Latest News Articles From The San Ramon Tribune

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Downtown City Center Financial Details Are Missing

San Ramon Downtown Center Financial DetailsWhere Are the Financial Details of the Proposed City Center Deal between the City of San Ramon and Alex Mehran of Sunset Development Co. that are Not Being Disclosed to the Public?

The Mayor’s unveiling of the proposed City Center Downtown Project was way back in February or March 2007 in the Fountain Room at Central Park and, a few San Ramon citizens stood before the Mayor and Council members asking for the details of this financial plan between the City and a private developer, Alex Mehran of Sunset Development Co. The Mayor refused to present any financial details to the public claiming they were not yet available. The room was filled with many special interest groups including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club Members, Library Commissioners, Economic Development Commissioners, and City employees with very few regular unaffiliated citizens of San Ramon. I wondered to myself where are all the regular citizens?

It’s been well over a year now since the announcement of a San Ramon Downtown Center, and even the writers for the Contra Costa Times have been unsuccessful in obtaining the financial details of the biggest deal in the history of San Ramon between the City and the developer, Alex Mehran, of Sunset Development Company after many attempts. San Ramon citizens have continued to stand before the City Council and Planning Commissioners during public hearings, requesting the financial details only to be shot down by Mayor Abram Wilson, in which he has claimed on repeated occasions that these financial details are still not available to the public. He claims, “We are still in the negotiating process.” How can you build a new home without knowing what it will cost? Come on Mr. Mayor, you were once an Investment Banker, and you expect us to believe that you have no idea what is exchanging hands here. Why do you intentionally continue to conceal the financial details of this 44-acre Commercial/Retail center from the public? What do you have to lose by being honest and forthcoming with the citizens of San Ramon that you have taken an oath to serve! How is this intentional withholding of critical financial information serving the citizens who placed you in your position?

Mayor Abram Wilson and Council members Dave Hudson, Jim Livingston, Scott Perkins, and Carol Rowley have refused to provide any of the financial details and land transfer agreements in a public setting regarding this proposed 44 acre City Center Downtown Retail/Commercial Project that is being promoted by a public/private partnership with Alex Mehran of Sunset Development Company. These details have been intentionally withheld from the citizens of San Ramon and this is a sham!

In addition, full governing authority and decision making power will be given to Alex Mehran over this 44 acre City Center Downtown, excluding the tiny 3.5 acre parcel with the single civic-center building housing the Police, Library, City Offices, and transit center all in one. Our City will then be named appropriately “Mehranville” instead of “Pottersville” oh, I mean San Ramon!

Finally, how can we as San Ramon Citizens be assured “no more back door deals” like in the past with the former mayors and council who allowed Alex Mehran an undercover deal with the City of San Ramon, to be void of ever paying taxes to the City for Bishop Ranch Office Park, part of the Sunset Development properties! What a deal for Mr. Mehran! Now, not to mention the special back door property deals that were made between Alex Mehran and the City of San Ramon for the two Downtown City Center properties. Mr. Mehran sells the two properties to the City, but retains full control of what's built there, plus gets the option to buy both properties back for little more than he paid for them. This really is the deal of the decade for Mr. Mehran! The City of San Ramon ends up holding the property for Mr. Mehran, while at the same time Sunset Development is not having to pay property taxes on it.

In 1987 the City signed an annexation and development agreement with the developers of Bishop Ranch (Sunset Development Companies). This agreement contains a clause not to impose “a business license tax for revenue purposes.” The agreement specifies “a business license tax only for the purpose of registration, and the amount of such business license tax shall not exceed the actual and reasonable cost incurred by the city to perform such registration.” I wonder how many millions of dollars our old-timers (the San Ramon City officials in office at that time), gave away to Mr. Alex Mehran of Sunset Development Company over the years? What a deal for Mr. Mehran! For example, in 2003 the City of Pleasanton collected approximately 3 million dollars in business license tax revenues whereas, the City of San Ramon collected only a measly $150,000. I wonder if this new City Center Project being promoted by Alex Mehran and our Mayor, Abram Wilson, will also be exempt from these business taxes? A colored glossy flyer mailed earlier this year to San Ramon residents claimed, “NO NEW TAXES.” Maybe, that’s exactly what they are trying to tell us; no taxes or fees to be paid by Alex Mehran and very little tax revenue for San Ramon. What do you think?

Article submitted by a San Ramon resident for over 20 years.

Submit your articles to the San Ramon Tribune for publication today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monkey Business is Happening in the Downtown San Ramon Sunset

Sunset Monkey BusinessSan Ramon, CA

In an article published in the Contra Costa Times on 11/29/2008, written by political editor, Lisa Vorderbrueggen, titled, Vorderbrueggen: Secrecy dogs Walnut Creek campaign, she has presented some insightful information into the world of competing shopping mall developers and the tactical ballot measures and legal wars that ensue.

Walnut Creek is battling a covert war over a Neiman Marcus store. Apparently, with millions of dollars at stake, mall kingpins around the country wage neighboring wars with nearby cities that have competing malls being proposed to be developed in their city locations. The tactic, that is slyly employed by mall developers, is to have a key lead person be the front guy, who does not divulge who they are working for, which are many times covertly representing the competing development company, which then funnels funds to fight various aspects of a planned shopping mall development plan within a community.

Competition for anchor stores is immense across the country. With the state of the economy being what it is today, and people tightening their belts, it is unlikely that more than one Neiman Marcus store would move into the East Bay Area. Alex Mehran, President and CEO of Sunset Development Company has alluded to having (attracting) a couple of major anchor stores for his planned San Ramon Downtown plan. Sunset Development as of today's date, has not released any information as to who would be the big anchor store tenants. Would it be in the best interest for Sunset of not having the Walnut Creek Neiman Marcus store open? Even if Sunset Development Company is not going after a Neiman Marcus store, it would be advantageous for Sunset, for the Walnut Creek Neiman Marcus store plan go down the tubes.

Enter Al Abrams. Who is Al Abrams? He's the hired gun from Southern California that is leading the attack dogs in Walnut Creek. According to the article in the Contra Costa Times, "Abrams has told a Contra Costa Times reporter only that he works for the Irvine-based real estate law firm that filed a lawsuit against the city, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis."

