News - July 7, 2010

Election: Big local races as filing period opens

by Renee Batti

Local voters, especially in Menlo Park and Atherton, will have some key governing body seats to fill and issues to face when they cast their ballots in November.

The period for candidates to file papers to run for office is from Monday, July 12, to Friday, Aug. 6. If an incumbent in any race doesn't file to run for re-election, the filing period for that race is extended one week.

The Atherton and Menlo Park city councils will both have three open seats to be filled. In Menlo Park, the four-year terms of Rich Cline, John Boyle and Heyward Robinson are expiring.

In Atherton, the four-year terms of Charles Marsala, Jerry Carlson and Jim Dobbie are ending. Mr. Marsala has already announced he will not seek another term.

Three seats will be vacant on both the Las Lomitas School District board and the Menlo Park City School District board.

Four-year terms for Jeff Child, Deborah Fitz, and Laura Rich of the Menlo Park board end in December. On the Las Lomitas board, four-year terms for Leslie Airola-Murveit, Jay Siegel and Jamie Schein are expiring.

There will be a run-off election for the District 3 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors between Don Horsley and April Vargas, who were the two top vote-getters in the June primary.

New candidates may file in the race for three open seats on the Sequoia Healthcare District board. The terms of Jack Hickey, Don Horsley and Art Faro end this year.

Ballot measures

Menlo Park residents will vote on two hot-button issues in November.

The city is letting voters decide whether to grant developer David Bohannon general plan revisions that would allow him to proceed with his plan to build three eight-story office buildings, a 230-room hotel, and a sports club, totaling nearly one million square feet of development in eastern Menlo Park. The majority of council members support the project.

An initiative that would increase the retirement age for new, non-safety city employees from 55 to 60, and decrease their pension payments, is set to go on the ballot, although two employee unions are seeking a court ruling to keep it off.

Later this month, the Board of Supervisors is expected to decide whether to ask voters to approve a five-year, quarter-cent sales tax hike in the county.

Want to run?

Residents interested in running for public office can obtain information about the process by calling the county Elections Office at 312-5222. Or go to


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