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Woodside council member John Carvell resigns

Council can appoint a replacement, but an election is needed to permanently fill vacancy

Former Woodside Councilman John Carvell in 2017. Photo by Dave Boyce.

With an impending move out of Woodside, Councilman John Carvell resigned from the Town Council on July 1. The council voted on Tuesday, July 12, to hold a special election on Nov. 8 to fill his seat. It also opted to not appoint a replacement to serve until the election.

This fall, Mayor Dick Brown and Councilman Brian Dombkowski are up for reelection. The vacancy requires a special election on the ballot, as the seat will be for the remainder of an unfinished term, said Town Manager Kevin Bryant in an email. It would be held in conjunction with a regular election.

Carvell, who recently moved to Carmel Valley in Monterey County, joined the council in 2020 during an uncontested election. His term was set to expire in 2024.

"It is with mixed emotions that I notify you I am moving from Woodside," Carvell, a management consultant, said in his resignation letter to City Clerk Jennifer Li. "The town has, and continues to, experience challenges of balancing the vision outlined in the general plan with the demands of external bodies. Even when faced with these conflicts I found my work with the town to be rewarding and a great experience."

Carvell wanted to join his friends and family in the Carmel Valley. The move also came as the Peninsula has gotten more developed. He said he's not a "horsey person" but he likes the open space and more rural setting Carmel has to offer.

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Carvell lived in town for a little over a decade and represented District 5, which encompasses the Woodside Hills neighborhood east of Interstate Highway 280 and south of Farm Hill Road.

The Town Council, which is currently a seven-member body, will make the controversial move to five members when it switches from the "from-district" to a "by-district" elections system beginning this November. Only two council members will be elected for new four-year terms with the shift, even though the terms for council members Brown, Dombkowski and Sean Scott are all expiring. Scott now lives in District 1, which will be on the ballot in 2024. He could choose to run then, however he is not eligible for any of the seats on the ballot this November, according to Bryant.

The special election had to be called for no later than July 31, which lands on a Sunday.

Before joining the council, Carvell served on the town's Architectural and Site Review Board, which he joined in 2017.

Carvell said he'll miss being part of the process to make Woodside more building applicant friendly. In years' past, he said some contractors would not take on projects in town because the process was too complicated.

The first day for candidates to pull papers for candidacy on the November ballot is Monday, July 18. Brown and Dombkowski told The Almanac they plan to run in the fall.

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Angela Swartz
 
Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

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Woodside council member John Carvell resigns

Council can appoint a replacement, but an election is needed to permanently fill vacancy

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 11:08 am

With an impending move out of Woodside, Councilman John Carvell resigned from the Town Council on July 1. The council voted on Tuesday, July 12, to hold a special election on Nov. 8 to fill his seat. It also opted to not appoint a replacement to serve until the election.

This fall, Mayor Dick Brown and Councilman Brian Dombkowski are up for reelection. The vacancy requires a special election on the ballot, as the seat will be for the remainder of an unfinished term, said Town Manager Kevin Bryant in an email. It would be held in conjunction with a regular election.

Carvell, who recently moved to Carmel Valley in Monterey County, joined the council in 2020 during an uncontested election. His term was set to expire in 2024.

"It is with mixed emotions that I notify you I am moving from Woodside," Carvell, a management consultant, said in his resignation letter to City Clerk Jennifer Li. "The town has, and continues to, experience challenges of balancing the vision outlined in the general plan with the demands of external bodies. Even when faced with these conflicts I found my work with the town to be rewarding and a great experience."

Carvell wanted to join his friends and family in the Carmel Valley. The move also came as the Peninsula has gotten more developed. He said he's not a "horsey person" but he likes the open space and more rural setting Carmel has to offer.

Carvell lived in town for a little over a decade and represented District 5, which encompasses the Woodside Hills neighborhood east of Interstate Highway 280 and south of Farm Hill Road.

The Town Council, which is currently a seven-member body, will make the controversial move to five members when it switches from the "from-district" to a "by-district" elections system beginning this November. Only two council members will be elected for new four-year terms with the shift, even though the terms for council members Brown, Dombkowski and Sean Scott are all expiring. Scott now lives in District 1, which will be on the ballot in 2024. He could choose to run then, however he is not eligible for any of the seats on the ballot this November, according to Bryant.

The special election had to be called for no later than July 31, which lands on a Sunday.

Before joining the council, Carvell served on the town's Architectural and Site Review Board, which he joined in 2017.

Carvell said he'll miss being part of the process to make Woodside more building applicant friendly. In years' past, he said some contractors would not take on projects in town because the process was too complicated.

The first day for candidates to pull papers for candidacy on the November ballot is Monday, July 18. Brown and Dombkowski told The Almanac they plan to run in the fall.

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