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The election is a little more than three weeks away, and this is one of the most important – perhaps the most important – of this era. This is a time of crisis, and what takes place in Washington (and Sacramento) will have significant effect on our town, its economy and finances, and our ability to continue to enjoy eating out and shopping at our local businesses. I’m an independent voter, not a member of either of the major parties, but this year I think the difference in the party tickets and platforms are very significant.

President and Vice President of the United States: Barack Obama and Joe Biden. This is a very clear choice. We need a sharp break from the Republican policies that have led to the current financial crisis, the loss of individual rights and privacy at the hands of the government, and the tragic and costly war in Iraq.

Congress, 11th District: Jerry McNerney. Rep. McNerney has proven to be an effective and well-respected member of Congress in his first term representing Pleasanton and the surrounding area. He has taken the lead in programs promoting alternative energy and balances local and global concerns.

Mayor of Pleasanton: Jennifer Hosterman. During Mayor Hosterman’s tenure, Pleasanton has been one of the most successful, prosperous, and agreeable small cities in the United States. There is every reason to believe that would continue if she were elected to another term.

Pleasanton City Council: Jerry Pentin. As a local businessman and member of the Parks Commission Pentin has shown good judgment and would be an excellent addition to our council. (Howard Neely would as well, but he has withdrawn from the race for family health reasons and has endorsed Mr. Pentin.)

City Measures: No on PP, Yes on QQ. While they are somewhat similar, the Council’s measure (QQ) is superior in preserving open space through an open public process. It is endorsed by Mayor Hosterman, Councilmembers Thorne and Cook-Kallio, and former mayors Tom Pico, Ken Mercer, Bob Butler, and Bob Philcox, as well as a list of other dedicated Pleasanton public servants and advocates.