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Seven seek single Board of Supervisors seat

Original post made on May 16, 2012

Among the critical issues facing San Mateo County government: a projected $26 million revenue shortfall for the next fiscal year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 8:51 AM

Comments (25)

Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

Dave, thank you for an outstanding article-thorough, informative and unbiased. A real public service, and obviously a lot of work went in to it!

Since I'm here: Slocum-Slocum-Slocum


Posted by No Masur, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

If Shelly Masur wins this election, this county will be in deep, deep fiscal trouble. She is beholden to the unions, their pensions, their increased salaries, etc., like no other. In fact, I find it really odd that in this day and age of budget deficits all over the state of California, that ANY candidate would run with this type of union support. Her views, and her support will truly hurt our county, along with our credit rating. I'm not for anyone yet, but wow does this candidate scare me. Her quote about Republicans supporting her are laughable, I'd like her to name ONE Republican that would support this type of candidate.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Among the critical issues facing San Mateo County government: a projected $26 million revenue shortfall for the next fiscal year.

This does not include to up to $40,000,000 additional cost per year for the new JAIL.

Look for the candidate(s) who is opposed to the JAIL we can not afford.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Ms Masur's comments as stated in the article regarding how best to handle the budget issues, "stay the course" speaks volumes as to her credibility and capability. THis is the problem at the local, state and federal level-no new ideas,just worry about what it takes to get elected or re-elected. I'm not a member of the Tea Party, nor do I embrace many of their views, but I will say, I do embrace the idea that if you're part of the process (including in bed with the unions) I want you out. My other issue is just a personal perception that this is but a stepping stone move in a planned political career.


Posted by CommunityMinded, a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

WhoRUpeople's perception that Masur is on a planned political career mission may not be far off the mark. While up for re-election to the Redwood City School board last November, she accepted donations for her current campaign for San Mateo County Supervisor, as far back as August, but she did not make the announcement about her Supervisor candidacy until after she was re-elected to the school board. This seems to indicate that her desire to be re-elected to the school board was for the purpose of having an "advantage" of being an elected official while campaigning for yet a higher seat. Where would it leave the school district if she were to be elected to County Supervisor? Since three years would remain on her school board seat, the school district would be required to run a special election to fill her vacancy, with all associated costs born entirely by the school district, at a cost of potentially tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, at a time when the district has quite literally been cut to the bone. In effect, the students and teachers of the Redwood City School District would carry the "cost" for Masur's political aspirations because the money to pay for a special election would have to come out of the classrooms somehow. This is fiscal irresponsibility at it's worst - it's on the backs of kids and incredibly hard-working teachers.


Posted by One Republican?, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Virginia Kiraly is a prominent Republican who has endorsed Masur.

Web Link

Web Link


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

It's interesting that Ms. Masur's website lists organizations first and almost all of them are a union. I'm so glad that she prizes those first.

While I won't repeat what has been written, I would also point out that Ms. Keith has been at Menlo Park 1+ years before she wanted to move on.

We need to find a statesman or stateswoman who champions the electorate and is not beholden to unions and special interest groups -- are there any out there?


Posted by simple, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 17, 2012 at 3:04 am

Just like Pine, Kiraly now takes orders directly from the labor council bosses.


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 17, 2012 at 7:21 am

Well said Bob!

I love union endorsements because they make it clear who NOT to vote for.

Keith is an opportunist who USED THE PEOPLE of Menlo Park as a stepping stone to something "greater." If she is willing to leave a wonderful post as our representative, what guarantee is there that she will stick around as supervisor when she wants to run for governor next after, let's say, a year in office?


Posted by RWCparent, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

CommunityMinded's comments about the process for replacing members of the Redwood City School Board outside the election schedule are misinformed. When a board member leaves the RCSD, the remaining trustees typically choose an interim appointee to serve in the departing trustee's seat until the next election, when the seat is open to all candidates. The district does not have to set a special election, and therefore need not incur additional cost.


Posted by One Republican?, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

Actually RW City Parent is misinformed.

Redwood City School Board Bylaw 9000, "Filling Vacancies" specifies

Timelines for Filling a Vacancy

When a vacancy occurs, the Board shall take the following action, as appropriate:

3. When a vacancy occurs from six months to 130 days before a regularly scheduled Board election at which the position is not scheduled to be filled, a special election to fill the position shall be consolidated with the regular election. The person so elected shall take office at the first regularly scheduled Board meeting following the certification of the election and shall serve only until the end of the term of the position which he/she was elected to fill. (Education Code 5093)

If Masur wins, according to the Board Bylaws, they must have a special election.

Masur must have known this when she ran for the School Board, even though she had already announce for the Supervisor race. Community minded raises valid points.


Posted by Onion, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

When non-union candidates run, they don't get the votes. Reason? The unions put together impressive pieces with boots on the ground to promote their people. Anyone else remember the flushing hitpiece that knocked two incumbent MP council members out of office in 2006?

The general populace may be educated, but they are ignorant of local politics. They will vote for the people with the prettiest, most professional pieces. The union-backed candidates. Every time.