So let's connect the sunset monkey business dots. What is happening in Walnut Creek may in fact be the beginning salvo of battles between the north and the south on the Interstate 680 corridor. Also, this brings into question many of the aspects of the San Ramon Downtown Center. For example: What happens if Mr. Mehran does not get any anchor stores lined up for the downtown center? What impact would this have on the San Ramon Downtown Center, the City of San Ramon Civic Center, and his huge trifecta office complex? Many cities have fallen into the trap of grandiose visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, and have built shopping malls, and downtown centers, with either taxpayer dollars or partially subsidized with a public/private partnership agreement through; reduced or no permit fees required from the developer, low or no business taxes to be paid by the developer, and other cost reductions (incentives) provided to the developer, or shared equity - shared liability arrangements dealt behind closed doors, that in fact produce shopping malls that turned out to be nothing more than oversized white elephants for the cities and their taxpayers.

Public/Private Partnership For San Ramon Downtown Center Between Sunset Development and The City of San Ramon

There are more facets to the San Ramon Downtown Center than meets the eye. First off, the San Ramon downtown center is a public/private partnership arrangement. The city owns the property for the Downtown Center that was once owned by Sunset Development Company. The City of San Ramon has now taken this property that was once owned and sold to the City of San Ramon from Sunset, and still ultimately controlled by Sunset Development (see below); and traded it for a promise of no cost to the taxpayers. However, that may not actually be the case at all. There is an ultimate cost to the taxpayers in subsidies given back to the developer, due to lost tax dollars, low or no building permit fees required for the developer, and even the true cost of the property that are being proposed to be forgiven or overlooked in a hidden financial arrangement to this day that has not been revealed to the people of San Ramon.

Very few know anything about the original purchase buy/sale agreements and extended escrows still in force that exist between the City of San Ramon and Sunset Development Company, for the two properties (the 7.5 acre property, and the 11 acre "City Center" property just west of Central Park and across Bollinger Canyon Road from the 7.5 acre property) which are located on the north and south side of Bollinger Canyon Rd, (now collectively the Downtown City Center Properties). Evidentiary documents uncovered at the City of San Ramon offices provide key details of the original purchase agreements and the extended escrows still in affect between the City of San Ramon and Sunset Development. According to the option to repurchase the property in the original and amended renegotiated sweetheart escrow deals for Sunset Development, the Seller (Sunset Development) shall have the annual right to purchase the Property from the City for the original purchase price plus a cost of living increase. Nice deal for Sunset; in that Sunset does not have to pay property taxes on the property (since Sunset does not technically own the two properties), but Sunset totally controls both properties and has the right to purchase them back for little more than what the properties were sold to the City of San Ramon for. See: San Ramon Resolution No. 2005-170 document and Lot 4 Tract 8454 Agreement and Contract of Sale & Escrow document.

According to the official City documents, Sunset has the right to buy the property back if Sunset does not approve of what is going to be built on the two properties. Wow, what a sweet sweetheart deal for Sunset! There is a question that must be asked. Did the City of San Ramon really own the properties at any time, or was it a shell game from the beginning in order to hide the money? There could be an argument made by some that the City of San Ramon is acting as a government holding company for Sunset Development and shielding property tax liability away from Sunset, while Sunset still maintains complete authority over how and when this land is used, and the full option to buy it back at below market prices.

5,1 Option to Repurchase Property.

(a) Commencing January 1, 2006 and continuing until the earlier to occur of the date the City commences construction or July 1, 2011, Seller shall have the annual right to purchase the Property from City. Seller may exercise the right to repurchase by giving written notice to City between January 1 and July 1 of any calendar year following a calendar year in which construction has not commenced on the Property. Once Seller has exercised Seller's right to repurchase, Buyer may not commence construction. If not exercised by July 1, 2011, this Option shall terminate. If Seller gives such notice to City, the purchase shall close within ninety (90) days after the giving of such notice through an escrow at a title company doing business in Contra Costa County as designated by Seller. Title to the Property shall be conveyed by the City by grant deed free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, except real property taxes not delinquent, customary utility easements to service the Property, and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Bishop Ranch Business Park. The purchase price for the Property shall be the original purchase price paid to Seller by Buyer under the Agreement, which amount shall be adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for the San Francisco-Oakland Area from the base date of January 1, 2002. The requirement of this paragraph to "commence construction" shall mean material construction activity including, not less than the preparation of plans and specifications and the issuance of building permits and all other approvals required for the construction of not less than 50,000 square feet of improvements to the Property and the commencement of the excavation for the foundation of the proposed improvements. The provisions of this Section 5.1 shall survive close of escrow.

(b) Buyer agrees to execute and deliver through the Escrow the First Amendment Memorandum of Option to Purchase reflecting Seller's option to repurchase the Property, in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A. Escrow Holder shall cause such document to be recorded within ten (10) days of the date of execution of this Agreement. The Property shall remain subject to Seller's right of repurchase under this paragraph 5.1 following any sale, assignment, transfer, conveyance or encumbrance of the Property until commencement of construction as defined above has occurred. The option created hereby shall be irrevocable by Buyer and shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors in interest. Upon Buyer's written request following Buyer's commencement of construction on the Property, Seller shall execute and deliver to Buyer any documents necessary to eliminate the First Memorandum of Option to Purchase from record title to the Property.

3. Buyer represents that Buyer has not liened or encumbered the Property.

4. Except as expressly set forth herein, the Agreement remains unmodified and in full force and effect.

5. This First Amendment may be executed via facsimile transmission, with originals to follow, and in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be considered an original and all of which, taken together, shall constitute one and the same instrument.

With a reported cost of over $750,000,000.00 to build this San Ramon Downtown City Center project, we as taxpayers demand to know the fine print of this deal between Sunset and the City of San Ramon. With money like that, and the secret back-room deals that are being made without full transparent and honest open disclosure to the citizens, and with the fact of how these escrow purchase agreements have been made in the past, and the ability of the City Council to have the escrows amended, which already has been done on at least one other occasion, to be able to extend the dates (into perpetuity) to which Alex Mehran, of Sunset Development Company can exercise his right to take back the properties for practically the same price he paid for them; the citizens have a right to know the truth.

