Elizabeth Lewis, Cary Wiest elected to Atherton council | November 14, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - November 14, 2012

Elizabeth Lewis, Cary Wiest elected to Atherton council

by Barbara Wood

Elizabeth Lewis swept to a second term on Atherton's City Council on Nov. 6, winning 1,732 votes, with the second council seat going to newcomer Cary Wiest, with 1,230 votes, according to the latest count.

They prevailed over challengers Greg Conlon, who received 1,019 votes, and Denise Kupperman, who received 848 votes. The county is still counting mail-in ballots returned on election day and provisional ballots.

Ms. Lewis and Mr. Wiest had both been endorsed by the Atherton Police Officers Association, which campaigned in their behalf.

Ms. Kupperman may have been hurt by her association with another ballot choice facing Atherton voters: whether to site a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park. Ms. Kupperman led the committee that had, after years of public meetings and study, recommended that a new library be put in the park.

The library ballot proposal, Measure F, went down to resounding defeat, with nearly 69 percent of voters saying no. Ms. Kupperman garnered about 80 votes fewer than the library measure did.

Ms. Lewis said the election showed that voters "want their voices to be heard." She said she believed that the election of Mr. Wiest would help to form a "collaborative council."

Colleen Anderson, a supporter of Ms. Lewis, said on election night: "This is awesome. This is so well-deserved." Ms. Anderson said she thinks "Atherton needs change. I think Elizabeth will bring balance to the town."

Mr. Wiest, Ms. Anderson said, will also serve the town well because, as a relative newcomer, "he doesn't owe anyone any favors."

At Ms. Kupperman's home on election night, the mood was bit more somber. "I just feel very sad," she said. "It seems like people were responding to this fear of losing their police force."

Political mailers and recorded phone calls from the police officers' association had warned Atherton residents that their police force could be outsourced, and pointed out the APOA's support for Ms. Lewis and Mr. Wiest.

All candidates, however, said they oppose outsourcing Atherton's police force.

Ms. Kupperman said she plans to become more involved with projects outside Atherton town government, including expanding the volunteer work she already does at Redwood High School, where she works with students on their garden and on environmental issues.

"I'll be involved in my community," she said.

Greg Conlon said he will also remain involved, continuing to serve on the Atherton Rail Committee, which is closely monitoring the high-speed rail proposals. and on the town's Finance Committee.

After the election, Mr. Colon called himself "a recovering politician." The longtime Atherton resident said, "I always like a good fight ... as long as it's fair and square."

The campaign he had just been through may not have been entirely that, but "we survive in spite of ourselves," he said.

He is confident, Mr. Conlon said, that the new council, will work to get along better. "I think everybody's embarrassed by the lack of civility," he said.

He was hoping that last-minute absentee ballots that had yet to be counted would bring him closer to Mr. Wiest, but he did not anticipate any change in the overall results.


Posted by Good Effort, a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Denise Kupperman and Greg Conlon made a good effort in their campaigns. Greg is well respected.

Years ago Malcolm Dudley suggested building a swimming pool in the park. Credit goes to those who dream and present ideas. Sometimes they are received well and sometimes not.

Denise Kupperman worked hard for her idea. In the end it did not get approved. However there will be benefits from her work.

Posted by Anonymous?, a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm

The author of such a nice comment shouldn't be anonymous. Well said.

It's very difficult to campaign for public office and to stick your neck out to get attacked. All four candidates deserve thanks for having the courage to do so. The recent posts calling for witch hunts and criminal prosecutions (!) of the losers are troubling. I would advise Ms. Lewis and Mr. Wiest to reach out to the residents who share different views, especially on the police department, to enhance their own perspectives. They represent them too.

Posted by Good Effort, a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

Are you refering to the post regarding Widmer's letter?