October 29, 2009

The November 3 election horserace so far: Who's ahead? Neiman Marcus? Garamendi or Harmer? School parcel tax measures?

With five days left to go before Election Day, we perhaps have some indication of how things will go in three races that affect a fair share of Walnut Creek residents.

Measure I: This Walnut Creek initiative asks whether the city's 42,000 registered voters want a new 92,000-square-foot department store in Broadway Plaza. Opponents argue it will add to traffic and parking congestion in downtown and that the design violates the city's General Plan. Proponents say that this new department store--promised, but not guaranteed, to be a Neiman Marcus--will add prestige to Walnut Creek's famed retail scene and bring jobs and desperately needed sales tax revenues.

According to Crazy in Suburbia's questionably scientific survey, which closes on Sunday, the majority of visitors to this blog, allowed to cast one vote, have said "yes" to Measure I. Fifty-six percent of the 155 users who participated would approve of Measure I; 38 percent would reject it.

It will indeed be interesting to see if my humble survey results play out at what happens on Election Day Tuesday.

--The 10th congressional district race, to replace former U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher: According to my Crazy poll, John Garamendi, the Democratic lieutenant governor of California, leads Republican David Harmer, a San Ramon attorney, by 47 to 33 percent. That's a spread of 14 percentage points. Hey, those numbers aren't too far off from an admittedly more reputable CBS Channel 5 poll, conducted by Survey USA, which shows that Garamendi leads Harmer by 10 points. According to this poll, Garamendi received 50 percent support, while Harmer took 40 percent.

The Contra Costa Times Lisa Vorderbrueggen, on her political blog, says "folks may recall that SurveyUSA is the same outfit KPIX hired to do several pre-primary polls in this race. They turned out to be remarkably accurate."

Measures G and H: These two measures to permanently extend parcel taxes in the Acalanes and Walnut Creek school districts are leading in the Crazy poll. But are they leading by enough???

Fifty-three percent of readers say "yes" to the measures, which you actually vote on separately. Forty percent say "no" to extending the taxes in both districts.

Again, Acalanes Union High School District's Measure G would extend a $189 per-parcel tax; Walnut Creek's Measure H would extend the $82 per-parcel tax.

The majority of voters in both districts might be in favor. But...

This is a parcel tax measure, which requires a two-third majority vote. Sixty-six percent of voters, as opposed to 53 percent, will need to say "yes."

So, if you feel strongly about extending these parcel tax measures, you need to make sure like-minded neighbors and friends get out to vote, or you need to get to work changing some minds.


Anonymous said...

G&H - Yes! Continue funding for teachers and small class sizes. Check how well the schools are doing, extend the small parcel tax.

Anonymous said...

Yes on Measure I!


Traffic improvements

Sales tax revenue

Anonymous said...

Jobs for whom?

Traffice improvements - why, because they are needed due to increased traffic caused by NM?

Sales tax revenue - when and how much?

Think it through seriously before you vote to change the General Plan forever just to accomodate one developer.

Anonymous said...

I'd vote NO on anything Gwen Regalia was involved with. She should be one of Keith Olbermann's "World's Worst Persons."

Anonymous said...

Harmer is a typical Rethuglican who wants to end Social Security and Medicare, and send our elderly to the poorhouse. He's anti-woman, anti-equality, anti-everything most of us believe in.

Good freaking luck in this district. We've got plenty of old people who don't take kindly to people like Harmer.

Send his ass back to Orrin Hatch in Utah.

LeftCoast said...

I'm voting no. I just not swayed by the jobs argument and the lure of valet parking. Valet parking is NOT free. How is that going to help? I'm not against Nieman Marcus but they need to do more with the parking situation.

Anonymous said...


There will be 175 new free customer parking places due to improved garage design. Of course you don't need to use valet parking. Some people like it.

There will also be construction jobs then 150 retail jobs with above average pay for that type of position. Are you independently wealthy and unsympathetic to people who really need jobs right now.

I have already voted Yes on I.

Anonymous said...

The same old memorized arguments.

"175 (new) parking" spaces.....wrong, just restriped parking lots and stacked employee parking.....not "new" spaces at all.