Don't be surprised Mr. and Mrs. San Ramon Citizen, when the City of San Ramon comes out with more statements that repeat the mantra, "You need not worry, because this San Ramon Downtown City Center is not going to cost the San Ramon taxpayer a dime." That's when you know you need to worry that it will cost the San Ramon taxpayers a lot more than a dime, for it's likely to cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to the San Ramon taxpayers in ways that many have not even thought of. Can you say higher business license fees? Can you say an added on city-wide sales tax? Can you say a huge tacked on property tax assessment? What about an increase in lighting fees, homeowner permit fees, garbage fees, cable TV fees, police department fees, high parking and traffic tickets, fire department fees, landscape maintenance fees, and even garage sale fees and garage sale ticket fines for illegal garage sales being issued by the San Ramon Police?

So, maybe we will get some sort of revenue sharing arrangement with this public/private partnership, however just looking at the history between the good old boys network, Mayor Abram Wilson and the San Ramon City Council, and many of the City Council and Planning Commission Members from the past, you have to decide if it would be a smart decision to not even question what is going on here in small town San Ramon.

It would be highly advisable to read the fine print in any agreement between Sunset and the City of San Ramon for the public/private downtown center project. It could very easily include a clause for nearly a 100% filled lease rate for Mr. Mehran and his City Center office complex and shopping center venues, and require an extremely low vacancy rate on the upscale housing units designed to be built on top of the shopping center area, and require a large number of years filled at this unattainable vacancy rate, before any revenue sharing would transpire between the Sunset Development and the City. Sunset is the key and only player in San Ramon for developing the Downtown Center, and because of Mr. Mehran's extreme dictatorial influence over the City Council, and all the other Bishop Ranch properties that are closely tied to the City Councils' decisions of the past, we need to be especially on the lookout for what other past and future documents might be hidden from the citizens of San Ramon which show poor decision making, or unethical, illegal, and slight of hand tactics for Sunset and the City.

There are major pressures being placed on developers and cities around the country. What was agreed to between developers and cities six months ago has likely changed drastically in just the last month or two. In light of today's bad economic times, huge financial credit crunch, with home prices falling and home foreclosures reaching an all-time high, we as citizens of San Ramon need to be eternally vigilant, and demand that our public officials work for us in an honest and full transparent mode, not covering it up behind our backs. Yes, this may require pulling teeth in the open to get to the root of the problem, but our future and our children's future in San Ramon depends upon it. It is better to expose the pain now, and get it fixed right, than get an abscess that is rotten to the core, which can cause a body much more harm in the long run.

Thinking back on the various proposed San Ramon City Center plans over the years, is it any wonder that they did not go through? Some of the other proposals had nothing in it for Sunset Development or Alex Mehran. Did Alex threaten to exercise his options in the past to buy back the properties? What other options is Alex holding over the head of San Ramon? What other documents are hidden and never to be talked about in the public spotlight?

San Ramon Tribune

Article Addendum 12/12/08

Sunset Development Company has already exercised the right to repurchase the 7.5 acre property without any public release of the financial arrangement for the City Center project. In the San Ramon City Council July 8, 2008 ANNOTATED AGENDA and {the Minutes of the City of San Ramon - Council Meeting dated June 24, 2008 Unfinished Business section (#9.1) City Center Update – City Center Update and Execution of Contract for Sale of APN 213-120-013 support this} it was announced the City Council sold the property to Sunset. Here are the terms of the sale. By-the-way, the original purchase price paid for this property on November 7, 2001, by the City of San Ramon was, $7,081,756.00. The original escrow agreement had the option for Sunset Building Company, LLC to buy it back for what Alex Mehran sold it for, plus the adjustment using the CPI index for the San Francisco-Oakland Area from the base date of January 1, 2002. See Consumer Price Index Base Table.

No Council deliberation or decision is anticipated.



1. $1,000,000 CASH





There are several interesting aspects here. First off, one has to wonder why Mayor Abram Wilson abstained in the vote? Did the mayor have a conflict of interest? Did he see something wrong with the deal, but decided not to say anything? Was it because Mr. Wilson was running for CA State Assembly and it didn't meet the smell test? It is important to note that Mayor Abram Wilson's background was an investment banker for thirty years including work as a federal funds trader as Vice President of Wells Fargo Bank and worked as a Principal and Senior Account Executive at Bank of America. See Wilson Bio. The amount of the sale seems to be out of alignment, (verify for yourself using the quick CPI inflation calculator) compared to the original buy/sell escrow agreement. Keep in mind, there still is another larger piece of property (11 acres owned by the City but controlled by Sunset with the same type of escrow arrangement) on the chopping block related to the Downtown City Center.

Monday, December 1, 2008

San Ramon Elves At It Again

Twas The Night Before Christmas
and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
But the City Council has kicked it up a notch here.

San Ramon City Council Elves
The San Ramon City Council has Elfed us again with their Country Swing.

San Ramon City Council Elves 2
The City Council did it again with their Charleston Two Step dance.

San Ramon City Council Elves 3
Here we go again with the City Council's Classic Street dance.

San Ramon City Council Elves 4
Last but not least, the City Council performes the Disco Hustle dance.

Send in your articles for consideration to be published here at the San Ramon Tribune.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest - San Ramon

Greg Papa, Bay Area sports broadcaster and radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, will be the master of ceremonies for the 9th Annual Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest & Sports Auction.

Greg Papa, Bay Area sports broadcaster and radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, will be the master of ceremonies for the 9th Annual Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest & Sports Auction from 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday, November 7 at the Marriott at Bishop Ranch, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, California.

Tickets are $120 per person and attire is casual. Last year’s sold-out event raised $60,000 for the foundation.

Founded in the memory of Tracey Biletnikoff, whose life was brutally taken in 1999, the Biletnikoff Foundation enables young people to realize their full potential through education addressing problems related to substance abuse and gender violence.

Crab Fest 2008 highlights include dinner with celebrities and past and present Oakland Raiders; live entertainment from Pa Pa Doo Run Run; a diamond raffle; a special performance by the Raiderettes; original art by Armando Delgado, Painter of Legends; a tribute to NFL great Gene Upshaw; and live and silent auctions with many exclusive items available for bid, including Pro Bowl & Hall of Fame travel packages and an Oakland Raiders home game package.

