Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm
Vicki Koc seems to be the only candidate, of the 16 running, that lists no actual work experiences or gainful employment. Vicki, have you ever actually had a paying job? If so, what was that work experience, when were you gainfully employed, and where were you employed? Have you been a stay at home Mom (SAHM) doing part time charity and volunteer tasks? (I asked these questions on 01/06/09 in Danville Weekly’s online edition - Town Square Forum, but I received no response). I have been both a professional female wage earner, and a SAHM doing volunteer work in my community, during my life. Therefore, I know there is a huge difference. SAHM’s and working Mothers are “differently skilled” - different ways of approaching tasks, planning, and solving problems. This anthology is accessible and informative, underscoring a number of critical issues germane to how women participate in, and experience elected positions. Its interdisciplinarity allows for a more comprehensive examination of the issues and ideas discussed during this election. Social competencies vs. the professional identify and the concrete situation of a job. As a working mother, juggling two jobs: your duties at home and at your job; a woman becomes more adept at managing multiple demands.
According to the labor department 73% of woman age 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree were labor force participants. I am certain it is even higher in Alamo. Also a survey of modern living, indicates that older workingwoman had higher self-esteem and less psychological anxiety than homemakers. Older workingwoman also reported being in better physical health than homemakers and dealt more effectively when making decisions, planning, executing goals, and multi-tasking.
As a woman who has experienced both hats (working and being a SAHM), this is a very important issue to me. It seems the traits you posses, your strengths and weaknesses, your abilities, your curriculum vitae, should be important to every voter in this important election for the future leaders of our community.
Posted by Meredith, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm
As a woman who did volunteer work until my late 40s when I began my (successful) career, I think that working on and then heading up volunteer committees did hone my skills. I don't see what being able to "juggle multiple demands" has to do with anything in this case since I assume Vicki Koc's children are grown.
Alamo will need people who have intelligence, time to give, knowledge about how government works, and, even more importantly, knowledge about Alamo - isn't that the point of incorporating? It appears that Vicki Koc has held some heavy-duty volunteer jobs and seems qualified. Her volunteer positions may have more in common with the town council position than a paid job. The question is whether five others are more qualified.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 11, 2009 at 11:04 pm
Vicki. WOW, are you not able to answer a simple question all by yourself? Have you ever been gainfully employed outside the home? If so, what, where, and when? When an individual runs for public office, they open their lives to the voting public. They are asked probing questions to allow the voter to gain insight into their disposition, character, nature, temperament, strengths/weaknesses and other qualities. Vicki, did you not know that when you chose to run? Ask Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, or former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Ms. Koc, I have read that you are the founder and current president of AIM. That makes you a key player in my mind. I have read your thoughts about the issues for months. Now, I want to know the woman behind this movement. Indeed, not an unreasonable request. Is it?
In my humble opinion, woman that work outside the home are “differently skilled” than stay at home moms. I feel somewhat qualified to make such a judgment since I stayed at home and did extensive volunteer work (in the political realm and the private sector) for 8 years, until my 2 children started school. Subsequently I worked outside the home for 22 years. I have experienced both worlds. There is clearly a decided difference. Check the research. Stay at home moms that volunteer simply don’t experience all the challenges of the workplace: Inner Resilience (core strengths enabling a woman to perceive herself as confident, self-reliant, and capable of shaping her life in the way she deserves); Career Enhancement (career-building strengths enabling a woman to increase skills and a sense of competence, explore a full range of emerging opportunities, and flourish in professional life); Quality Of Life (nurturing strengths enabling a woman to take better care of herself and thrive in all aspects of her life); and The Big Picture (capstone strengths enabling a woman to contribute significantly to a corporate bottom line and position herself for leadership opportunities and future success). And let us not forget taking pride in earning your own food and water.
As a stay at home mom, I could sleep in, shop and do lunch, nap, enjoy spa visits, gossip on the phone with friends, relax and read, neglect the cooking/cleaning/ironing/tidying duties if I felt lazy. Spend my day accomplishing nothing at all, if I chose to do so. And participate in meaningful volunteer work when it suited my mood. Essentially, to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labors – my husbands.
I don’t want this to become a debate about SAHM’s vs. workingwoman but this is 2009, not the 1950’s. I want a council member that has proven himself or herself in the world of gainful employment. If a man running for a council seat had never been gainfully employed would that not raise questions about his preparedness by the voters? Why is it different for a woman?
