The June primary election really brought into focus just how much Dublin has changed over the past several years. Once thought of as merely the sleepy hinterlands of the San Francisco Bay Area, our city has blossomed in a number of ways.
The new housing boom, which still continues here despite the sluggish economy, has shot the population up to the 50,000 range and growing. With that expansion has come both the growing pains of a burgeoning community and a new energy that has created a very politically active population from the local, state and now national perspective.
Getting a population to vote to increase its property taxes is never easy or painless. But supporters of Dublin's Measure E, the "Dublin Quality Education and Safe Classrooms Measure," mobilized the troops and garnered more than 60 percent of the approximately 5,000 votes cast.
The measure allows for a $99 million bond measure that will be paid off over the next 25 years with money from a property tax hike. The bond money will be used to upgrade school facilities, purchase new technology and even to build a new swimming pool at Dublin High, which is still in the midst of construction to replace dilapidated classrooms and other facilities.
Opponents called Measure E flawed, unnecessary and expensive. But given the low voter turnout, either voter sentiment in the city would have created the same outcome regardless of turnout, or not enough of those opposed felt motivated to get out and cast their ballots.
Meantime, some national media attention is being focused on Dublin, where City Council member -- and Alameda County District Attorney's Office prosecutor -- Eric Swalwell had a very strong showing against longtime U.S. Rep. Pete Stark.
Stark garnered 42 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for Swalwell and 22 percent for Chris Pareja. Under the new voting system, Stark and Swalwell will square off in what will be a hotly contested election in November.
This race has already received quite a bit of media attention, and will likely garner more of the national spotlight in the coming months, which means Dublin gets a little PR out of the deal as well.
Blood, Camping and Moneyball: This seemingly strange combination is a preview of activities that Dublin will be hosting over the summer.
Thursday, June 28 is the day to roll up your sleeve(s) and help save lives by donating blood.
The Dublin Community Summer Blood Drive will be held in the Community Romm of the library, 200 Civic Plaza, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you present a copy of the flier from the city's website when you show up to help the American Red Cross, you'll also get a pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream to go along with that feeling that you did something important to help others.
Registration is open for the always-popular Family Camp Out, which will take place on July 14 and 15 at Alamo Creek Park in Dublin. The cost -- $16 per person for residents and $19 for nonresidents -- pays for all the activities, dinner, breakfast and your campsite.
Go to www.dublinrecguide.com, and type in activity number 29377.
FILM SERIES: Mark your calendars for the summer Movies Under the Stars. Three films will be shown starting with a Friday, July 13 screening of "Spy Kids 4" at Emerald Glen Park. That will be followed by "Dolphin Tale" on July 27 at the Dublin Heritage Park & Museums, and the Friday, Aug. 10 screening of "Moneyball" at Emerald Glen.
As always, the movies are free. They all begin at dusk.
New Parks Commissioner: And congratulations to the new Dublin Parks & Community Services Commissioner, Tristan Elias. Selected by Mayor Tim Sbranti and approved by the full city council, Elias will be a senior at Dublin High, where he's the incoming ASB Secretary and a three-year member of the Dublin High varsity football team.
Oh, and yeah, he just happens to be my son.
Contact Alan Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org.