PLEASANTON — In a meeting with over 200 participants, the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce hosted Mayor Karla Brown’s first State of the City address on Tuesday, March 9.
Brown is currently serving her first term as Pleasanton’s mayor after serving two terms on the city council. She took the opportunity to address her constituents on several topics, including the pandemic, business and school closures, food distribution, fire and police services, and Pleasanton’s growing population of unhoused and struggling families.
“The theme of my speech today is, ‘We are in this together, and we are stronger as a team.’” she said.
Brown commended the city’s continuation of senior services, staff’s ongoing effort to provide essential services, and the city council’s quick transition to virtual meetings since the start of the pandemic a year ago. She discussed new cleaning protocols, the library reopening on March 16, and updated permit processing procedures.
Brown also touched on the pandemic’s effect on local business. She applauded owners for finding creative ways to continue to offer products and services through takeout, delivery, curbside pick-up, virtual appointments and classes, and take-home kits.
“And yet despite these best efforts, some of our businesses have struggled to stay afloat due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic,” said Brown. “So, to support our business community, the city this past year allocated $3 million in COVID business loan assistance for Pleasanton businesses . . . We know that when we sustain our local businesses, we support our entire community. Working together, we will succeed as a more resilient Pleasanton.”
In addition, the city granted individual loans and assisted 109 local businesses with payroll, supplies, protective equipment and other expenses. Because of the many business closures, Pleasanton’s budget has been greatly impacted, with a $9 million shortfall to date.
“A significant portion is a result of reduced hotel taxes due to the global decline in business and leisure travel,” Brown said. “Pleasanton had to curtail our spring and summer recreation programs, which also reduced our income.”
However, she added a positive note, stating that the city’s conservative fiscal choices in the past have prepared it to weather the shortfall and recover with minimal impact to essential services.
Other positive updates included the opening of a large-scale vaccination clinic on the Alameda County Fairgrounds; plans for the city’s first all-abilities playground; schools reopening March 4; and the construction of a new fire station.
“In summary, we have discovered many heroes among us, despite the challenges of 2020,” said Brown. “I am so incredibly proud of our Pleasanton community and how in the toughest of times during this pandemic, we have found the pearls among us. I am proud of the dedication of the city’s staff, of our frontline workers, of our community partners, and most importantly, of our Pleasanton residents and businesses who, day in and day out, have demonstrated that our city is strong, resilient and filled with hometown heroes.”
Chamber president and CEO Steve Van Dorn said he was pleased to reach so many people with Brown’s message.
“I was especially impressed with her positive outlook on the city’s future and commitment to providing support to our business community as it recovers from the impacts of the pandemic,” said Van Dorn.
To view a recording of Mayor Brown’s State of the City, visit bit.ly/Indy_BrownCityAddress.