Almanac

News - March 19, 2014

Atherton council weighs options for filling vacant seat

by Renee Batti

With a hefty workload facing them and an empty chair at the council dais, the remaining four Atherton City Council members will consider options for filling that empty seat when they meet on Wednesday, March 19. The options include appointing a new member at that meeting.

The vacancy is the result of Jim Dobbie's resignation earlier this month. Mr. Dobbie's term was due to expire in December; if the council appoints a replacement, it would be to serve out the term.

Town staff contacted residents who applied for a vacancy last year resulting from Jerry Carlson's resignation. Seven candidates were considered for appointment to that seat, but the council was unable to choose. Five of the applicants have said they're still interested in a council appointment, according to City Manager George Rodericks. They are: Diane Beymer-Sandhu, Greg Conlon, Michael Lempres, John Ruggeiro, and Jo-Ann Sockolov.

Rick DeGolia, another applicant for Mr. Carlson's seat, ran successfully for the post in November. A seventh candidate, Michael Stogner, is now a permanent resident of San Carlos and is running for county supervisor.

Mr. Roderick said the council has three options: It can appoint someone to the open seat when it meets this week — including a resident who is not among the five former applicants who have expressed interest; approve a process to invite other candidates to apply and attempt to appoint at a later date; or function with only four members until December.

Also on the agenda: a public hearing on a proposed increase to green waste-collection rates; a report on the master plan for a new Town Center, and possible action allowing staff to begin environmental review and design processes; and appointment of two council members to review with planning staff the proposed design of the Little League's project to improve the ball field in Holbrook-Palmer Park.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

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