Latest News Articles From The San Ramon Tribune

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lights Of The Valley

In The Tradition Of The Christmas Season, Lights Of The Valley Are Lighting Up The Valley Beautifully

Lights Of The Valley website has pictures and locations of some of the most beautiful neighborhood lightings for the Christmas season.

Everyone should check this house out. I don't think this house is in San Ramon or the Tri-Valley area but it sure is pretty cool.

Merry Christmas To All From San Ramon

By-the-way, we suggest reading the Introduction to San Ramon News posting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

City Officials Take Email Warning

Pleasanton City Email Usage By Pleasanton Mayor, Jennifer Hosterman Being Investigated

Current Mayor of Pleasanton, Jennifer Hosterman, with her use of the city government email accounts for election activity and election fund raising requests, could spell major legal trouble for Mayor Hosterman. The use of city government email accounts for any type of personal or election activity is prohibited under California Government Code 8314.

Furthermore, city officials' email records are a matter of public record and could be requested by anyone. Additionally, those records can be published online for all to see.

With the power of the Internet, communications occurs at light speed. Privacy of your own email account can be severely compromised when sending information to your public officials. While it is very important to keep in touch with our public officials, it is also wise to consider using a different email account from the one that you personally use for day to day activities. It seems ironic that San Ramon City officials give so little credence of Privacy on the Internet. It also goes to show that public officials have very little privacy on the job. Remember, our government officials work for us and as such are accountable to the people.

Under §8314 of the California Government Code:

a) It is unlawful for any elected or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.

c)1) Any person who intentionally or negligently violates this section is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day on which a violation occurs, plus three times the value of the unlawful use of public resources.

As the Internet continues to expand, with anyone able to write and publish information online, City Officials need to take Warning and do the right thing. Sometimes it is very easy for an official to have visions of grandeur, or using a certain elected city position as a stepping stone to higher government offices. They get all caught up in the mindset that they are doing the "people's work" when in reality they are working for themselves. It is not wrong to have a goal of being elected to a higher office, it is wrong to forget who you work for.

By-the-way, we suggest reading the Introduction to San Ramon News posting.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Introduction To San Ramon Tribune News

San Ramon Newspaper Reader
extra extra read all about it
 The online news edition of the San Ramon Tribune is an area where various information related to San Ramon, California and the surrounding communities can be shared with local residents. Similar to San Ramon Talk and San Ramon Talks Blogs, the format will be to allow anyone to post comments on any issue they wish. No matter which side of any issue you feel strongly about, you are free to post a comment in any of these various areas online. Keep it civil. It is so easy to post your comments, that a child could do it.

Please be aware that privacy on the Internet is a very real concern (and rightly so) with many people today. Your privacy at our blogs is protected by allowing anonymous, real or ghost writer names, or set up a Blogger account for free, and write your own blog if you want to (not required), with an automatic link back to your profile. See San Ramon Privacy Blog.

The current issue that will affect the San Ramon Citizens for years to come, is the nearly 1 billion dollar estimated cost for the new San Ramon Downtown plan. With its missing financial details and other monkey business going on in San Ramon as well as surrounding communities, this will certainly factor in for more in-depth analysis articles to follow.

Several other issues have been discussed in great depth by various community members. Eminent Domain is one of the major issues going on around the country and San Ramon is one of the cities in California in which the City Council passed a law in 2006 which placed Eminent Domain for private gain back on the books for any area set up as a Redevelopment Zone. There are excellent articles and comments from both sides of the issue.

Golf Course Zoning
was another area of local community concern, when the City Council decided to change the zoning of two of the city's golf courses from Parks (which had included golf courses to begin with) to Commercial Recreation (which had a broad spectrum of commercial types of things that could be developed on CR zoning). Arguments "for and against" Commercial Recreation zoning for the two San Ramon golf courses (Canyon Lakes & San Ramon Golf Club) but not San Ramon Bridges Golf Course, were going on for seven months before the City Council voted to make the change. Then just a little over a month later, San Ramon Mayor, Abram Wilson, came out on local public television, and issued a statement that he now agrees that zoning the Golf Courses to "Commercial Recreation leaves too many loop-holes" for developers to take advantage of.

Both of these issues were important for a wide number of people in the local community. While on the outset, the zoning of the Golf Courses looked like no big deal, it did in fact turn out to be a big deal. Think about the numbers of houses or other types of developments that could potentially be built on the wide open spaces and how the increase in traffic along with the decrease in individual property values could fall with-in the surrounding areas, it is very easy to understand what a major deal this is for the people of San Ramon.

On the Eminent Domain front, understanding of how California Eminent Domain Law can be a factor for "Market Forces" to do away with certain businesses, homes, or property and give it to "Super Developers" in which they scarf up wide areas of Redevelopment Land and promise the City a huge increase in the tax base is important for all community members. When cities must supposedly try to meet ABAG "Affordable Housing" numbers, it is easy to envision the scope in which a developer and the City Council having an alliance, with the developer promising to include the numbers of affordable housing units required by the City in exchange for developing more units with higher densities on properties that are under the Redevelopment zones. Pressure is placed on individual landowners, through having eminent domain on the city books, in which there might be a holdout by one or more property owners in a Redevelopment zone.

There certainly are other issues that will greatly affect life here in the San Ramon Valley. Policies of other neighboring cities including: Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, and others will also be of prime consideration in how their decisions on city issues would potentially affect our San Ramon Citizens. San Ramon, with its new homes in the Dougherty Valley will be a drawing force for new San Ramon residents that work in the Tri-Valley area or even the Greater Bay Area. If San Ramon is required to have more affordable housing than in the surrounding communities, we can expect to see a major influx of people moving here but not necessarily working in the City of San Ramon. Traffic patterns could greatly be affected along with major costs involved with Police, Fire, and other city services which ultimately could be higher taxes for everyone.

How all these issues play out will greatly affect our city and our children's children for a long time to come. That is why it is important to have an area online with information that can be shared from any member of our community in an open and public forum context. Giving community members a chance to speak out on the issues, without the threat of retaliation and intimation by local officials or other community members is one of the keys to having these blogs in the first place. Certainly, the speaking of one's mind in a free open public forum area is good for all members of the local community. No registration is required to post your thoughts and ideas on any issue that have been published on these blogs. If you would like to see, or have an article about a current news topic going on in the city of San Ramon, feel free to send us an email with the article or topic and we will consider publishing the article online. We will keep your name, email address, and contact information confidential unless stated otherwise by you.


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