Nop and Woerner Run For Livermore Mayor
Livermore will elect a new mayor this fall, and for the first time in its 143-year history, it will hold district-based elections for city council races.
This week, Vice Mayor Bob Woerner announced that he will compete with real estate agent Mony Nop, a former Livermore police officer, for the mayoral seat. Nop filed initial papers to run for mayor in August 2019. Woerner and Nop will run to fill the seat of current Mayor John Marchand, who was first elected to the position in 2011.
Add campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown’s blow to city coffers and city hall’s new pledge to combat systemic racism, the Nov. 3 election is already shaping up to be unlike any other.
“It’s anybody’s guess as to what this is going to look like,” said Livermore City Councilmember Robert Carling, who said he will seek a second four-year councilmember term this year.
Of the three races for city elected offices in Livermore this year, two for city council and one for mayor, Carling is the only incumbent.
The official filing window for nomination papers for the Nov. 3 election lasts from July 13 to Aug. 7.
Nop is the only candidate so far who has filed a candidate intent statement, according to a public records request. State election law requires filing the form before raising or spending money on a campaign for local and state elected office.
“I am so looking forward to the opportunity of serving others,” Nop said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “Being a mayor is about leadership, understanding people’s plight, uniting people and guiding them through the pain and struggles they are experiencing now.”
Woerner, who has served on the council for eight years, landed early endorsements from Mayor John Marchand and all three fellow city councilmembers.
“I would like to build upon the progress we’ve made as a community, and spearhead change as needed in the city we love,” he said in a press release. “I’ve thoughtfully listened to all views and collaborated effectively to make our city financially strong and a wonderful place to live and work. I’m proud of the many improvements we see in Livermore and am looking forward to helping us thrive as we navigate through the challenges that we now face.”
Woerner was first appointed by a unanimous vote of the city council in January 2012 to fill a vacancy left when John Marchand was elected to a two-year term as mayor in 2011 with a little less than two years remaining on his council term. The city switched mayoral elections from odd to even years to line up with presidential and congressional elections.
If elected, councilmembers would likely appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of his term, which expires in 2022.
Annually, the mayor receives $17,880 and council members are paid $12,840. Holders of city elected office are considered part-time employees of the city and are also eligible to participate in its health insurance program and receive employer contributions toward the public employee retirement system.
District Elections, Here We Come
The city council voted under protest in 2018 to switch from citywide elections to a four-district voting system, where each city council member must reside in a district and be elected only by voters within the district.
Based on public input and analysis by an independent demographer, the council drew district boundaries, with each district containing a nearly equal population based on the 2010 Census numbers.
The transition to a district-based system starts with elections for Districts 3 and 4 in November 2020. Council elections for Districts 1 and 2 will be placed on the ballot in 2022.
The mayor will remain an at-large position, elected by voters throughout the city.
Carling was elected in 2016 through a citywide vote. This year, he will run as a candidate for District 4, where he lives in Southwest Livermore. Only people who also live in that district will be able to cast votes for him.
Outgoing Councilman Bob Coomber, who is waiting for a kidney transplant, announced earlier this year, he would not seek a second four-year term in order to focus on his health.
He lives in what will become District 3 in the Southeast part of town, and the position he now holds will become the District 3 council seat. Councilmember Trish Munro, elected two years ago, lives in District 3, and her term expires in 2022. She has two options this year: run for the District 3 seat with two years of her term remaining or serve out the rest of her term. She reported this week she’s currently weighing her options.
The change was spurred by the threat of a lawsuit by Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman, who argued Livermore’s at-large voting system effectively diluted Latino votes in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. His firm has prevailed in scores of similar cases across the state.
More About the Candidates:
A former 17-year veteran police officer with the Livermore Police Department, and current real estate agent. Nop was forced into a brutal labor camp as a child and survived the killing fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime. He fled his home country to refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines before coming to the U.S., where he overcame poverty and abuse. He founded two nonprofits, authored a children's book, and has a business degree from St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
A physicist who moved to Livermore in 1976 to work in the Laser Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Woerner went on to work in the banking, telecommunications, software, business consulting and energy utility industries in a variety of management positions with leadership responsibilities over employees and budgets. He has an MBA in finance from UC Berkeley and a B.S., M.S. and doctorate degrees in physics from MIT. He also served as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserve.
