Though November election results won't be official until early December, preliminary vote counts for the Pleasant Hill City Council race show incumbent Michael Harris as top vote-getter, re-elected to his 4th term; and Sue Noack in second place with a narrow victory over Jack Weir.
Naturally PHCRG members are disappointed with these election results, particularly with Jack Weir’s narrow loss to political newcomer Sue Noack. At the same time, however, we’re impressed with Dorothy Englund’s first-timer showing, achieved through grassroots effort.
Most importantly, we remain optimistic and committed to PHCRG's mission to promote good government that is responsive to residents. Despite this year’s disappointing political loss, the battle to defend the long-term interests of Pleasant Hill residents goes on. It's important for all to remember: This was a close election and thousands of voters supported the Weir + Englund reform ticket.
We are proud of PHCRG’s achievements. And we’re grateful to the countless supporters who participated in the Weir + Englund campaign effort by making financial and in-kind donations, walking precincts and participating in many other activities. Since PHCRG's founding in 1985, what we lack in fat political war chests, we make up in grassroots enthusiasm!
Enormous challenges lie ahead that will require PHCRG and other citizen watchdogs to keep a close eye on the City Council monitoring ongoing developments such as:
DEVELOPER vs. RESIDENT TRADE-OFFS: The City faces increasing financial pressures, which means public officials will be tempted to make concessions to developers, at the expense of residents’ long-term quality-of-life. PHCRG will continue to demand sensible growth consistent with residents' desires.
UNAFFORDABLE LABOR CONTRACTS: Negotiation of new labor contracts with City employees means elected officials will “pay back” unions for their generous campaign support. We expect employees to seek to restore benefit cuts made following the defeat of Measure T, the City's failed 2010 utility tax measure. Look for raises and benefit enhancements for Management and Police employees that will worsen the City's budget deficit and sink the City even deeper in red ink.
WHO'S REPRESENTING RESIDENT/TAXPAYER INTERESTS?: With the departure of Jack Weir from the City Council, Pleasant Hill is left with 5 Councilmembers with strong ties to developers, labor unions and special interests – and none to resident/taxpayer groups like PHCRG.
For over 30 years, PHCRG has made a positive difference in the quality of life for Pleasant Hill residents – and we will continue to do so. We invite all residents to join us in building a better community by holding public officials accountable to work openly, lawfully and with residents foremost in mind.
You can support these efforts by joining/renewing PHCRG membership today!