For the third year, the Biletnikoff Foundation will be giving back even more to the community by awarding $1,000 educational grants to aid high school seniors to fulfill their dreams of entering college.

Sponsorship opportunities are available from title sponsor at $25,000 to grant sponsorship at $1,000. Ticket holders who are grant sponsors of $1,000 will have the opportunity to award the scholarships in person at the Crab Fest.

Fred Biletnikoff was All-AFL/AFC four times, 1971 NFL receiving champion, and played in two AFL All-Star games, four AFC-NFC Pro Bowls, eight AFL/AFC title games and two Super Bowls. He was MVP in Super Bowl XI. He was the Oakland Raiders wide-receiver coach. Biletnikoff has a national award named after him. For the past 11 years the Biletnikoff Award has been presented to young men in football who continue to have outstanding careers in the NFL. The impressive list includes Bobby Engram, Terry Glenn, Marcus Harris, Randy Moss, Troy Edwards, Troy Walters, Antonio Bryant, Josh Reed, Charles Rogers, Larry Fitzgerald and Braylon Edwards.

For tickets and information contact the Biletnikoff Foundation, 7080 Donlon Way, Suite 126, Dublin, CA 94568, (925) 556-2525. Tickets may be ordered online at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

San Ramon CEO Competes in IronmanTriathlon

San Ramon-based Accela CEO Competes Alongside Business Leaders in Hawaii Triathlon

While it’s not uncommon for a CEO to be up at 4 a.m. with thoughts of his company’s success running through his mind, Maury Blackman, president and CEO of Accela, takes this scenario literally. He starts each day before dawn with a two-hour exercise routine that includes running and swimming, and then heads into the office of his international software company that connects people to government services. Blackman also spends his weekend “downtime” biking 50-miles through the areas surrounding his Danville, California home.

This drive to succeed has not only impacted his company’s success, it also helped him secure one of only 15 coveted qualifying slots, sought after by nearly 100 C-suite athletes, in the 2008 CEO Ironman World Championships held October 11, 2008 in Kona, Hawaii. With an overall time of 11:36:04, Blackman placed seventh among the other participating CEOs. Quite an impressive move considering he has only competed in three other Ironman events.

Maury Blackman
CEO, Maury Blackman Crossing Finish Line in Ironman Hawaii Triathlon
For Maury, personal fitness is like keeping a car in peak condition: the more care and attention you give it, the better and longer it will perform. He believes the same goes for a well-conditioned company: an organization whose culture supports healthy lifestyles and that operates under principles of speed, agility and endurance is better equipped to anticipate and respond successfully to market trends and challenges.

He recently issued a personal directive to employees to take ALL their allotted vacation time off, for their own good and that of the company. And under his leadership Accela offers free flu shots to all employees and provides fresh fruit in lieu of candy as an office treat. Maury also insists that staff get plenty of sleep during offsite events like sales meetings and user conferences. He has been known to call the hotel room of key employees to make sure they “made curfew.”

In addition to keeping his company and himself healthy, Blackman brings a driven, youthful approach to the role of CEO, which in some companies is thought of as a stuffy “suit” position. It’s not uncommon to hear him use phrases like “killer” or “awesome” when he describes Accela’s products that connect citizens and the business community to government services in more than 500 agencies worldwide.

More information about Accela can be found at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Parks Commission Looking For A Food Fight

The San Ramon Parks and Community Services Commission is creating an organic food fight for the Crow Canyon Gardens' Growers.

The issue revolves around the City of San Ramon attempting to remove the fruit and vegetable growers from a one acre parcel of land that is rich for growing organic fruits and vegetables. The City wants to convert this less than one acre parcel into more space for youth activities; as though the existing 425 acres of San Ramon parks doesn't provide enough youth activities areas already. Read how this will impact the Growers and the City.

The issue will be taken up at the Wednesday October 8, 2008 meeting of the Parks and Community Services Commission being held in the Council Chambers located at 2222 Camino Ramon at 7 pm.

The growers generate about 15,000 pounds of fresh vegetables every year. KCBS' Dave Padilla reports

AT&T, Junior Achievement Launch Job Shadow Initiative

Job Shadow Initiative Is Part of a National $100 Million AT&T Aspire Initiative to Promote High School Success and Workforce Readiness in Order to Help Prepare Students for the World of Work

San Ramon, October 7, 2008 — In an effort to encourage American high school students to stay in school and to increase their competitiveness with counterparts from other countries, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Junior Achievement today announced the launch of a multimillion dollar, multiyear job shadow initiative that will match 100,000 students with more than 50,000 AT&T employees to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness.

The nationwide five-year, $5.5 million program will launch this fall in 63 locations, including San Ramon where students from Amador Valley High School/Pleasanton, Benicia High School/Benicia, Concord High School/Concord, Farwest High School/Oakland, Fremont Federation/Oakland, Leadership Preparatory/Oakland, Sojourner Truth/Oakland, Valley High School/Dublin, Vanden High School/Fairfield, and Village High School/Pleasanton will join forces with AT&T employees. With 1.2 million American students dropping out of high school every year, initiatives such as the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow teach students about careers and help them see firsthand the educational background and skills they will need to succeed on the job.

“One of the best ways we can help our young people succeed in high school is to ensure that they see the connection between education and their best future,” said AT&T Senior Vice President Robin MacGillivray, Valued Client Group. “Across our company, the people of AT&T are proud to join forces with Junior Achievement to help students make that connection and go on to build great careers.”

The AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow is committing 400,000 employee volunteer hours to reach 100,000 students in grades 9-12. The program will bring students into the world of business through classroom instruction followed by on-site mentoring in which students get to interact with a wide range of AT&T employees, including technical and customer service representatives, product and service managers, and marketing and advertising executives.

“No matter what career they ultimately choose, the JA Job Shadow experience helps kids become ‘work ready’ by taking them into the workplace and showing them how education and training translate to success on the job,” said Linda McCracken, president of Junior Achievement of Northern California. “Seventy-nine percent of students participating in job shadowing report that the program increased their desire to stay in school, so this is clearly a proven way to improve high school success.”