Also a quick comment to Alamo Ron: I am NOT Hal whomever. I can assure you. But, I understand that YOU are a supporter and friend of Vicki’s. You have made my point exactly - Woman that have never had a real career outside their home have a tendency to jump to conclusions without all the facts, take part in soap opera antics, and participate in silly game playing.
If you cannot answer a simple question from a voter, all by yourself, maybe you are not the person to help facilitate productive changes in our community and help mit start on a strong footing. If Vicki Koc has never had a career - then yes, I think 5 others candidates are far more qualified.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2009 at 9:48 am
Vicki Koc appears to be the only candidate, of the 16 running, that lists no actual work experiences or gainful employment. In Vicki’s bio she lists “President and founder of the incorporation proponents.” In my mind, that makes her a key player in this process and in this election. Also, when asked about her career, I get no response. Her bio states that she is married. Maybe the husband that has provided her support and may therefore have a career, should be running? Any election becomes a matter of weighing résumés. Lets see, we have 1 candidate with no gainful work experience and we have 15 very qualified candidates with prestigious careers:
1. A Mortgage Banking president, 2. A retired electronics executive with an MBA from Stanford. 3. A finance and management business owner, 4. A staff employee for public officials, including field representative in the 10th Congressional District and for supervisors in Marin and Santa Clara counties with an master's in community organization and social planning, 5. A real estate appraiser and former CPA, 6.A retired Kaiser Hospital financial administrator, former UC instructor, and restaurant owner 7. An insurance agent 8. A US Naval Academy at Annapolis grad who served in 2 wars and worked for U.S. Steel, Standard Oil of Ohio and British Petroleum, and owned two small businesses 9. A retired engineer/manager at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and was president and financial budget chairman of the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges 10. A retired computer specialist from Livermore Laboratory 11. A National Zoning Manager in Telecommunications 12. A commercial developer 13. A retired commercial banker 14. A personal banker 15. A property manager, general contractor, real estate broker and realtor.
What makes her qualified to govern us and determine laws, which may affect every aspect of our lives when she has so little life experience?
Experience never exists in isolation; it is always a factor that coexists with temperament, training, background, gainful work and a host of other factors,"
If Vicki has no experience of business do I want her cutting her teeth with my tax dollars. At the end of the day, a volunteer has no real accountability or responsibility, especially fiduciary responsibility. As a result the taxpayer is going to pay for training courses in "marketing and business" for Vicki.
Come on Vicki. Answer my question. Have you ever been gainfully employed outside the home? Seems like a reasonable question!
Posted by Tara, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm
I see all points of views and I have my own. Everyone seems to keep pointing out that she doesn't have "work" experience. But the some of the volunteer work is work that she has done for and around Alamo. If you realize that she's been involved, she must know the issues and want Alamo to get on the right path from the start. It's not like she was volunteering in a soup kitchen and want to run a city. Right?
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2009 at 9:34 am
One of Council's main duties will be the enactment of the City's annual budget. Council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending, whether for operations (e.g., salaries) or capital items such as major equipment purchases, or other public improvements, levying of taxes, auditing expenditures, borrowing money, and designation of depositories.
The Council will help to ensure that the superior quality of life Alamo citizens enjoy today will be available for generations to come.
How does a volunteer have ultimate responsibility and ultimate accountability for a budget? Experience is preparing a budget? Experience making the hard decisions to maintain a budget?
We are in an unprecedented financial crisis in our Country. I do want a council that has some experience with the financial impact analysis of our tax dollars.
I am voting for 5 that have a strong background in finance.
Posted by Volunteered with Vicki, a resident of another community, on Jan 14, 2009 at 11:02 am
I know Vicki. I have served on volunteer functions with her. And NO - she has never worked outside the home. She has been a homemaker. That is why she is listed as a Community Volunteer…Duh.
She has never wanted to work and she has never had to work. She has traveled with her husband Blake all over the world. That experience brings a broad vision to Alamo.
I bet that she will furnish vigilant representation of Alamo interests.
Vicki never lets go of an issue that she believes in and that serves her needs. She can be like a Pit Bull when she needs to be. That aggressiveness and stubbornness is what a new City Council will need. I am sure whatever she does not know about finance her husband can teach her. His education and whole career has been in finance.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2009 at 12:56 pm
People actually read this stuff. I never know.