A former director at Sandia National Laboratories, who was responsible for leading the Combustion Research Facility, before his retirement in 2014. With colleagues from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he also was instrumental in developing the concept and creation of the Livermore Valley Open Campus. He holds a B.A. in biology from Olivet College, a M.S. in chemistry from Oakland University in Michigan, and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Brown, Pentin Compete for Pleasanton Mayor
Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for Pleasanton mayor this week.
Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin, both current councilmembers for the city, announced they will run in the Nov. 3 election, vying for the seat vacated by Jerry Thorne as he terms out.
Brown has served eight years on the city council, including two years as vice mayor. She also represents Pleasanton on 12 regional boards and subcommittees.
“I have the experience needed to lead the city and to take on the challenges our city faces as we recover from our current economic hardships, manage our public health and listen to residents’ concerns about city and police policies,” Brown said. “I remain committed to listening to you and being your voice in city leadership.”
Brown has consistently campaigned on behalf of slow and smart growth policies and voters have agreed. In her 2016 re-election campaign, she earned more votes than any other councilmember in the Pleasanton’s recorded history.
“Conservative growth policies have shaped Pleasanton into an award-winning community to live and raise a family,” said Brown, who also supports local jobs and telecommute options that improve quality of life and reduce traffic gridlock.
With the recent death of George Floyd, which sparked new discussions with residents about Pleasanton’s police policies, Brown believes city leadership should look inward for improvements in police department policies. She supports policy reviews that are transparent and welcomes public comment and ideas.
“I know many of our Pleasanton police officers personally, and I have found them all to be respectful and professional,” she said. “I also hear the concerns of Pleasanton residents, and I will listen because I know we can do better.”
Brown passionately supports “the heart of Pleasanton,” the city’s historic downtown. She has endorsed preservation policies for historic homes and is committed to keeping the small-town character active and relevant for families. She vowed to retain the small-town feel of downtown by avoiding three- or four-story structures often found in high-density housing.
Brown expressed great concern about extensive builder and developer campaign donations that have poured into numerous local campaigns over the past decade, which may be perceived as an appearance of impropriety and undue influence. In response, she has made her own 2020 campaign funding promise a refusal to take campaign donations from builders and developers who aim to influence her votes. Instead, she vows to support projects that are best for the people of Pleasanton. She encourages all Pleasanton candidates to join her and reject donations from future projects the council must independently consider on behalf of their community.
As a member of the Tri-Valley Water Roundtable, Brown is committed to supplying safe quality drinking water to residents. She supports using recycled water for irrigation, but she does not promote using recycled sewer-water (called toilet-to-tap) for drinking water. She reports that toilet-to-tap for drinking water is quadruple the cost and brings unforeseen health risks.
Ignoring resident concerns, recycled sewer water is under evaluation with Zone 7, Pleasanton’s drinking water supplier. Brown stated she stands with 72% of Pleasanton voters who rejected using recycled sewer water for drinking water at the ballot in 2000. In addition, Pleasanton’s General Plan Policy 3 states this type of recycled water could have “negative impacts on drinking water quality, surface waters or ground water resources.”
“I support Karla for Mayor,” said former Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. “I like the way she thinks and her approach to the issues, and I especially appreciate the way she interacts with the public and with her fellow councilmembers. Given the myriad issues facing our community, Karla will provide the leadership that we need.”
Brown resided in Pleasanton for more than 20 years, and is the mother of a young daughter who is a breast cancer survivor.
“When we look at city policies I always think about possible risks to our family’s health,” Brown said. “Protecting our community’s health is extremely important to me.”
Brown brings a diverse work background to her job, including a long career in the semiconductor industry. She currently works in Pleasanton. She holds a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University.
Although Pentin will officially announce his candidacy on June 19, he already has been endorsed by Thorne, Vice Mayor Kathy Narum and many city leaders.