Through the job shadow opportunity, McCracken added, students experience some of the interpersonal nuances of the workplace that are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting, such as the importance of negotiation, teamwork, cooperation with others, decision making and problem solving. Following participation in the initiative, students will be able to identify and demonstrate the work-readiness skills needed to research, get and keep a job — as well as develop personal strategies to achieve lifelong learning pursuits and career opportunities.

The job shadow initiative is part of the recently announced AT&T Aspire program, one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to high school retention and workforce readiness. The initiative is designed to support proven approaches to promoting educational success, from the classroom to the workplace.

Through the Aspire initiative, AT&T has committed $100 million (over four years, 2008-2011) to a range of efforts that includes:

  • Grants to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on helping students graduate from high school and become better prepared for college and/or the workforce.
  • The underwriting of national research that will explore the perspectives and best practices of practitioners (teachers, principals, superintendents, school counselors and school board members) on the high school dropout issue.
  • Support for 100 state and community dropout prevention summits, organized by America’s Promise Alliance to engage education experts and community leaders around the crisis and ways to address it.
Two of the major unions representing AT&T employees, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are supporting the job shadow initiative.

Junior Achievement is a recognized leader in job shadowing and a key member of the National Job Shadow Coalition, which also includes AT&T, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor and America’s Promise Alliance. The AT&T program is the largest-ever corporate job shadow collaboration Junior Achievement has undertaken.

For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit

Find More Information Online:

About Junior Achievement® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 138 individual area operations reach 4.2 million students in the United States, with an additional 4.3 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit or call 925-465-1074.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wilson or Buchanan for State Assembly District 15?

Can we merge the Republican and Democratic candidates for State Assembly District 15? Can we throw out some items that we don't like and add others that we do? Guess not. Bottom line, we have a tough election choice to make this November 4 at the voting booth.

"Assembly District 15 candidates Joan Buchanan and Abram Wilson met face to face Wednesday night to give their views on issues ranging from education to universal healthcare, at Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon."

Read more about their meeting at the Danville Weekly column by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Thursday, October 2, 2008

AT&T Plans Renewable Energy System for San Ramon Campus

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 1, 2008 -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that it is working with SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), CH2M HILL, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to install and operate a 1-megawatt solar power system on AT&T's facility at the Bishop Ranch office park in San Ramon. Scheduled for completion in late 2008, the system was partially funded by incentives provided by PG&E under the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The power produced by the system, which is expected to equal up to 25 percent of peak power and 5.5 percent of the facility's annual electricity consumption, is equivalent to the electricity required to power more than 165 homes each year.

“Installing this solar power system on our roof reflects AT&T's commitment to balance the business need for affordable energy with the need to identify solutions that have less impact on the environment in the communities we serve,” said Shawn McKenzie, senior vice president of Corporate Real Estate at AT&T. “This effort will help us learn more about the benefits of renewable energy for our business and allow us to make educated decisions as we pursue future uses of alternative forms of energy.”

The project is being constructed by SunPower, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems. SunPower will install the SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tile commercial system, a non-penetrating solar system that tilts at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture.

The solar system on AT&T's San Ramon facility, which will include nearly 3,700 solar panels, is expected to generate more than 1.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year. It is expected to replace the building's normal power consumption by more than 4,300 kWh per day.

As an alternative to an outright purchase of the commercial system itself, AT&T will purchase electricity for the facility from an entity in which financier Morgan Stanley owns a major interest in under SunPower Access™, a power purchase agreement program. That entity will own the system as well as the associated renewable energy credits, which it may retire or sell. The electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing AT&T with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.

“SunPower Access is an easy, affordable way for leading companies like AT&T to support the use of clean, emission-free solar power,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer, SunPower. “The high-efficiency SunPower solar system that AT&T will host on its roof will maximize the amount of energy produced within the limited roof space, enhancing both the environmental and financial benefits.”

Edward Levin, vice president of Morgan Stanley, said, “We are glad to maintain our commitment to the clean tech sector by continuing to provide the renewable energy financing solutions in the marketplace.”

State and federal governments play an important role in helping companies like AT&T make investments in alternative energy. California offers incentives for solar projects such as the one at San Ramon through CSI. This program is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and provides $2.1 billion in rebates and cash incentives on solar systems. The Federal Investment Tax Credit -- a credit of up to 30 percent of a project's cost -- is set to expire Dec. 31, 2008. AT&T supports efforts to extend the federal credit, which would serve as a positive incentive to move forward with more widespread deployment of solar panels.

“I want to congratulate everyone who contributed to this forward-looking project around clean, renewable power,” said Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch). “California should continue providing incentives for companies like AT&T to invest in alternative power sources.”

Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Martinez) said: “Projects like San Ramon are why the legislature has worked so hard to pass landmark legislation making California the nation's leader in solar power. By offering financial incentives for solar power projects, we are inviting strong companies like AT&T to make their investments in our state.”

PG&E is the local electric utility provider for AT&T and also a program administrator of the CSI. PG&E has now interconnected 25,000 customer-owned, solar-generating systems to the power grid -- representing more than 200 megawatts of electricity -- more than any other utility in the nation. PG&E, under the CSI, provided $2.1 million, the maximum incentive for the San Ramon project.

“PG&E is delighted to work with AT&T to facilitate on-site solar generation with this incentive,” said Wendy Pulling, director of Environmental Policy, PG&E. “Since the inception of the California Solar Initiative, PG&E has distributed almost $80 million to program participants, leaving us an additional $880 million to distribute through 2017. Along with energy efficiency, renewables are a critical component of PG&E's strategy to address climate change, and relationships with our customers are an important part of our program to fight global warming.”

AT&T collaborated with environmental engineering firm CH2M HILL, a leader in the design and implementation of sustainable energy solutions. CH2M HILL determined the initial scope and feasibility of the project and provided guidance during project development and implementation.

“CH2M HILL is committed to helping our clients develop sustainable solutions that respond to global issues like climate change,” said John Hoffner, project manager, CH2M HILL. “We're proud to build on our commitment by working with a strong partner like AT&T to expand the use of renewable energy in San Ramon.”

AT&T is working to minimize the environmental impact of its operations in a number of ways. AT&T works to enhance energy performance and minimize energy consumption in company buildings, IT systems and networks, and the company is evaluating alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. The company conserves natural resources through waste reduction, recovery and recycling efforts, and it helps its customers do the same. AT&T also helps customers further manage their own environmental impact through intelligent use of AT&T products and services, such as teleconferencing, video conferencing and other broadband applications.