Yea, I will be at the Candidate Faire. Where the self-appointed Czar of AIM, Vicki Koc, will continue to spin her web of deceptions and misinformation to the good citizens of Alamo.
Do you actually KNOW Vicki? I do. She can spin a argument with the best of politicians. At public meetings she has an answer for everything. Not always entirely forthright or accurate but an answer non the less.
There is a good reason she is the only candidate wit all these comments on this forum. Alamo residents are worried that if Alamo becomes a City (hope not) Vicki Koc will be elected. We don't need an autocratic, "I don't care what you want or think" ruler of Alamo.
To even propose a Council member who has no work experience or budget experience during the greatest economic meltdownsince the Great depression is irresponsible.
Posted by Sharon Burke, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2009 at 1:49 pm
Seeing this discussion on Danville Weekly, I asked a random sample of my friends in Alamo (all women) if they would vote for someone for Town Council who had only volunteer experience. Nearly all replied that they would NOT vote for anyone without volunteer experience, especially in the Alamo community. Our neighboring towns have benefited from electing Town Council members who were primarly volunteers, including Mary Lou Oliver, Pat Boom and Diane Schinnerer of San Ramon (first mayor); Peg Kovar and Gwen Regalia of Walnut Creek; and Bev Lane and Millie Greenberg of Danville. Concerns expressed by my random sample of Alamo voters were that Town Council member is a volunteer job, and those that are experienced volunteering and working with other volunteers will do the best job for the Town, particularly if they have experience on the many volunteer committees in the Town like Vicki does. Moreover, Vicki has often held leadership positions in her volunteer organizations, overseeing budgets and expenses. Concerns were also expressed by my random sample that those with full time jobs will be able to devote the time necessary, especially in the first few years of the Town. But mostly, the women in Alamo are those like Vicki and myself, who have devoted themselves to raising their kids, volunteering in the schools and community, and making a home for their families. And the women of Alamo will justifiably be proud to have someone like Vicki represent them and be part of forming our Town and keeping the small town character we all love in Alamo.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm
I like to inflict my opinion and commentary on the public. My intent is to cast a skeptical eye on both sides of the debate, and on the candidates.
Voters may simply vote for Vicki because she has been so outspoken in the media, and because she is President of AIM - without REALLY looking at the person. If incorporation makes sense in our region then it must have council members that have a proven track record for outreach to all neighbors. Five (5) of the other fifteen (15) candidates may be better prepared to serve. That is what I am trying to ascertain.
Thanks Sharon for your “RANDOM SAMPLE”. I am certain your sample was conducted with the utmost statistical confidence. Did you perform a Stratified Random Sample Technique showing differences between key demographic subgroups within the population? Or did you perform a Probability Sampling where you must set up some process or procedure that assures that the different units in your population have equal probabilities of being chosen.
I say with a giggle, it was most likely a “girl friend random sample”
I know Mary Lou and Diane from San Ramon back in the 1980’s. I also know Gwen from a workshop held last April at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. I did campaign work for Mary Piepho when she won the race against Millie for District 3. From what I understand from around the golf links of Alamo and surrounding areas, Vicki Koc may not in the same league as these women.
I do intend to ask the hard questions of Vicki – she is the President of AIM. Indeed, as a voter, I have the right to ask the hard questions. Don’t I?
Sharon, I have read a letter you wrote in October 2008 where you were extolling voters to explore the issues and make up your own minds. That is precisely what I am trying to do.
Aren’t these 'comment forums' all about free speech and the freedom to express divergent opinions?
I am beginning to feel a candidate like Vicki Koc may not be prepared to serve our needs. Sharon, you state, “Vicki has often held leadership positions in her volunteer organizations, overseeing budgets and expenses.” Overseeing budgets is not accountability and responsibility – where the buck stops is not with volunteers.
I do not object to volunteers, quite the contrary. Vicki appears to have an exceptional history of generous volunteer service to our region that is grounded in neighborly outreach. I am concerned about electing someone with no real work experience or real tough proven experience with fiscal responsibility. Any future town faces enormous fiscal pressure to survive, especially in today’s financial crisis. What is the background and experience that Vicki possesses to assure the voters that she can handle our hard earned tax dollars?
Posted by Rob, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm
You lack the very same thing you keep asking for from Vicki. Accountability. You said in one of your very first posts that you are new to the area and want to be an informed voter.
