Menlo Park council race heats up


In the runup to the Nov. 6 election, in the Menlo Park City Council races, Planning Commissioner Drew Combs -- who recently moved to the Flood Park neighborhood -- has pulled papers for District 2, joining incumbent Kirsten Keith as a possible candidate for the seat.

Newcomer Mike Dunn joins George Yang and former council candidate Cecilia Taylor as a possible candidate for the District 1 seat.

Ron Shepherd, a former board member of the West Bay Sanitary District, has pulled papers for the District 4 council seat. Incumbent Peter Ohtaki of District 4 has told The Almanac that he plans to run for re-election but won't be able to file papers until next week.

Atherton City Council incumbent Bill Widmer has qualified as a candidate for one of three seats open on the council. Two candidacies are still pending qualification for the Atherton council: those of incumbents Mike Lempres and Rick DeGolia. Would-be challenger Jeanne Jensen has withdrawn her name from consideration, according to the town clerk.

Four seats are open on the Woodside Town Council, and incumbent Anne Kasten, representing District 6, has joined District 4 incumbent Dave Tanner in saying that she will not run for re-election.

So far in the Woodside council races, Dick Brown has picked up nomination papers for District 6, and Ned Fluet and Frank Rosenblum have pulled papers for District 7, according to the town clerk.

Of four potential contenders running for three seats on the board of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Atherton resident Jim McLaughlin has qualified as a candidate. Still pending qualification are appointed incumbent and East Palo Alto resident Robert Jones, incumbent and Menlo Park resident Chuck Bernstein and would-be challenger Sean Ballard of Menlo Park. Incumbent Peter Carpenter has said he will not be running for re-election.

For the three open seats on the board of the Woodside Elementary School District, newcomer Jenny Hayden and appointed incumbent Jennifer Zweig have picked up nomination papers. Challenger Peter H. Bailey has qualified as a candidate.

In the Ravenswood City School District, parent and para-educator Nicole Sbragia and Julian Alberto Garcia have taken out papers for seats on the school board. Three seats are open.

For the West Bay Sanitary District, appointed incumbent George Otte is now qualified for one of three open seats on the board.

Appointed incumbent Calin B. Thomas has qualified as a candidate for the board of the Ladera Recreation District, where there are three seats open. Appointed incumbent Bob Felderman has taken out nomination papers.

To be considered qualified to run for a local municipal elective office, such as city or town council or a governing board of a fire protection or sanitary district, would-be candidates must complete their nomination papers as well as gather 20 to 30 signatures from registered voters, and have those signatures verified by the Elections Office.

The signature-gathering effort is not required of school board candidates, who become qualified to run after they turn in their completed paperwork.

Previously reported

Incumbents John Richards and Craig Hughes have qualified as candidates for three seats open on the Portola Valley Town Council. Incumbent Maryann Derwin has picked up nomination papers.

In the Menlo Park City School District, with three open seats, incumbent Stacey Jones and challenger Sherwin Y. Chen have qualified as candidates. Scott Saywell's qualification is pending.

Jon Venverloh and Dana Nunn have taken out candidate papers for the Las Lomitas Elementary School District board.

For the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, the candidacy of incumbent Larry Robert Hassett is pending.

Incumbent Chris Thomsen has taken out papers to run for re-election to the Sequoia Union High School District board.

The San Mateo County Community College District does not have a seat open on the board this year that represents communities in The Almanac's coverage area.

The Sequoia Healthcare District does have a race for a seat representing parts of Woodside and Portola Valley, but no one has yet taken out papers for this area.


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