Menlo Park voters aren't the only people invested in the race to fill three open seats on the City Council.
The second wave of campaign finance reports shows development and real estate interests -- including a developer with a project set to go before the council next year -- writing big checks to keep the current council majority in power.
This "incumbent" slate is made up of Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and John Boyle. Although Mr. Boyle is a newcomer, he is backed by the incumbents.
The three candidates are running as a slate, and have raised about $78,500, combined, from Jan.1 to Oct. 27, according to the reports.
Mr. Boyle leads all candidates with $29,740 in monetary donations, followed by Ms. Duboc with $25,540 and Ms. Winkler with $23,267.
About two-thirds of Mr. Boyle's donations are listed in the most recent report, which accounts for contributions from Oct. 1 to Oct. 27. He received $19,050 during that time span, and Ms. Duboc and Ms. Winkler received $12,875 and $12,050, respectively.
The other three candidates -- Vincent Bressler, Richard Cline and Heyward Robinson -- say they are running independent campaigns, but are united in their opposition to the current council majority.
Of the opponents, Mr. Robinson raised the most, receiving $22,400 in monetary donations, followed by Mr. Cline with $13,885 and Mr. Bressler with $10,919.
According to the reports, $7,862 of Mr. Robinson's donations were received from Oct. 1 to Oct. 27. Candidates Cline and Robinson received $6,635 and $4,830, respectively, during the same time period.
Cadillac site developer
Among the contributions to the majority camp is $4,000 to each of the three candidates from representatives of the San Mateo-based Sand Hill Property Management Co. -- the company behind plans to build 135 apartments and about 78,000 square feet of commercial space at the former Cadillac dealership at 1300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.
The company's president, Peter Pau, and vice president, Jeff Warmoth, each gave $2,000 to each of the candidates' campaigns.
The company's proposal is currently under review, and is scheduled to go before the council next year.
The proposed site is near Glenwood Avenue, adjacent to the proposed site for the Derry condo-commercial project.
Both projects could be delayed if a referendum of the Derry project moves forward. The council's approval of the Derry project included a partial rezoning of the Cadillac site that would allow for a high-density residential project.
Other development interests also donated at least $1,000 to each of the three majority candidates' campaigns, according to the reports.
Robert Gould, president of Menlo Management Co., a mortgage loan company, gave $1,000 to each of the candidates; Walter Harrington, a Palo Alto-based commercial property owner, gave $1,000; and Charles and Russell Collier, who work in real estate management, each gave $500. The reports list Russell Collier under an Atherton address, and Charles under his business address in Menlo Park.
Howard Crittenden of Atherton, a real estate broker and owner of the Park Theatre building, also donated $1,000 to each of the three candidates.
Mr. Crittenden, who previously donated $1,000 to each of the three candidates, according to the first reports, has issued a proposal to the city to convert the theater into office space.
Other donations to the majority candidates include $3,000 to Mr. Boyle from venture capitalist Ted Schlein; $1,000 to each of the three candidates from John Goldman of Atherton; and $150 from Pacific Gas and Electric to Ms. Duboc and Ms. Winkler.
All six candidates accepted $2,000 donations from the David D. Bohannon Organization.
The company has proposed a new 125-room hotel and more than 500,000 square feet of office space on a total of 13.5 acres near Marsh Road and U.S. 101.
The council viewed the project plans in October 2005, but there has yet to be an announcement from the Bohannon Development Co. or the city that the project is moving forward.