"Thank you for your response Vicki. Just trying to make an informed decision with my vote, " Town Square Forum - January 6, 2009 at 10:38am
But then in the above post you show that you have been here more than twenty years and are very familiar with the players around the area.
You have gone out of your way to victimize Vicki Koc, so obviously there is some axe to grind. But you have raised your point, now come out of the shadows and go to the community faire and talk to the candidate. Otherwise all of your objections about having a free exchange of ideas is all just hot air. Being able to anonymously bash someone is a far cry from entering into a reasoned debate with that person face to face.
Is Vicki the best person for Alamo Town Council? I don't know. I only know of her and of what I've read. The recent article seems to show that all of the candidates have things to offer. So I will be at the community faire, and I will ask questions and I will do it out in the open. If I like what i hear, I'll vote for her.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 8:50 am
I lived in Pleasonton while a widow. Remarried, and now I live in Alamo. So yea, new to this area.
From what I have read in the media Vicki Koc is a candidate that has been a central key player in this effort from the outset. Also, there has been a lot of idle talk about her on the golf course, that I want to clear up myself. I am trying to skip beyond the sorority house antics and go directly to the source for the facts. Why all the cloak and dagger? Why all the responses from others? Just wanted an answer to a very simple question. Jeez the media must have their work cut out for themselves here in Alamo to get actual answers to valid questions.
No axe to grind. Have never met Vicki Koc. Just wanted to learn more about her curriculum vitae. Informed voters just want to know, especially female voters! Is there a problem with asking questions in Alamo? Not the case in Pleasonton and surrounding areas.
After all, I am not asking personal questions like what she eats for breakfast, or if she fights with her husband. Vicki answered my question about her educational background in just 5 hours in this forum, but will not answer a valid question about her work experience. Why? Maybe a sore spot? Trying to figure it out.
Not in the shadows, have always used my name. See you at the Faire. I will try to meet you in person while there.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Thank you Vicki! You did answer my questions, by not answering my questions.
My wise husband pointed out that pearl of wisdom to me. He is so smart - handsome too. We were talking about the upcoming election and the Town Square Forum comments, over lunch with a group of friends, when he commented, “Silence Speaks Louder Than Words.” A most brilliant deduction.
We all agreed, Vicki Koc must be in Alamo and must have assess to the Danville Weekly News because she is running for an elected office – no time to gallivant. Who would?
We all agreed, Vicki most assuredly reads the words that are printed under her own picture in the Danville Weekly News. Who wouldn’t?
Consequently, we all agreed, Vicki is spending lots of time talking about these open forum comments under her picture ad infinitum (an awful lot) with family members and friends. Who wouldn’t?
Thus, Vicki is CHOOSING not to respond. Rather than being task oriented and providing a swift, brief, direct, honest answer. She is spending all her time and energies and focus venting to family and friends. How many would?
According to Dusty Springfield, Vicki has spent the time:
Just wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, just planning and dreaming. So if you’re thinking how great a town council seat will be – all ya gotta do - Is answer questions, and stand-up, and be accountable and you will be ours. (You really have to sing the lyrics to get it.)
According to our lunch pals - Vicki’s silence, answers my questions louder than Vicki’s words ever could/would/should.
We lunch buddies, have speculated that Vicki will thus, most likely not be entirely open and responsive with citizens when the really tough questions are asked. If she was proud of her resume, and had responded in a timely manner, instead of getting others to fight her election battles for her in this Forum, there would be no issue. Answer questions, however briefly, just one very simple honest response – end of discussion.
Where is the accountability to the inquiring voters of Alamo? Public servants need to possess some level of responsiveness to constituents. I even took the extra time and effort to explain why I wanted to know, and why this was an important issue – at least to me.
If Alamo votes to incorporate, I DO feel we need an educated, articulate, honest, organized, accountable, prepared, approachable, decisive, receptive, and responsive female on our Council. I for one will be asking the other 3 female candidates - Diane, Karen, and Grace the probing questions at the Faire on the 22nd of January. The males in our lunch group want a man – go figure. No accounting for taste.
I could make some educated guesses about waht Vicki is REALLY like, but since I do not know. Yes Navin, I will stifle myself.
Vicki Koc has answered my questions loud and clear. Thank you madam candidate.
Posted by Louise's husband, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm
Thanks be to God. Now my little eesha (Hebrew word for woman) can get back to focusing on her most important pursuits. Taking care of her husbands needs and attending Temple to celebrate Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath or to cease).