I am very proud of my contributions to the City of Pleasanton over the past four years and what I have achieved in reaching my five election goals from 2012. Here are some highlights:
- Bernal Park Phase 2: Expected completion and public access should occur in October 2016. This incredible expansion on the Bernal Park includes: three synthetic sports fields, shade structures, native plantings, an oak woodland area, playground equipment, paths and trails and a large plaza area for meeting spaces.
- Recycled/Purple pipe: The State of California has been in an historic drought for five years now, and although we have had significant rain, many of the water levels in the reservoirs and underground aquifers remain below average in their water levels. The lowest cost, safest and easiest option was to install 10 miles of recycled water (purple) piping to our Hacienda Business Park users and the City’s large parks. With a very low interest rate loan from the State made this financially possible. I was proud to vote for then later attend this important turning of the recycled water value in the Sports Park in April 2016.
- Safeguard Historic Downtown homes and neighborhoods: Over the past four years, I have led the charge to preserve and protect Pleasanton’s many historic residential homes (also called historic resources). These treasures should not be destroyed by extreme remodeling or demolition by neglect. I was very pleased with full council support to hire a professional to survey homes in our Downtown Specific Plan and built prior to the year 1942. The result was a large historic document identifying 88 homes that qualify for historic resources and why they qualify. In addition, special wooden etched signs were constructed and posted to identify Pleasanton’s Historic Neighborhoods!
- Remain Committed to Open Space and Ridgeline Protection: On June 7, 2016 Pleasanton saw Measure K (a 43 homes development called Lund Ranch) go to the ballot. After an extremely close race, the ballot measure passed and the housing project among the hills will go forward. The City Attorney explained that the council could decide on hillside protection projects on a “case-by-case” basis if a project may violate key terms in Measure PP (a citizen’s initiative passed in 2010). For hillside projects in the future, I would like to see council’s decisions on Measure PP affected areas be made conservatively, and with “Open Space” and “Hillside Protection” goals in mind.
- No smoking at downtown events and Multi-family housing: Pleasanton’s Youth Commission brought forward a request to prohibit smoking in public parks. Supported on a 5:0 approval, that was easy. Working with both the Pleasanton Downtown Association and building owners, I recommended making ALL downtown events non–smoking, earning a second 5:0 vote of support. I also requested non-smoking policies in multifamily housing units (especially for children), and had the support of my colleagues. The City Attorney’s office is researching legal ways to achieve this goal which is in place in other cities in most neighboring cities in the Tri-Valley.
- Two Additional Tennis Courts and use of the Amador HS courts: I know as a tennis player myself, and the results of a Parks and Recreation needs assessment study confirmed, the City of Pleasanton has a significant shortage of tennis courts! I invited over 20 tennis players to request access to Amador HS (when not in use), and construct two new courts at the Tennis Center. On a 5:0 vote of the council, I had the support needed for approval. With the school districts approval, residents are using the Amador HS courts on weekends and in the summer, and the two new courts at Tennis Center should be ready by the end of 2016!
- Civic Center/Library Task Force: Since July 2015, I have been a key member of this task force, alongside Mayor Thorne and representatives from the public, the Library Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, the Downtown Association and more. It is clear our very busy library is undersized and supplements PUSD student needs long after their school facilities are closed. The library is also used by ESL teachers, speaker presentation series, young readers, Wi-Fi users and much more. The design of the current library is not conducive to expansion. We have a site on the Bernal Park land that would be excellent for the relocation of City offices and the Library. In addition if government is moved off of Main Street and Old Bernal, this could be a KEY location for developing more vital downtown region. The benefits could be enormous with new businesses going into the City Government’s current site downtown and expanded facilities at a location nearby. Many variables need to be addressed such as:
a. Going to the voters for approval of Bernal Park changes (approved by the voters under
b. How will the City pay for the new and larger facility? A potential Bond Measure? Transit taxes for hotels?
c. What would be constructed in the site where the current government location sits?
d. Where can we add parking for the ACE train, downtown shoppers and the new civic center?