"150 retail jobs with above average pay for that type of position" do you guarantee this as Measure I does not lock in one store the size of the proposed Neiman Marcus as a tenant...pure many employees do you think will be residents of Walnut Creek?

"Construction jobs"....again, how many employees do you think will be residents of Walnut Creek?

What is really scary is, I actually agree with LeftCoast! I am voting NO.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:15:

Yes, there are 175 new spaces created by intelligently redesigning the existing space. We don't have MORE asphalt hot spots; that's good.

Neiman Marcus has signed a 20-year lease with an option for 80 more years. That's a serious commitment!

As to employees having to live in Walnut Creek for the project to be valid, what total nonsense!

My spouse pointed out that a bunch of old fogies around here have nothing better to do with their lives than to fight against every public improvement that comes down the line. It's what they live for.

Just to test this hypothesis, has there been any new project in Walnut Creek in the last twenty years of which you approved?

Anonymous said...

ANON 5:31

What criteria do you use to call someone an old fogie? Just want to know to see if I fit the profile.

Love what was done to create the Tiffany's complex. Great design and once the oak tree was saved, a very pleasant addition.

Like what was done with the remodel for Bing's. Good use of space and very pleasing to the eye.

After accepting the loss of Simons, like the looks of the buildings that replaced it.

Like the restructuring of Liberty Bell Plaza but HATE the stupid blinking crosswalk made for lazy shoppers.

Really hate the movie theater and attached buildings. Ugly, over built and too close to the street.

Did I pass the test?

Too bad this whole issue has become an "us VS them" situation. Name calling never accomplishes anything either.

Anonymous said...

Hi 5:50,

Yes you passed the test with a B+. Old fogies don't like places like movie theaters.

I had to mark you down for the Tiffany's area. You were too positive!

However, you hate pedestrians - that gets you extra credit so I am moving you up to an A-.

You are officially an OLD FOGIE Cum Laude.

Anonymous said...

And Hello to you 6:07 -

I only hate pedestrians who don't push the crossing buttons to activate the flashing lights.

Especially hate the ones who are walking and talking on their cell phones and don't even bother to look to see if there is any cars near them. Too scary!!!

Anonymous said...

ANON 5:31 -

Forgot.....have never heard the term "intelligently redesigning" to take describe RESTRIPING. You are a clever one.

LeftCoast said...

I don't care if the jobs are taken by WC residents or not, that isn't an issue for me, people deserve to work. The restriping to create parking spaces is a joke I've been through it at my employer and I've got more door dings than I can count now due to cramming cars together.

I am not against development either but I did vote no on our bloated library cost. Anyone heard of cost of ownership?? It's not just the build cost of the library its the cost of maintenance over the next 30 years, it will be far more than projected. Plus since when does a library need to be the centerpiece landmark signature structure of Walnut Creek? How may people will wnat to live here because the library looks cool? What's the revenue the library will generate? Zero. It is a huge cost center for the city. I was not against a redesigned library, just one within the budget. What?? How dare a democrat say that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:15:

"Forgot.....have never heard the term "intelligently redesigning" to take describe RESTRIPING. You are a clever one."

Evidently, you are way too grumpy &need to take a nap! There will be more parking spaces within the garage without a major construction project.

Being so misleading all the time, have you, finally, no shame?

Anonymous said...

The parking spots are not being shrunk, the employee parking is being condensed with the elevators. The customer spots are increasing because of this.
It's not about democrats or republicans, it's about services for our community for the next fifty years.
As to your question about the appearances of the new library, it's not about how the library looks but how it works. The allocated space is needed for that to happen. Many people have worked very hard on the design and funding to build a library that will serve the needs of the community.
After the doors are open in about eight months, perhaps you will reconsider your criticism.

Anonymous said...

I am really tired of that Harmer dude's people calling me during our dinner hour. So rude and selfish. Also, can not tolerate what his supporters are doing the rush hour traffic on Hwy 24. The old people think it's very comical to sit on the overpass near the 24/680 junction and wave at traffic (AM/PM) whilst pointing to a sign that's attached to the overpass. So unpatriotic of them to cause traffic mayhem!

LeftCoast said...


While I might be appreciative of how the library serves it's the cost that is my concern.