Find More Information Online:
Web Site Links:

AT&T Web Site
SunPower Corporation
PG&E Corporation
CH2M Hill
Morgan Stanley

AT&T Corporate Social Responsibility

AT&T Environmental Sustainability

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

San Ramon Gardens to be Destroyed

The Finance/Policy Committee of the City of San Ramon’s Parks & Community Services Commission met with a handful of local community gardeners on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 to give them the bad news about some rather drastic changes they propose to make at Crow Canyon Community Gardens, one of the more significant green activities existing today in San Ramon.

San Ramon GardensBeautiful and historic Crow Canyon Community Gardens, located at 105 Park Place in San Ramon, have flourished since 1990 when land to be used for this specific community purpose was conveyed to the city by Virginia Mudd, founder of the nearby Mudd’s Restaurant. These somewhat eclectic, traditionally organic, gardens are located in a tranquil, off the beaten path, heavily wooded nature area that has given immense joy and a deep appreciation of nature to hundreds of Bay Area families for many years. For a wonderful and colorful history of these magnificent gardens please go to Mudd's Restaurant History Page.

San Ramon Gardens GrowerCommunity gardeners at Crow Canyon Gardens include individuals and families from all walks of life-- professionals, academics, blue collar workers, retired persons-- and represent a collection of cultures as diverse as the community of San Ramon itself. Some of the non-resident gardeners work in San Ramon and temper their commutes by unwinding in their garden plots. Many gardeners involve their children in witnessing nature’s magical processes first hand – some include their grandchildren.

The policy changes now being imposed represent the culmination of an ongoing battle the City has waged against its community gardeners for more than a decade. The conflict between the two sides is a basic one: Which is more important? Continued expansion of the City’s tax base through increased development or providing an opportunity for people to enjoy the quiet comforts and rewards of green, organic gardening. Clearly, San Ramon has chosen to expand through increased development.

The protracted, adversarial relationship between the City and the gardeners has taken a heavy toll. Many gardeners who just wanted to till their gardens in peace and enjoy the fruits of their labor have grown tired of the City’s persistent, negative treatment and are giving up their plots.

Under its latest policies, among other things, the City proposes to destroy twenty individual garden plots that have been under constant cultivation from the very beginning of Crow Canyon Gardens. Each of these individual plots represent thousands of hours of loving, but demanding physical labor and cash outlays of hundreds of dollars by gardeners over the years. The City now demands that these twenty garden plots be destroyed. Fences, arbors, trellises, planting beds and all plant support structures must be removed by this coming December. Valuable, rich and productive top soil will be lost forever when it is bulldozed over.

According to Jeff Eorio, Director of the San Ramon Parks & Community Services Department, the space occupied by the twenty garden plots is needed by the City for expanded youth activities. This will apparently result in increased revenues for the City.

One might think the existing 425 acres of current park space in San Ramon would be sufficient for its youth activities, but the City doesn’t agree. It wants the less than 1 acre of land now occupied by these 20 community garden plots brought into the park fold.

Over the years, gardeners have come to realize that San Ramon pays lip service to but places no real value on community gardening. At every meeting with the gardeners, the City reiterates its intention to eliminate what it describes as an “eyesore” or “hodge-podge” of visually diverse, individual community gardens and says it wants to achieve greater uniformity or evenness within the area. City representatives assert they have received complaints about the lack of a pristine, consistent, homogeneous appearance of the gardens. When pressed, however, they confess such complaints have only been verbal, and not in large numbers.

As one community gardener succinctly described the situation, “The City wants to take away the basic uniqueness of the individual gardeners from our community.”

The present Parks & Community Services Commission sees no redeeming value to having a “green” activity like organic gardening in San Ramon, and does not perceive any tangible benefit derived from the local production of an estimated 15,000 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables each and every year for the nourishment of gardeners, their friends and neighbors, and the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, a regular recipient of the gardener’s produce.

The gardeners suspect the absence of any actual gardeners on the Parks & Community Services Commission is a major problem for them. Even so, the persistent anti-green, anti-gardening posture of the Commission seems rather surprising in this enlightened age of universal environmental concerns and an ever-expanding affinity for “earth-friendly” types of activities. Their posture is consistent, however, with the “growth at any cost, more plastic and chrome” direction the City of San Ramon is heading.

To demonstrate San Ramon’s historically negative bias against community gardening, the gardeners point to a checkered litany of actions (and inactions) the City has taken:

  • Raising the current Garden Allotment Fee from $50.00 to $138.00 per year. [This proposed new fee amounts to an increase of 275% and is three times the national average garden allotment fee.]

  • ]Raising the current deposit fee from $60.00 to $150.00. [This proposed new deposit represents an increase of 250% and is fifteen times the national average deposit fee.]

  • Scheduling meetings of critical importance to the gardens with only 24 hours advance notice to the gardeners - and then holding those meetings at times and locations logistically inconvenient to most gardeners.

  • Granting garden plots to new families over the past year but not informing these new gardeners of the City’s imminent plan to take over those same plots in less than a year. The significant time and money investment made by these new gardeners on their plots, especially in these tough economic times, could have been avoided if the City had just been honest with them.

  • Routinely opposing the gardeners’ use of metal stakes and fence wire around their individual plots - but employing the exact materials, in the same manner, at the immediately adjacent City-operated gardens.

  • Forcing several gardeners to give up garden plots they had tilled for many years because they shared the same last name of a related gardener, despite the fact the relatives were adults and they maintained separate San Ramon households!

  • Failing to honor commitments repeatedly made to gardeners such as: Identifying a permanent city employee to interface with the gardeners; installing a bulletin board at the gardens; allowing gardeners to access a portion of the City’s Web site; and working closely with the Gardeners Committee on any proposed changes to garden policies. None of the above promises were kept.

According to one departing CCG gardener who has decided he’s had quite enough of San Ramon’s shabby garden politics, “I have gardened on community plots for eight years in three different cities and this experience has been the toughest.”