- Kottinger Gardens: Pleasanton’s two affordable housing developments Pleasanton Gardens and Kottinger Place will be razed and replaced in phases with twice as many new housing units in a new development called Kottinger Gardens. I approved and then later attended the ground breaking ceremony (with a golden shovel) in May 2016. This new project will be facilitated and built through a non-profit organization called MidPen Housing. The new units will provide all ADA compliant housing for our lower income seniors. Housing is assigned on a priority basis with current residents of the complex, followed by long-time Pleasanton residents at the topping the list.
- Workday’s new office building: In April 2016, I was proud to vote for approval of a new corporate center by Workday near the western BART station on Stoneridge Mall road. This will be a six-story building and offer the kinds of jobs that will support local residents and families living in our expensive community.
- Water Meters: Residential water meters have been read manually with a person reading the meter every other month. In these times of electronics, it seemed archaic. In drought years, water leaks can go unnoticed waste precious water resources. I had been tracking this for years and am happy to be one of the test homes used by the city to try out the new system with data that will be sent to my computer or smart phone.
- Castleridge Trail: As a member of the Pleasanton Liaison to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) I am excited about a new trail up the ridge! The temporary parking and trailhead will begin at Old Foothill Road behind our Alviso Adobe Park. I was able to hike the trail with one of the prior land owners and the views are incredible. The tree canopies shade most of the trail for an incredible amenity, and it is right here on our western ridge.
- Dog Park: The city is in the process of constructing a new dog park near the Marilyn Kane trail off of Bernal west of Hwy 680. The dog park is expected to be for large and small dogs before the end of this year.
- East Pleasanton Specific Plan (EPSP): I voted AGAINST this massive planning project from the beginning. I think this is the wrong time to plan the Eastside quarry lands of Pleasanton. The environmental studies were directed to offer information for the “preferred” plan of 1759 homes and a huge 1.6 million square feet of non-residential buildings. When over 1000 Pleasanton residents attended informational meetings and spoke out strongly against this massive project, the rest of the city council wisely retracted their support for planning the project and put this EPSP on hold. Vic Lee from ABC Channel 7 News interviewed me and allowed me to state my concerns over this level of growth during a severe drought. Phil Matier from KPIX Channel 5 also interviewed me about the Eastside Project on his regional news program.
- Continue to Support Reduced in Pension Debt: As a member of Pleasanton’s Audit Committee, I have been hands-on supporting the reduction in unfunded liability of PERS. We have kept employee contracts at or near the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and paid down the debt with early payments and an extra $4 million dollars above the mandatory minimum payments to California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
- In partnership with Workday, BART and the Stoneridge Mall: Pleasanton will have a new policesubstation in North Pleasanton to enhance public safety in that very active region of our city.
- Old Stanley Powerlines and sidewalks are coming: After years of funding challenges, the city is the process of improving the road on Old Stanley. Although the residents will need to tolerate the construction for a while, the end result will be no more above-ground powerlines and new sidewalks to safely access our great downtown.
- The Cemetery Master Plan: Originally purchased for $1, our Pioneer Cemetery was not up to Pleasanton’s standards. After supporting, voting for and approving funding for the project, this June I attended the ground breaking ceremony to begin work on improving the cemetery, increasing the capacity and adding a stately Veterans memorial Project. Construction is underway.
- Team Success: In addition, I have met with hundreds of concerned residents, many downtown building owners, historic homeowners, Realtors, business leaders in our Hacienda Business Park and other regions, slow growth and fast growth advocates, the Sierra Club, the Chamber of Commerce representatives and many more. Residents and business owners in Pleasanton deserve great representation that listens to both sides before making a decision on their council, and I want to be that person.
It has been a very busy and successful four years.
Vote to reelect Karla Brown for City Council 2016