive growth we have all seen under Jerry Thorne — massive ugly high-density housing projects (Condo Canyons) with the resulting traffic problems and overcrowding of schools, in the midst of water restrictions.
It will be refreshing to have a representative that does not have primary allegiance to developers and the Chamber of Commerce instead of Pleasanton residents.
In light of the city’s efforts to deny publication of Testa’s ballot statement, this newspaper should print the statement in its entirety, let informed voters decide who will be the best mayor for Pleasanton.
And I just learned that the city is paying an attorney to fight the ballot statement in court in Hayward. Really? Using taxpayer money to deny a candidate’s ballot statement?
Julie Testa for mayor
My husband and I moved to Pleasanton over 21 years ago. We had three young children at the time and were attracted to Pleasanton for two main reasons: excellent schools and a small-town feel.
My husband and I had both grown up in Fremont, which had been a great place to grow up but had grown into a heavily populated, congested city. We were actually encouraged to move to Pleasanton by Julie Testa, a friend I had met at a play group when our first-born children were only 2 months old.
Once here, we attended many city council and school board meetings to speak out against over-development, especially with regard to overcrowding of the schools; my husband and I both also served on committees that worked to develop core values for this special town.
We have always appreciated the efforts Julie has consistently put into being a “watch dog” for responsible growth in Pleasanton. We are aware that additional development is not required through 2022 and we strongly recommend voting for Julie Testa because she will take a responsible approach to growth and how it impacts our schools, traffic and overall quality of life.
A vote for Julie Testa is a vote for keeping the small-town feel of Pleasanton we all enjoy!
Vote For Julie Testa and Karla Brown
Our City Council (with the exception of Karla Brown) has approved excessive growth in Pleasanton.
After meeting and exceeding the number of housing units required to settle a lawsuit, our leaders pushed heavily for the huge development in East Pleasanton that would have: created a demand for more water, added to our already overcrowded schools, increased already congested traffic and negatively impacted the quality of life of current residents. This plan was stopped only because hundreds of citizens voiced their outrage.
But the council has continued to approve developments as if there is a pressing need to fill up all the remaining open space during their terms in office. Land has been rezoned for over 1,200 units not required by law.
We are voting for Julie Testa for mayor and Karla Brown for xouncil. They are the only candidates who support slow, planned growth to preserve the quality of life that all of us deserve.
Julie Testa for Pleasanton Mayor
For eight years Julie and I worked together as Board Members of a local non-profit, TRIVALLEY REACH Resources Education Activities Community and Housing, that provides low income housing for adults with developmental disabilities. As an all volunteer organization we all wore many hats. Julie wrote and managed grants, participated in property acquisition, initiated community outreach, oversaw work days, and was invaluable on our property management team. Julie was caring and compassionate giving support to our special needs residents. During the years we worked together I knew Julie as highly capable, dedicated, and hard working.
I endorse Julie for Pleasanton mayor knowing she will apply the same commitment and work ethic to advocating for the best interests of the citizens of Pleasanton.
Julie Testa for Mayor
Wake up, Pleasanton! Our city is NOT getting better by closing our eyes and letting the decisions be made by a Council in the camp of Developers. We are being forced to accept a bad deal with Costco and huge traffic problems on top of the existing congestion and overcrowded parking downtown. Rezoning areas to make room for housing and big box retail is NOT the answer for our future.
Every voter must think twice about re-electing anyone on the City Council who promotes building for its own sake and to appease developers. And in case you missed it, our water supply is NOT expanding. Where will the additional housing and retail get its water? From the overdrawn aquifer we have already begun to contaminate with treated sewage? The only answer is to limit ourselves from excessive building and face the facts: we have exceeded our infrastructure (roads, parking, schools, water.)
For a fresh approach to a sustainable Pleasanton vote for Julie Testa for Mayor. She’s got the right idea about measured and appropriate growth.