Posted by RWCparent, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

One Republican?, I think you may have skipped over the language "a special election to fill the position shall be consolidated with the regular election." In other words, it may be a special election from the perspective of that particular trustee seat, but as I understand the practice, it is scheduled when the next otherwise-scheduled election occurs, rather than requiring an election where the sole question was selecting an RCSB trustee. Ms. Masur is presumably familiar with that process, as she was appointed to the board when Alicia Aguirre left to take Ira Ruskin's former seat on the City Council, and ran to fill the remainder of Ms. Aguirre's term at the next election.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

Onion is correct.

In the last fire district election the union spent more than $50,000. That's outrageous for a fire election, but unfortunately it happens not only at the local levels but also at the state.

What impact will this have on the supervisors' race?


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

"What impact will this have on the supervisors' race?"

Shelly Kessler and Bill Nack have the 70,000 members plus spouses in San Mateo County to influence. We only have about 100,000 people who vote, you do the math.


Posted by follow the money, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

Bob and Joanna, you never supported Keith to begin with, but she has far more local support now than when she ran for council. One or two anonymous people may feel empowered by complaining, but readers of this forum will not take you seriously.

Keith is not abandoning Menlo Park after 1+ years as Bob states. Take a look at her bio. Keith volunteered on the Menlo Park Community Mediation Services Committee, Housing Commission and Planning Commissions for ten years before running for office. She has stated that she only entered both races after being encouraged to do so by others. Her campaign finances show this is the case. Her fundraising, in both races, began long after the filing period.


Posted by Menlo Moderate, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Keith has less than a 1 1/2 years on the Menlo park City Council. Unlike Keith, Carlos Romero, in November, will have 4 solid years on the East Palo Alto City Council with a full year under his belt as mayor. Prior to his being elected as mayor, he was chair and vice chair of the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency, served on and chaired the city's Planning Commission for 6 years, and was a member and chair of the East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Board for 4 years. Currently, Romero chairs the City's Housing and Economic Development committees.

Romero is the Vice Chair of City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) of San Mateo County, and Vice Chair of the Dumbarton Rail Policy Advisory committee for Alameda and San Mateo counties. He is a board member of the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance comprised of 17 San Mateo County cities, and is an alternate board member on the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority.

For three and one-half years, he served on the nine county Metropolitan Transportation Commission's advisory committees, and chaired its Equity Analysis subcommittee. He is an active participant in the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, focusing on their Housing, Land Use and Transportation policy areas.

While Keith has some relevant experience the depth and breadth of experience that Romero has is vastly superior to Keith's. Carlos Romero is by far the best qualified candidate for the Board of Supervisors.


Posted by NFOguy, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Andy Cohn anyone? He often seems to be a lone dissenter, and understands the underdogs (like those in unincorporated Menlo Park that put up with the city's decisions to have FB in our our or EPA's face). He has an economics educated background not just seat of the pants temporary budgeting view. Any feedback?


Posted by CommunityMinded, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

OneRepublican? and RWCityParent, thank you for your insights and interpretations. They add richly to the discussion. We probably would all agree that expert counsel is needed on how exactly the school district would best comply with both it's own school board's bylaws and the Education Code with respect to whether an appointment could be made or a special election would be required to be held.

It is important to note that if a provisional appointment is allowed and made, but the registered voters of the school district so desire, they may petition for the conduct of a special election to fill the vacancy.

There is a growing level of parental and community awareness of the challenges our schools and district face and there is impressive engagement from these groups with the school district in addressing problems and issues of concern to all; witness the Measure W campaign. These are people who will want to elect their school board representative.







Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I find this interesting that elected folks are now endorsing multiple candidates for a single position. Ms. Kiraly has endorsed Ms. Masur (Web Link), And according to Carlos Romero's website she also endorsed him. (Web Link)

So I'm confused, who does Ms. Kiraly actually support? And who else has endorsed more than one candidate? Or is it acceptable to endorse multiple candidates these days?


Posted by anne, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

And the winner is either candidate from East Palo Alto. We don't need another WASP.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on May 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Bob - I think that Jackie Speier is endorsing both Romero & Morantes.

Here's a SJ Merc article on Carlos Romero:
Web Link


Posted by Menlo Moderate, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 18, 2012 at 5:56 am

We really should dispatch with references to race. Most people in our Supervisorial District are enlightened enough to look past race and look at the candidate based on qualifications, accomplishments and experience. Carlos Romero stands on his qualifications, accomplishments and experience. No one else in the field comes close to Carlos Romero. Shelly Masur has the Union backing, Kirsten Keith is the most ambitious and least experienced, but Carlos is truly the best candidate. If you truly want the best you will vote for Carlos Romero.


Posted by Scholar, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I voted for Cohen.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on May 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm

What's relevant about race (actually, ethnicity), imo, is that a number of Latinos who can vote are disenfranchised in our county, or frankly, care little about county issues (& of course, that applies to many people, regardless of background). If a very capable & experienced candidate can bring them to the table, all the better - & sometimes that means that candidate is of the same ethnicity.

But overall, Menlo Moderate, I agree. I've been impressed w/Carlos's capability & experience in the work I've done in EPA. He's whip smart & is good both at teamwork & dealing w/his individual responsibilities. He's also accessible, asks good questions & able to reduce an issue down to its most important aspects in order to tackle them. He's worked in a struggling city & has a grasp of what's needed to steer this county through a troubled budget.


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