Almanac

News - July 27, 2011

Election 2011: Contested election likely in high school district

• Jeff Aalfs may run forPortola Valley council.

by Dave Boyce

With more than two weeks left to register as a candidate for public office in the November election, a contested election looks likely in the Sequoia Union High School District. Below is a roundup of local election activity.

High school district

The terms of three board members in the Sequoia high school district expire in November. Two of the incumbents Olivia Martinez and Lorraine Rumley have confirmed that they are running for re-election. A third, Don Gibson, has not yet responded.

So far, three challengers have taken out papers, according to the county Registrar of Voters. They are San Carlos School District board member Carrie B. Du Bois, who has filed the papers; Larry James Moody, a former director of a ministry in East Palo Alto; and Allen Weiner, a lecturer at Stanford University law school and a resident of Menlo Park, who said he plans to file the papers soon.

The Sequoia district includes Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools and Summit Preparatory and Everest charter high schools.

The filing period closes at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, unless the election includes an incumbent not running for re-election. In that event, the deadline is extended five days to Aug. 17.

Portola Valley

Jeff Aalfs, a member of the Architecture & Site Control Commission (ASCC) since being appointed by the Town Council in December 2008, has pulled nomination papers for a council seat, according to Town Clerk Sharon Hanlon.

With Councilman Steve Toben not running, and Councilwoman Ann Wengert planning to run, Mr. Aalfs' candidacy may be uncontested if no one else turns in papers before the deadline.

The filing deadline in Portola Valley is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Papers are available in Town Hall at 765 Portola Road on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m.

Ms. Wengert said she plans to begin her nomination process the day after she returns from her cross-country bicycle trip in August. "I am very enthusiastic about continuing to serve on the Council and tackling the challenges facing our community," she wrote.

In the Portola Valley school district, of the two incumbent board members whose terms are up in 2011, Jocelyn Swisher has returned her completed nomination papers and Steven Humphreys has not yet taken any out, according to the registrar's report.

Woodside

Mayor Ron Romines and Councilman Peter Mason, both of whose terms expire in November, have taken out nomination papers, Town Clerk Janet Koelsch told the Almanac.

Terms also expire this year for Councilman Dave Burow, and Councilwoman Sue Boynton, who told the Almanac that she will not be running again.

On Woodside's elementary school board, the latest registrar's report shows no activity from incumbents Ellen Ablow and Ginger Bamford, both of whose terms expire this year.

Other races

As for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board, incumbent Peter Carpenter told the Almanac that he is not running for re-election, while incumbent Bart Spencer has qualified to run, according to the registrar's report.

Also qualified as a candidate is Robert Silano, a security consultant who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2009. Scott Barnum, an executive from Atherton, has taken out papers, the report said.

In the Woodside Fire Protection District, incumbents Patrick Cain and John Gardner are both running for re-election, Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso told the Almanac. Mr. Gardner is listed as having completed the nomination process.

Meanwhile in the San Mateo County Community College District, incumbent Dave Mandelkern and newcomer Jaime Diaz have taken out nomination papers. The report shows no activity for incumbents Patricia Miljanich and Karen Schwarz.

The report also shows no activity yet for two seats on the boards of the West Bay Sanitary District, two for the Ladera Recreation District, and two for the Los Trancos County Water District.

Go to shapethefuture.org for more information, or call the San Mateo County Elections Office at 312-5222.

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