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Replies from Mayor on Supporting Our Military Support Organizations - Remember this at polls today folks...

A response from Mayor Hosterman via email on my family's disappointment on the way military support organizations are treated by the City of Pleasanton.

Yesterday afternoon I posted a blog on this fabulous site regarding the lack of support offered to our returning vets by the city of Pleasanton.  The same information I sent in an email to the City Council/Mayor.  I got very interesting, defensive responses from Mayor Jennifer Hosterman - below...(her responses in italics)

The first response:

"Patricia - I read thru your note carefully as I think the city of Pleasanton has gone overboard (in a good way) to honor our family and friends. It seems that your biggest issue is with patrols going down Main Street for returning vets. There are many individuals and groups that determine how and when Main Street is closed for a return celebration or any other celebration. Not just me, your Mayor. That said, we can certainly look into this. This is not an "us vs them" discussion as we are all connected directly or indirectly to our service women and men. Jennifer"

My response back:

"I am happy to discuss this further. I would be interested to hear what you consider "overboard". As the mother of an active duty Marine and resident of Pleasanton, I have personally not experienced anything from/with/through the City of Pleasanton that would be considered any notice of his (our) sacrifice. However, I have personally witnessed the lack of support I outline below. I look forward to further discussion. Thanks for the response. Patricia"

Mayor Hosterman gets a little testy:

 "What would you like the people of Pleasanton to do, utilizing their dollars , in recognition of your child's service?  We have many people currently serving. What exactly would you like to have happen for your family and where have we as a caring and paying community fallen short?"

My response back (really having fun now):

"Why are you getting so defensive? What does it mean that you go "overboard"? That's all I need*to know?" Patricia

*In the spirit of full disclosure, this was sent on my iPhone - so it autocorrected my fingers and wrote "eat to know" in the original email. I wrote it correctly in here :)

Her final response:

"Email is not a perfect medium for discussion. I am certainly not defensive as I have no need to be. I am simply asking the question - what would you like your city to do for your child in service?"  Jennifer

See what she did?  I offered up a global issue for discussion - she made it about my child.  And has yet to answer the question as to what she considers 'overboard'! And p.s., Communication 101 - if you have to tell me you are NOT being defensive - you ARE being defensive...

My final response - as yet - unanswered:

Support military support organizations as they support our troops – whether it means stopping traffic for 5 minutes at an intersection so the procession can go through, allowing them on Main Street, showing up at Welcome Homes – Jerry Thorne has been at every one of them I have been at in Pleasanton.

 Again, I would also appreciate you describing how Pleasanton goes “overboard” (your word, not mine): “I read thru your note carefully as I think the city of Pleasanton has gone overboard (in a good way) to honor our family and friends”  Can you answer that question? Patricia

I know I am opening myself and my family up for subtle retaliation, I hope not, but the possibility is there...I want to say that I support our law enforcement officers (LEO) and public safety firefighters and EMTs.  My father was a LEO and firefighter, my husband a former Marine and firefighter, some of our closest friends are in law enforcement and it is the career path my son will be pursuing, God willing, after his time in the Marine Corps.  There are so many good people that are in that field, I cannot help but believe the message they are getting from the Mayor and/or City Council office is why they behave the way they do.

Many of the members of WWR are also Vets, former and current LEOs, firefighters, paramedics.  I think that might be why it hurts so much when the support is not there from our brothers and sisters in public service.  That is the crux of it - the pain that is endured by not being supported.

Above all - thank a vet today, thank a cop, a medic, a firefighter - those that  put on the cross or star of their calling every single day, not knowing is that kiss in the morning of their spouse or child will be their last.

For our active duty and reservists far from home - the memory of that last kiss or hug must last a long time...sometimes a lifetime.  Support them when they come home.  Allow the procession through our busy Main Streets - so those that don't live touched by war every day get a chance to remember, reflect, and thank those that serve.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Californicus November 08, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Patricia, After reading through this and your other blog, as a long-time Pleasanton resident, I think you're blowing this all out of proportion. You imply that Pleasanton offers no support by your consistent use of the phrase "lack of support". That doesn't seem like a good way to start a conversation about an aspect of the support Pleasanton does provide that you found needs improvement. And then you rather unfairly drag the election into this in a very public manner when Jennifer Hosterman isn't even running. She's termed out. Reboot the conversation. What can you do differently?
Patricia "Pidge" Gooch November 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Californicus (interesting name) - You tell me. Other than spend most of my weekends at airports waiting on our heroes to welcome them home, to attending actual homecomings and packouts to send our troops, volunteering at the local VA and the recent East Bay Stand Down, you tell me what I am NOT doing. You are coming into the blog a little late and #2 down the line of blogs. Had you read the first, you may have the backgroud you desire. "Reboot" the conversation? I can't even get this question answered. I believe the "Reboot" happened on election day with Jerry Thorne, who has been present at every welcome home in Pleasanton I have attended over the last year or so. Thanks for reading and taking the time to reply. I hope you get involved in supporting our troops that are coming home - even if it is with a wave or a toot of the horn as we pass by.
Californicus November 08, 2012 at 08:45 PM
OK, it is obvious that you did not listen.
Sandee Wiedemann November 08, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I introduced Mayor elect Jerry Thorne to the conversation, because he has always gone above and beyond in recognizing and supporting our Military, and it was clear the PD support would change with his leadership. I was offering support to Pidge and she responded. I'm so sorry that this upset you, C! My intention was good.
Patricia "Pidge" Gooch November 08, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Based on the responses I have gotten via email, I feel like we may have gotten through. Now with Mayor Thorne we can really progress to where Pleasanton will give these returning heroes the recognition they deserve. I would have to live under a rock to have not introduced the concept of the election. Give me a break! Sandee - thank you for all you do to support the military families in the East Bay and beyond!

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