Council adopts initiatives as strategic guide for City of Pleasanton

Pleasanton City Councilmembers voted unanimously to approve seven initiatives as a strategic guide for the City of Pleasanton. The decision was part of the March 15 regular council meeitng.

Comprising the council are Mayor Clinton J. Powell, Jimmy Magel (Dist. 1), Abraham Saenz (Dist. 2), Janet M. Jackson (Dist. 3), J.R. Gallegos (Dist. 4), Roger G. Garza (Dist. 5) and Jeanne B. Israel (Dist. 6).

Pleasanton City Manager Bruce Pearson led the discussion on the initiatives. Pearson said the city has been blessed with a good economy, especially considering that most of the country is experiencing an economic downturn. Property values are up and economic development is viable. The activity in the Eagle Ford Shale, said Pearson, is now believed to last longer than it was first thought.

He spoke on balancing growth and how property devaluation is the result of poor planning. Pearson wants the city to examine how its citizens are taken care of, as well as examine the characteristics for a great place to live, work and play. Some of the things he mentioned were adequate housing, friendly people and good neighbors, low crime rates, good career opportunities, quality streets and infrastructure, cultural enhancement, recognized schools and extracurricular activities for children and adults.

As the city continues to grow, Pearson wants to implement seven initiatives. He wants a consensus among all the department heads and said he was asking council to adopt these seven initiatives as a strategic guide for the city:

•First and foremost, customer service must be the city’s focus.

•The protection of Pleasanton citizens and their property insure the vitality of the community.

•The development and maintenance of infrastructure to support growth is important.

•Economic growth must become the “heartbeat” of the community.

•Water resource development (the securing of water supplies for the long term), extending existing supplies (reuse and non-potable) and water conservation are vital for our future.

•It is crucial to take measures whereby the city continues to be dependent upon itself while striving to foster a cooperative spirit with its neighbors.

•Quality of life issues are important for the city in supporting its enhancement and growth.

These will further the spirit and intangible quality that Pleasanton has. Pearson said he would bring these at the next meeting for a resolution.

Magel commended both the city staff and Pearson. Saenz also said he liked Pearson’s plans and was looking forward to what the city can do. Gallegos said the guide will serve as a key and tool the city needs for a successful future. Jackson said plans such as these continue to reinforce that the city chose the right person with Pearson.

Councilmembers voted unanimously to direct City Manager Pearson to develop a process for owners and developers, as it relates to economic incentives and include the four items Israel listed. These four items are:

•All businesses requesting a tax abatement will be required to bring all pertinent information to the city manager for review.

•No business can be placed on the city council agenda for a tax abatement request, unless they have been placed there by the city manager.

•The city manager will make recommendations to the council regarding such requests after the staff has conducted their review.

•The city manager will provide council with all documents pertaining to the recommendations as well as the possible options.

The council voted unanimously to adopt the Chapter 380 agreement for the economic incentive program under Title 12. Pearson gave a brief overview of different programs, including tax abatements, reinvestment zones and increment financing. Pearson does not recommend these for the City of Pleasanton. As Pearson said at a recent workshop on economic incentives, when a city uses programs like tax abatement, the economic burden shifts to the existing taxpayers. There are exceptions, such as once-in-a-generation developments like Toyota or Microsoft. Pearson said he preferred Chapter 380 as the economic incentive to attract business and said City Attorney Bobby Maldonado likes this as well.

In other business, council voted unanimously to approve:

•The best bid for Main Yard Well Casing Repairs, to Water Well Service of Pleasanton in the amount of $34,000.

•The closure of Fourth Street between Market and Crockett Streets on Sunday, May 6 for the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church annual picnic. This will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

•The plat for the Eagle Ford Lodge Subdivision, south of the Relax Inn.

•Postponing action on the proposed skydiving agreement with Nardi’s/Skydive Space Center at the Pleasanton Municipal Airport.

•The best bid for the Woodland Booster/Pumping Station Upgrade, to MG Construction of Castroville. This is in the amount of $65,750.

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