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An ugly Choice

Original post made by Margaret Sampson, Danville, on May 11, 2008

Posted at the request of the author

Dear Hal and neighbors,

The last three District 3 supervisors have carried on the closed-door government of Contra Costa County at the expense of Contra Costans. Each specifically abused their power in supporting decisions, policies, programs and projects opposed by the communities and neighborhoods they impacted. A new level of arrogant abuse was established by Ms. Mary Piepho in her assault on MACs, her pay raise (unearned), and her overall lack of consensus with voters’ advisory. She has used intimidation and retaliation to attack those that do not concede to her will including a childish firing of county advisory committee members in Alamo.

We have an ugly choice to make but we can make that choice on the overall message to be sent to the Board of Supervisors. WE are mad as hell and we will not accept their abuse of power anymore. Clearly, Mary Piepho has to go! Not only from her overpaid job as supervisor, but from any and all other positions in governments in Contra Costa.

What are the thoughts of others on the District 3 choices?

Margaret Sampson
Iron Horse neighbors
Danville California

Research References from CDSI Research as a community courtesy:

Web Link

Web Link

Posted from CDSI Research,

Comments (12)

Like this comment
Posted by informed resident
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2008 at 9:27 am


It is obvious that you may not understand how county government operates. Since all three supervisors have done basically the same thing have you ever considered that it might be you that does not understand how the system operates? I am not trying to be harsh but it might help if you understand the situation that you are offering opinions on.

You say closed door but government is open and I have not seen any evidence to the contrary. Opinions are offered that suggests otherwise but never any factual basis ever comes forward to prove the existence of any of this.

As far as MAC's are concerned I remember that within the first few months of taking office the current Supervisor (Piepho) suggested that Alamo create one to have a better voice, or even consider city hood. That was well publicized.

If you check out the code (govenment code) which only took me a few moments to access, you will see that MAC's are not separate political entities. They are an extension of the County Board of Supervisors and serve them exclusively. So how is it that any supervisor can "assault" one that doesn't even exist in Alamo? These MAC's are only created by will of Board of supervisors as an extention of their office so your comments fall a little short. Again this is all common knowledge under government codes. MACs exist throughout the state and this is nothing new.

What I see offered here is a very limited view. I think things are changing for the better and a lot of people in Alamo know it and a very small group fears it.

When it comes to choices I would say you should take a good hard look. The other candidate Houston, devastated Dublin, wants to run Bart through Alamo, has been involved in some pretty shady business and is leaving the state with a debt approaching 20 billion dollars. A debt he helped create. Not much to brag about there. Do you think he has any interest in Alamo when he really has no interest in the position of supervisor itself. It is obvious that his heart is in it and he is just looking for a paycheck. If you know so much about Piepho, Gerber, and Greenberg you must certainly know about Houston and his developer and political dealings. He is termed out and needs a job.

I suggest you do more homework, there is much to learn. The facts will always outweigh the rhetoric of tained opinions.

Like this comment
Posted by Oxymo Ron
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2008 at 9:28 am

Smile neighbors,

Once again, I voted for Gayle Bishop as a write-in candidate. My vote will be counted as "other" and it might be simpler for all District 3 voters to write in "other."

Just imagine if "other" won 50% of the vote. One humorous idea from last year was we could all take turns being supervisor for a day. But that really doesn't matter because we will likely have to recall the winner of the election next year, along with the rest of the supervisors, when the county goes broke (something like Vallejo).

Don't forget to check the box next to your write-in choice for "other." It makes your vote COUNT!


One HAL of a Pal

Like this comment
Posted by Kathy Bell
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2008 at 11:54 am

Posted as a question by the author

Dear neighbors,

What does Informed Resident mean by the following in your opinion: "I think things are changing for the better and a lot of people in Alamo know it and a very small group fears it."

From my vantage point, the small group are the incorporation proponents that fear the broader changes in infrastructure, economic development and usage of our environment. A majority in the Diablo Vista (Alamo) region see a sequence of actions leading to a well-planned urban region. At issue, are things currently changing for the better based on the distractions of incorporation and political campaigns from the serious issues of community planning, infrastucture (including traffic management), economic development, and caring development of our environment?