The Finance/Policy Committee plans to present their final policy recommendations to the full Parks & Community Services Commission at a public meeting to be held on October 8, 2008. The City indicated they would mail all Crow Canyon Gardeners a timely copy of their final policy recommendations and timely official notice of the full commission meeting.

The community gardeners plan to enlist the support of the Bay Area gardening public and appear in significant numbers at the October 8th meeting to express their opinions. Readers who wish to attend this meeting are welcome and email or written correspondence to San Ramon city officials is encouraged.

For more information or to interview individual Crow Canyon community gardeners contact:

Crow Canyon Gardens
Gardeners Committee

Contact: James R. Conner
(925) 735-3408

Local Food Bank Pick Ups

Food Bank Pick Ups

Food bank truck picks up the vegetables.
San Ramon Gardens Vegetables

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Are Earmarks Bad? Are They All Pork?

With all the talk on the election news coverage these days about Earmarks and Pork, it is interesting to see how our Senators, especially California Senators stand on Pork.

By in large, Democrats are less likely to vote for Earmark reform and have more Pork than Republicans.

See the results below from the website Porkbusters.

The Index brings together in one place all the data about how everybody who served in the Senate in 2005-2007 voted on 12 key opportunities to say "yes" or "no" to genuine earmark reforms when the Senate clerk called their names. The Examiner and Porkbusters consulted knowledgeable Senate insiders to insure that each of these votes represented a real chance to make a difference for taxpayers.

Check the data and see where your state's two senators rank (higher ratings are better).

John E. SununuRNew Hampshire100.00
Tom CoburnROklahoma100.00
Jon KylRArizona91.66
John EnsignRNevada91.66
Richard BurrRNorth Carolina91.66
Jeff SessionsRAlabama83.33
Russ FeingoldDWisconsin83.33
Saxby ChamblissRGeorgia75.00
Jim DeMintRSouth Carolina75.00
Johnny IsaksonRGeorgia66.66
Evan BayhDIndiana66.66
Jim BunningRKentucky66.66
Chuck HagelRNebraska66.66
James InhofeROklahoma66.66
Lindsey GrahamRSouth Carolina66.66
John CornynRTexas66.66
Elizabeth DoleRNorth Carolina58.33
Craig ThomasRWyoming58.33
Wayne AllardRColorado50.00
Mel MartinezRFlorida50.00
Larry CraigRIdaho50.00
Mike CrapoRIdaho50.00
Richard LugarRIndiana50.00
Chuck GrassleyRIowa50.00
Sam BrownbackRKansas50.00
David VitterRLouisiana50.00
Judd GreggRNew Hampshire50.00
Gordon SmithROregon50.00
John ThuneRSouth Dakota50.00
Kay Bailey HutchisonRTexas50.00
John McCainRArizona41.66
Pat RobertsRKansas41.66
George V. VoinovichROhio41.66
Orrin G. HatchRUtah41.66
Herbert KohlDWisconsin41.66
Michael EnziRWyoming41.66
Richard ShelbyRAlabama33.33
Jeff BingamanDNew Mexico33.33
Lamar AlexanderRTennessee33.33
George AllenRVirginia33.33
Bob CorkerRTennessee33.33
Lisa MurkowskiRAlaska25.00
Barbara BoxerDCalifornia25.00
Bill NelsonDFlorida25.00
Richard DurbinDIllinois25.00
Barack ObamaDIllinois25.00
Mitch McConnellRKentucky25.00
Mary LandrieuDLouisiana25.00
Susan M. CollinsRMaine25.00
Carl LevinDMichigan25.00
Debbie StabenowDMichigan25.00
Norm ColemanRMinnesota25.00
Trent LottRMississippi25.00
James TalentRMissouri25.00
Ben NelsonDNebraska25.00
Kent ConradDNorth Dakota25.00
Ron WydenDOregon25.00
John WarnerRVirginia25.00
Maria CantwellDWashington25.00
Ted StevensRAlaska16.66
Blanche LincolnDArkansas16.66
Dianne FeinsteinDCalifornia16.66
Ken SalazarDColorado16.66
Christopher J. DoddDConnecticut16.66
Joseph I. LiebermanDConnecticut16.66
Joseph BidenDDelaware16.66
Thomas CarperDDelaware16.66
Daniel AkakaDHawaii16.66
Tom HarkinDIowa16.66
John F. KerryDMassachusetts16.66
Mark DaytonDMinnesota16.66
Thad CochranRMississippi16.66
Harry ReidDNevada16.66
Pete DomeniciRNew Mexico16.66
Charles E. SchumerDNew York16.66
Hillary ClintonDNew York16.66
Byron DorganDNorth Dakota16.66
R. Michael DeWineROhio16.66
Arlen SpecterRPennsylvania16.66
Rick SantorumRPennsylvania16.66
Jack ReedDRhode Island16.66
Lincoln ChafeeRRhode Island16.66
Bill FristRTennessee16.66
Robert BennettRUtah16.66
Patty MurrayDWashington16.66
Claire McCaskillDMissouri16.66
Jon TesterDMontana16.66
Mark PryorDArkansas8.33
Daniel K. InouyeDHawaii8.33
Olympia J. SnoweRMaine8.33
Paul SarbanesDMaryland8.33
Barbara MikulskiDMaryland8.33
Edward M. KennedyDMassachusetts8.33
Christopher S. BondRMissouri8.33
Max BaucusDMontana8.33
Conrad BurnsRMontana8.33
Robert MenendezDNew Jersey8.33
Frank LautenbergDNew Jersey8.33
Tim JohnsonDSouth Dakota8.33
Patrick LeahyDVermont8.33
James JeffordsIVermont8.33
Jay RockefellerDWest Virginia8.33
Jon CorzineDNew Jersey8.33
Robert ByrdDWest Virginia0.00
Benjamin L. CardinDMaryland0.00
Bernard SandersIVermont0.00
John BarrassoRWyoming0.00
Sherrod BrownDOhio0.00
Robert P. Casey Jr.DPennsylvania0.00
Amy KlobucharDMinnesota0.00
Jim WebbDVirginia0.00
Sheldon WhitehouseDRhode Island0.00

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Share American Culture With Japanese Students in San Ramon

Learn About Japanese Culture and Get Paid!

If you have ever had an interest to learn more about the Japanese culture, share about American culture, and have wanted to have a ton of fun, this opportunity might be for you!

