Vote Sanwong for Pleasanton City Council

I attended the City Council candidates forum, and after hearing from the candidates, I know that Olivia Sanwong is the right choice for our amazing city because:

  • My husband, Srikant (Amador Valley High School, '94) and I (Amador Valley High, '96) have known Olivia since high school. She has always been passionate, a hard worker and willing to listen to people with different perspectives.

  • Olivia is qualified to help lead our city. She meets with civic/community leaders, researches current and past Pleasanton issues and researches how other cities have solved similar issues. She uses her high-tech industry experience and education to formulate common sense ideas.

  • Olivia is from the X/Y Generation, and her father is from Thailand. She sits on our congressional district Women's Advisory Committee, several city committees, helps our Amador We the People team, and volunteers for local nonprofits.

    Olivia is passionate about Pleasanton, has a positive attitude, has common sense and is a hard worker. Olivia Sanwong has my vote for Pleasanton City Council!

    Christina Nystrom Mantha

    Pleasanton

    Business climate would improve under Miller

    I am supporting David Miller for the open City Council seat in Pleasanton. While I have great respect for the other candidates in the race, I believe that David is the best choice because of his strong business experience and leadership skills.

    There are two critical issues. First, we need to continue the effort under Mayor Thorne to put our fiscal house in order as other California cities and towns face bankruptcy. While the City of Pleasanton must continue to be the most attractive city employer in the region, we must reduce the proportion of revenue spent on personnel. Last year 80 percent of our funds were spent on employees, leaving little to spend on services. Almost nothing was spent on capital improvements.

    Second, we need to be a more attractive place for business so that more businesses are contributing to our revenue stream. While too much of the 40-year-old Hacienda Business Park is either undeveloped or vacant, large businesses have chosen to locate across Interstate 580 in Dublin. For too long, Pleasanton has had a reputation of being almost hostile to businesses. The previous mayor and some City Council members would express their distaste for some businesses already located here. These same people wanted to decide which businesses could do business here. As a result, fewer businesses decided to locate here. Hence, we see the commercial success in Dublin.

    As a veteran who takes elections very seriously, please join me in supporting David Miller for Pleasanton City Council.

    Doug Miller

    Pleasanton

    Miller ready to face pensions' financial reality

    I encouraged David Miller to run for Pleasanton City Council years ago and thank him for stepping forward for this short-term seat on the council (he would have to run again in November 2014).

    Pleasanton faces an unfunded liability of about $160 million for employee pension and retiree health care programs. David has worked for years on this issue, appearing before the City Council numerous times, encouraging them to take action. David knows that for traditional pension plans to work, the promised benefit levels must be affordable and the accounting practices and actuarial assumptions must be reasonable. David Miller knows it's time to face financial reality and has the courage to lead the way.

    I thank all four candidates for stepping up, but I believe David Miller is an independent thinker who has the intelligence and courage to tackle this number-one issue in Pleasanton. Give him 18 months to prove he is up to the job. Send your mail-in ballot for David Miller for Pleasanton City Council today.

    Kay Ayala

    Pleasanton (Pleasanton City Council member, 1996-2004)

    Film should be shot here, not in Louisiana

    I read with interest that a new movie is about to begin filming, about De La Salle High School and it's record-setting football team, with Jim Caviezel lined up to play Coach Bob Ladouceur.

    I thought this would be very exciting for the current De La Salle students, team, and fans. Unfortunately, the movie is going to be filmed in Louisiana. Apparently, the costs of doing business in California (including filming a movie) are just too high. It's a sad comment on our state that moviemakers think it makes more sense to shoot a De La Salle movie in Louisiana, rather than in Concord. Just don't look for any scenic glimpses of Mt. Diablo in the movie. Hopefully no alligators will sneak onto the replica of Owen Owens Field!

    Robert Schleicher

    Danville

    Extent of victim's suffering not relevant point

    I was appalled by the headline package of the Saratoga suicide case article on April 15, which read, "Some students insist photos weren't put on social media and that few had seen the images."

    In a story of rape and humiliation that culminated in a 15-year-old girl's suicide, this statement inexcusably downplays the extent of the tragedy. Photos of the violence done to Audrie Pott were undoubtedly taken and shared among several people; it's beside the point whether those photos were shared on Facebook.

    Relying on testimony of "some students" who are "frustrated" -- rather than focusing on the victim or the facts -- is reprehensible. The photos are a manifestation of rape culture, an eerie mirror of the Steubenville, Ohio, case.

    It's not surprising that students are "unhappy about the student body seemingly accused of being complicit." In fact, we all are complicit in accepting a culture where "party rape" and sexual objectification are part of everyday life, where violence is committed against women and women are blamed, and where articles quibble over the extent of the victim's social humiliation.

    Sruti Bharat

    Pleasanton