Our neighbor raised the question and it deserves consideration.

Kathy Bell
Iron Horse neighbors
Diablo Vista region

Posted from Iron Horse neighbors e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by John Wright
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Posted by request of Iron Horse neighbors

Dear neighbors,

Three District 3 supervisors have not produced a positive result for Alamo from the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. Various Alamo community groups have not been significant in voice with the Board. The issue of this forum is which of three candidates can make a difference?

Guy Houston has a significant relationship with our State's minority party and our governor. If voters agree with the agenda put forth by Guy then that greater relationship will provide significant advantage. If voters fear the proposals Guy has made in this campaign then such broader relationships at the state level could be interpreted to mean even less voice for our neighborhoods in local planning.

Mary Piepho is known for her antagonism toward Alamo during the first two years of her term. Since Guy's announcement, Mary Piepho has tempered her views and comments. If voters believe that change by Mary is the direction for her next term then her election could be positive for local planning and political voice. If voters see Mary Piepho as simply campaigning then she has elected Guy Houston.

There is actually no choice that will impact Board of Supervisors actions in Alamo. Well, not unless Contra Costans want to remove them all by RECALL.

Jack, Downtown Alamo

Posted from Iron Horse neighbors e-exchanges

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Posted by informed resident
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm


You raise some good points.

For your consideration;

You wrote;
"Guy Houston has a significant relationship with our State's minority party and our governor."
I respectfully disagree; from what I have heard and read the Gov. is not much of a Houston fan. For example in one instance, The Gov. and his people are on record talking very negatively about Houston. I think it is well known that his own party would not support him for several state seats.

I only state this because I see that Houston has mustered very little support after 5 years at a state level. According to his own comments, literature and website he has very little support even at the local level. So what is all of this saying to you?

There is a reason there are term limits and I imagine a reason Houston was not supported at a state level among his peers. Piepho on the other hand seems to be overflowing with support among her peers and local officials.

Certainly there are many reasons for choosing between those two but currently I based on facts the choice is pretty clear and this does not favor Houston.

Like this comment
Posted by Oxymo Ron
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Dear neighbors,

The very small minority of very right-wing conservative voters in District 3 are creating an oxymoron. By "Swift Boating" Guy Houston, not for his record, but as a person, we as voters are to believe an unstated and implied large-scale dislike for Guy by a vast majority of District 3 voters.

Simply not true, as you know, in your own view of understanding all candidates for District 3 Supervisor. Polling remains positive for Guy Houston among 53% of the voters. 23% of the voters will support Mary Piepho. 24% of voters would prefer a Democratic Candidate and tend to favor Guy Houston as a current choice.

Politics remain humorous. With nothing to excuse the autonomous and abusive actions of Mary Piepho in office, her political campaign has only smear tactics available to erode voter's preferences for Guy.

All too silly,


One HAL of a Pal

Like this comment
Posted by informed resident
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2008 at 12:16 am

Aw come on. Swift Boating Guy Houston??? Now that is entertainment!Read the papers, check his record, view his website, examine his 3 or 4 endorsments. Better yet, watch the debates. You will be amazed at how poorly he comes off! Hey drive by Dublin/580, cant hide that very well can you? Oh yeah he is a "protector of open space". Now that is rich!

Before voting check the facts because you really don't need to look hard, really! No swift boating, just fact checking.

Polling? Get real. I continue to read positive for Ms.Piepho and negative for Houston. He is in dire straights and he knows it. I bet you do too!

You are correct "very silly" indeed. You almost had me going there for a minute. Good try.

Like this comment
Posted by CDSI Community Courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

Dear neighbors,

Within our region, several polling organizations maintain focus study groups as part of a larger region of related focus groups. The result is an ability by major corporations and other commercial interests to better understand the commercial and political interests of residents in Contra Costa County and its Districts.

Further, various media services use polling structures established by Pew Research Center and other national political polling groups to create focus groups in major divisions of the greater bay area and within voting disticts and other divisions. The purpose of such polling is mostly to discover issues among voters that can be news stories with high reader interest.