In these unprecedented times with COVID-19 and the recent national marches, Pentin is committed to leading his constituents through this challenging period. Because of recent COVID-19 economic impacts, the city council has already adjusted the current budget and will have difficult decisions to make over the next few years. The city is also getting pressure from Sacramento and other state and county agencies to increase housing production and implement policies that are contrary to what is best for Pleasanton. Pentin stated that Pleasanton needs someone who understands the city’s operations and finances and who has demonstrated leadership at the local, county and state levels.
"Addressing the pressing issues around traffic, schools, economic development, public safety, and affordable housing is a challenge, and I've met these challenges,” Pentin said. “With your support, I will continue to represent Pleasanton with fiscal responsibility, common-sense values and a collaborative work ethic. I will continue to work with the Council and our City Staff to prepare, plan and preserve the future of Pleasanton."
Over the past 25 years, he has been instrumental in guiding Pleasanton as a councilmember, a planning commissioner, a park and recreation commissioner, and a task force committee member. From the current housing element for the general plan with a growth management ordinance to new parks and open space to keeping the city pension debt in check and helping smooth future pension payments, he will continue to fight to make sure decisions and control are made at the local level.
Pentin’s focus as mayor will be to champion local initiatives and advocate for responsible growth.
Champion Local Initiatives
• Retain local control of city government from state legislators and agencies.
• Strengthen city partnership with its award-winning schools and school district.
• Advocate for pension reform and sustainable budget management.
• Support public safety first-responders and create updated policies through constructive dialogue and engagement.
• Encourage and foster cultural inclusiveness in the city and civic representation for residents.
• Support complete streets updates with consideration for all.
Advocate for Responsible Growth
• Continue the fight to protect open space, ridgelines and natural resources.
• Support business community to maintain a strong revenue base, including impacts from COVID-19.
• Continue planning for a new library and city facilities.
• Protect and provide clean water and expand successful recycled water program throughout the city.
• Collaborate with regional and state partners on affordable housing for all residents and the workforce.
• Advocate for planned progress, only with community benefit; stop rampant growth required by state legislation and Regional Housing Needs Assessment requirements.
Pentin has served on the city council since 2012, and played an active role in driving programs and policies that make Pleasanton one of the safest and most desirable communities in the nation. He has been instrumental as a task force member to develop, build and complete the Firehouse Theatre and the award-winning Callippe Preserve Golf Course, as well as renovate/rededicate the Veteran’s Memorial Hall. He advocated and participated in the formation of the Downtown Hospitality, Art and Downtown Specific Plans. He initiated the council ban on e-cigs and vaping products in Pleasanton (July 2019), while allowing the Youth Commission to bring the ban forward. He supported and advocated for a smoking ban in multi-family shared walled dwellings (rental), and fought for owned residences to be included, while also supporting a Tobacco Retailer License (pending council approval). In addition, he advocated on behalf of Pleasanton with state legislature as a board member for the East Bay Division of the League of California Cities (2019-2020 President Elect) and League Legislative Policy Committee.
“I have known Jerry for over 25 years and have seen how much he has volunteered and given back to Pleasanton,” said Bryan Gillette, a Pleasanton resident and businessman. “What has always impressed me is his intense knowledge of the local issues and his focus to do what is best for this community. His integrity and commonsense view on the issues is why I have supported him in the past, and why I endorse him for mayor.”
Pentin has always been civic-minded, beginning with his service as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. After his military service, he launched an award-winning media-production company 38 years ago. He settled in downtown Pleasanton during the 1990s. In addition to supporting a thriving business, he still finds time to give back. He’s served on a wide variety of commissions and boards from East Bay Community Energy to Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority. As a result, he received the following awards for his long-term involvement: Mayor’s Award (2005), Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, "Excellence in Business" Award (2011) and Pleasanton North Rotary, Rotarian of the Year (2007 and 2011).
Pentin is a 30-year resident of Pleasanton. He and his wife have been married for 36 years and have a grown daughter, Joi, who now lives in San Francisco. An avid cyclist, Pentin often commutes to work by bicycle. Because his home is located on one side of town and his business on the other side of town, he has cycled most of the roads and trails for over 30 years. Pentin states he knows where Pleasanton has been and what it needs to do to maintain its high-quality lifestyle.
For more information about Pentin, visit www.votepentin.com.