On August 21st through September 6th there will be eleven Japanese students coming to San Ramon to learn English and experience American Culture. They will be going to school during the week from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

If you are interested in being a host family for these students, your responsibility will be to:

  1. Provide a bed for the student to sleep in
  2. Provide 3 meals a day
  3. Speak to your students in English
  4. Transport the students to their learning center sight Mon.- Fri
  5. Be ready to have a great time with these students
You will have a great time and get paid for helping out with these students. If you are interested in hosting a child during this time please call Sarah, at (661)-333-9606.

This exciting opportunity for cultural exchange is for families in San Ramon that would love to share their American culture with Japanese students. It is through an organization called PeopleLink,, that is located in the Sacramento area. PeopleLink is involved with helping place foreign exchange student's in homes when they come to America. There are a total of 8 to 11 Japanese students arriving August 21st and departing September 6 for a total of 17 days. They are university age. The Japanese agency has requested that these students be placed in all single placements - one student per family.

Chinese Students
Sarah Mullaney With A Group of Chinese Students

Sarah Mullaney - Booher, has just finished working with a group from China with the PeopleLink organization. "It was one of the most rewarding things I have done. I loved it so much, I am thrilled at the opportunity to do it again," Sarah said. Sarah served in China as an oral English teacher for the 2006-2007 school year at a university. She said, "This was a life changing experience for me. It was incredible to learn from my students and also share with them through relationships. I would be excited for any family to be able to love these students and to also learn about Japan." Sarah will be their Teacher Guide while the students are here and will be teaching them English daily and doing the activities with them.

The host families will take students to the learning center daily, and then picking them up in the afternoon. The San Ramon host families are also paid for taking the students in. They receive $20.00 per night.

The outline for a host family is as follows:
  1. Host families are responsible for providing a place for the students to sleep (need their own beds - does not have to be a room but can be a hideaway bed, roll away bed etc.), 3 meals a day, and transportation to and from the student center and conversation with guest.

  2. Students have insurance coverage for accidents and illness.

  3. Students will study English four mornings a week at the study center. They will spend one day on an excursion to a local spot of interest. Afternoons are spent participating in organized activities. One or two afternoons a week are "free" afternoons. These are intended for students to explore more of the area. Often students will spend this time shopping or touring.

  4. Host families are invited to participate in the half-day activities and on some full-day trips. Ask your teacher guide for specifics.

  5. The welcome Party is given to the students by the host families and a Farewell Party is given to the host families from the students.

Sarah is new to the area and does not know a lot of people in the San Ramon Valley yet and she was wondering if anyone would be able to help in the San Ramon community. Give her a call; she would love to talk to anyone that is interested. Her cell phone number is (661) 333-9606. Feel free to email Sarah also.

Contact Sarah as soon as possible to let her know if your family wishes to participate, or if you know of any families that might be interested in this cultural exchange program; she would be very grateful.

"I am very excited about this opportunity and would love to see these students placed in loving homes," said Sarah.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ABC7 Listens San Ramon Community Meeting 7/30/08

Dear San Ramon Community:

Covering the 11-county Bay Area of nearly seven-million residents is a significant journalistic challenge. In an effort to meet that challenge, we started ABC7 Listens, our ongoing community outreach project that we hope will keep us more in touch with our Bay Area viewers. ABC7 Listens community meetings are held every month at different locations in our viewing area. Our goal is to learn about key issues and, more specifically, stories that ABC7 News should be covering.

Our next ABC7 Listens community feedback meeting will be held in the City of San Ramon on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 from 7:30PM to 9:00PM, at the San Ramon City Council Chambers located at 2222 Camino Ramon. We are inviting local residents, along with people who are involved in various groups and organizations serving the San Ramon area. While we want to hear about your story ideas, we also want your feedback on our news coverage and how you think we can better serve your community. We hope that this meeting is the beginning of a long-term relationship.

I hope that you will be able to join ABC7 News Reporter Laura Anthony, news managers, and me on Wednesday, July 30th. A news camera may be present to record parts of the meeting. Please note that although the focus will be on San Ramon, the meeting will also be open to residents of other Bay Area neighborhoods.

Space is limited, so please RSVP via e-mail to:, or call the Public Affairs Department at (415) 954-7702. If you have any questions, you can call me at (415) 954-7712.


Kevin Keeshan

News Director


Friday, July 18, 2008

San Ramon City Council Agenda For July 22, 2008

The San Ramon City Council Agenda for July 22, 2008 is ready for public viewing.

There is one particular item in which this may be the last time to add public testimony input, and that is about extending the Mayor's Term in office. See the following information from the City Council Agenda item.

8.13 Resolution No. 2008-153 – Submitting a Charter Amendment to the Voters at the General Election on November 4, 2008 Providing for the Change of the Mayor’s Term if the General Municipal Election Date is Held on the Date of the Statewide General Election and Repealing Resolution No. 2008-81. Staff Report

Note: There are certain pros and cons to extending the term of the San Ramon Mayor. Take a look, and decide for yourself.

Here's where the rubber meets the road in what is potentially being proposed to the voters for them to vote for or against at the next general election. Note: The voters are not really voting for or against extending the term but both. Very, very clever on the draft wording.


Section 1

The City Council of the City of San Ramon hereby calls a municipal election on November 4 2008 for submitting a proposed charter amendment providing for an adjustment of the Mayor's term of office to make it consistent with the change in date of the general municipal election.

Section 2

The City Council of the City of San Ramon hereby requests that the wording of the proposed charter amendment of the City of San Ramon Charter be placed on the actual ballot of the November 4 2008 election and shall read as follows:


Shall the following be added to Article III of the City of San Ramon Charter:
Notwithstanding any of the above if the general municipal election date is changed to the date of the statewide general election the unexpired term of an incumbent Mayor shall be extended by one year or reduced by one year. If the term is extended that individual may serve a total of nine years as Mayor.

Here is the keywording that is being proposed that is very problematic. The quote is "shall be extended by one year or reduced by one year." Which is it going to be? If you are on the City Council, and you like the Mayor, then the City Council can extend the term, or if you are on the City Council, and you don't like the Mayor, then the City Council can shorten it. Very interesting indeed.

San Ramon Tribune Editor

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