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Council Candidates on Retaining Quality Law Enforcement with Current Budget

Our final question to the City Council and Mayoral candidates.

How can Pleasanton keep quality law enforcement officers with the current budget situation.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio

Pleasanton residents want and deserve a safe place to live and raise families. We are not going to get the same level of services if we don’t find a way to balance the needs of the city with what it cost to have qualified employees.The quality of our employees create the quality environment in which we live.

The current constraints in the budget require that we make adjustments. We have made changes in pension costs and medical putting more of the burden on the safety employee. Deep cuts in safety personnel will result in fewer services to the residents of Pleasanton.

The problem is not just growing personnel costs but also shrinking general fund revenues.

In 2007, our general fund revenue was about 94 million and we spent approximately 73% of the budget on personnel.

In 2011, it was approximately 87 million and we spent about 79% of the budget on personnel.

This is an illustration of how important every aspect of our community is to the fiscal health and sustainability of Pleasanton. We can create an environment that increases general fund revenue combined with adjustments to bring contracts inline with the economic reality of California and current market conditions. We have high quality safety personnel here because it is known as a great place to work. We want to keep it that way.

Jerry Thorne

We must maintain at truly balanced budget with a balance spending plan. This was discussed in my answer to the first question under #2.

Karla Brown

In Pleasanton we have great police officers and firefighters. Most current law enforcement officers are working under contract agreements with portions that have been effect for over 10 years and terms were set during the “hey day” of high investment returns. Although compromises have been made, key areas of the contact cannot be modified.

As a result, most current law enforcement officers will receive a generous retirement program. New hires will be on a separate tier of compensation and retirement. The State of California has approved a program (SB340) where most new police officer hires throughout California will be on a brand new tier that should offer long-term fiscal relief to the City of Pleasanton. Since the program will be virtually statewide, all cities will have the same program, so officers won’t get a significantly better “offer” down the road.

My husband Tim and I chose Pleasanton as a small town to raise our children, to offer them a public education that rivals private school scores, as well as to enjoy an excellent quality of life. I truly appreciate all of the city’s safety and parks services that we have used through the years.

Pleasanton is a wonderful town surrounded by scenic ridges and green valleys. I would be honored and proud to represent Pleasanton as you City Council in 2012.

Erlene DeMarcus

Did not submit a response.

Jerry Pentin

I was a member of the Citizens Police Academy, quite some time ago, I think the third class and I believe our Police department will survive the cuts that have been implemented during this tough economic time and though their training and experience within the department continue to provide the excellent Community Oriented Policing we've experienced here in Pleasanton.  I think it's an honor to be a police officer and member of the force in Pleasanton and that our department will continue to attract top-notch officers.

In case you missed it:

Council Candidates on the Most Challenging Issue in Pleasanton
Council Candidates on What Sets Them Apart from the Rest
Candidates Talk About the New Ideas They Bring to the Table
Council Candidates on the Achievement that Has Prepared them for City Council

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