As the filing period for candidates in several local races opened on Monday, a number of local residents picked up the papers they must fill out to become candidates, while a few turned in their completed paperwork needed to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Atherton City Council
In Atherton, all three incumbents -- Bill Widmer, Mike Lempres and Rick DeGolia -- have picked up their candidacy papers, as did a possible challenger, Jeanne Jensen. No one had filed them with the necessary signatures as of 4 p.m. Monday.
Menlo Park City School District
In the Menlo Park City School District, with three open seats, incumbent Stacey Jones and challenger Sherwin Chen, a member of the district's finance and audit committee, have filed their papers and qualified for the ballot.
Scott Saywell, a former candidate for the school board, told The Almanac he plans to run for a seat but is out of town and cannot file the papers until he returns in August.
Incumbents Terry Thygesen and Joan Lambert have said they will not run for re-election.
Menlo Park City Council
In Menlo Park, newcomer George Yang in District 1 and current council member Kirsten Keith in District 2 have taken out candidacy papers but not returned them.
Several others submitted a form saying they were considering becoming a candidate but have not taken out papers: current council member Peter Ohtaki in District 4, former candidate Cecelia Taylor in District 1, and Sarah Stanley Shenk (who later announced she will not run) in District 2.
In Menlo Park, because this will be the first year for district elections there are considered to be no incumbents and the filing period will end on Aug. 10, whether or not current council members file to run.
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
In the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, with three open seats, Atherton resident Jim McLaughlin, a retired chief of the California Highway Patrol and a member of the Atherton Transportation Committee, has taken out papers as has appointed incumbent Robert Jones.
McLaughlin was also a member of the San Mateo County civil grand jury, which recently released a critical report on the fire district.
Incumbent Chuck Bernstein has said he plans to run for re-election and incumbent Peter Carpenter says he will not run.
Portola Valley Town Council
In Portola Valley, with three seats currently occupied by Maryann Derwin, Craig Hughes and John Richards up for election, only Craig Hughes has picked up candidacy papers, but had not yet filed them as of this morning.
Woodside Town Council
On the seven-member Woodside council, four seats are open. Three are now occupied by Deborah C. Gordon (District 2), Anne Kasten (District 6) and David Tanner (District 4); one is vacant (District 7).
All council terms are for four years except for the vacant seat for District 7; that term expires in 2020. Council members represent their districts, but are elected by the entire community.
Tanner (District 4) has said he will not be running for re-election because he is moving from Woodside.
Two challengers – Ned Fluet and Frank Rosenblum – have picked up papers for the District 7 seat, according to Woodside Town Clerk Dora Wong Seamans.
Dick Brown, who sits on the Architectural and Site Review Board, has picked up candidacy papers for the council seat representing District 6.
Sequoia Union High School District
In the Sequoia Union High School District, current board members Alan Sarver and Chris Thomsen had picked up papers for two open seats.
Other open races in November are:
• Woodside School District: Three seats, currently occupied by Claire Pollioni, Marc Tarpenning and Jennifer Zweig.
• Las Lomitas Elementary School District: Three seats, currently occupied by John Earnhardt, Rich Ginn and Christy Heaton.
• San Mateo County Community College District: Two seats, currently occupied by Richard Holober and Thomas Mohr.
• West Bay Sanitary District: Three seats, currently occupied by Edward P. Moritz, Roy Thiele-Sardina and George Otte.
• Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District: Four seats, currently occupied by Nonette Hanko, Larry Hassett, Yoriko Kishimoto and Pete Siemens.
The candidate filing period ends at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. However, if an incumbent does not file for re-election, the filing period is extended by five days — to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Candidates for school districts and special districts file at the Registration & Elections Division at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo; candidates for council elections file with the respective city or town.
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