As a result, well-established, accurate polling is available to present current preferences in various races. In opposition to that accuracy, various political campaigns use print and on-line media opinion pages to present views that deny such polling accuracy in an attempt to make their candidate appear popular among the majority. This is a proven technique for shifting voter preference with "popularity" rather than information but it has its limits at less than 10% points shift.

One aspect of such polling has illustrated the frustration felt by voters with National, State, Regional and Local Administrations. Ample evidence is available to illustrate that Republicans are the majority focus of such frustration in recent regional elections throughout our nation. "Reagan Republicans" is the new campaign to separate current Republican candidates from the intense frustration by voters with Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress.

Thus, it is newsworthy for media, political groups and commercial interests to conduct polling in CCC District 3 where both candidates on the ballot are Republicans. Media services are preparing stories that reflect readership interests by characterizing each candidate. Ms. Piepho is considered a "Dick Cheney Repubican" and Mr. Houston is considered a "Reagan Republican" in an election where a majority of voters would have preferred a strong Democrat running. Add the overall frustration with all Contra Costa supervisors, as a board, and District 3 does warrant very specific focus.

As voters, we all need to look beyond campaigns and judge District 3 candidates, including Steve Thomas, by their public track records. Reading the CCC-BOS agenda results and related news stories quickly provides a profile of Supervisor Piepho. Reading the State public records and related stories shows the focus of Assembly Member Houston in office. Reading Mr. Thomas' various campaign statements during several campaigns provide viewpoint for his interests in office.

As a community courtesy,

Hal/CDSI Research

As posted to Alliance of Communities e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by Krak Potts
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Posted with a smile for the author

Well, Infores(t) seems to be considering that CDSI has significant polling access and real numbers to share among the e-exchanges in response to Infores(t) opinions. If it is fair to say one cannot see the forest for the trees, then too often one cannot see politics for the politicians.

But all is well among Et Al(amo) because we all have the same ugly choice to make. I too will vote for OTHER because the choice is too ugly.

Vince, as Krak Potts

Posted from All things Alamo & Pop(u)lar e-chains.

Like this comment
Posted by informed resident
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Hal, et al,

You actually make little sense with the insignificant jargon. It is actually pretty simple.

Houston has split the Republicans (yet Piepho still has a majority there). As far as Democrats go, there are very few, if any that will cast a vote for Houston, who is about as extreme as they come. Given Houston's out of control housing/developer record, (especially compared to Piepho's) and this election will be a slam dunk for her.

Let's not forget about Houston's lackluster performance up in Sacramento for the last 5 years. Actually that is pretty easy to forget!

So, back to your research and Reagan Republican comparisons; Piepho is definitely more in line with the Ronald Reagan style of leadership and values. Houston is more of a Nixon. I am not sure how you are drawing your conclusions.

Try again.

Like this comment
Posted by Keith Lewis
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 9:58 am

Posted at the request of the author

Dear neighbors,

An ugly choice has been made more ugly by discussion in "An ugly Choice" Town Square Forum, The Danville Weekly, As our communities and neighborhoods read such commentary, much of the campaign strategy of Piepho supporters is exposed in avoiding the dismal record of the current supervisor in repreesentation of all of District 3. Clearly, the only option is, as noted in supporters' commentary, to "swift boat" Guy Houston and make claims about his record that are not illustrated in reading references.

Clearly, the current supervisor's record is available in the agenda results at including her actions in her own self-interests that repeat throughout the last 3+ years. Supporters cannot manipulate that documented reality and have offered no documented successes to warrant voters' support.

We should be informed voters.

Keith Lewis
Central County Committee
Alliance of Communities

Posted from distribution to District 3 communities and neighborhoods via Alliance of Communities e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by Karen Sexton
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

WARNING posted at the request of the author, as presented in mailers, is a unsecured site collecting information for political spam attacks. The information presented is "Swift Boating" Guy in support of county politics that fear Guy's ability to remedy many of the abuses that have rewarded current supervisors.

This is a dangerous website and should not be accessed if your computer is not fully firewalled and protected from viruses and spyware.


Karen Sexton
Diablo Vista region neighborhoods e-exchanges

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