John Boyle leads pack in council race spending
• Top spender receives $6,000 from Matteson Companies after his win.
The John Boyle for City Council campaign has likely set a record for spending in a Menlo Park council race.
Mr. Boyle, who was elected to one of three open seats in November, spent $53,503 to win the post, according to final campaign finance statements.
Still, the total is nearly $10,000 less than what was spent in the unsuccessful bid to elect Christina Angell-Atchison to the council in 2000. In that race, an unprecedented $63,000-plus was spent on her campaign, but only about $40,000 came from her own campaign fund. Another $23,700 was spent to support her bid by the citizen group, Menlo Community Association.
Mr. Boyle's candidacy didn't receive any help from an independent committee, according to the state-mandated campaign documents, which candidates and committees were required to file in City Hall by Jan. 31. The documents report total sums on spending and contributions for the entire campaign, and breakdowns of spending and contributions from late October through Jan. 31.
Council members Mickie Winkler and Lee Duboc, who ran on a slate with Mr. Boyle in their unsuccessful bids for re-election, were the next-biggest spenders: Ms. Winkler spent $44,756; Ms. Duboc, $44,348.
Successful candidates Heyward Robinson and Rich Cline spent $41,295 and $21,048, respectively. Losing candidate Vince Bressler spent $16,487.
The election pitted the slate of incumbents and Mr. Boyle against three candidates who, though they ran independently, hoped to replace the three council members who constituted a majority in almost all of the council's most important votes. That included Nicholas Jellins, who didn't seek re-election.
The then-council majority was viewed as pro-development, while their council colleagues, now-Mayor Kelly Fergusson and Councilman Andy Cohen, are viewed as more cautious in their acceptance of high-impact commercial projects and more sympathetic to neighborhood concerns.
Mr. Boyle spent more than he raised, according to his spending statement. He received $45,966 in contributions — $6,000 of which was received on Jan. 15 from Duncan Matteson of Menlo Park and entities and individuals involved with the Redwood City-based Matteson Companies.
The Matteson Companies comprises a group of affiliated entities involved in real estate investment, development and management, according to its Web site.
The Matteson Companies' list of commercial properties includes 75 Willow Road, a commercial site that is set to be converted to residential, with 33 detached single-family homes. The residential project was given the green light in late November in a controversial decision by the lame-duck council.
In addition to $750 contributions made by Duncan Matteson and Duncan Matteson Jr., $750 contributions came from James Blake, a vice president of Matteson Property Management, and John A. Baer Consulting. Mr. Baer is senior vice president of development for the Matteson Companies. Another $1,000 came from Matteson Real Estate Equities, and $500 from 900 Santa Cruz, a Matteson property.
Another $750 each came from 75 Willow Road and Menlo Park Office Center, also Matteson properties.
Ms. Winkler and Mr. Robinson also spent more than they raised. Ms. Winkler raised $41,459; Mr. Robinson, $37,844.
Ms. Duboc raised $53,023, including a $16,580 loan she made to herself. Mr. Cline raised $24,449, and Mr. Bressler, $17,270.
All six candidates received $2,000 contributions from developer David Bohannon.
Two "general purpose" committees submitted spending statements.
Menlo Park on Track contributed $1,065 each to Mr. Robinson and Mr. Cline; and $1,890 to Mr. Bressler. It raised $10,535, and spent $7,272.
Menlo Park Matters contributed $7,000 each to Ms. Winkler and Ms. Duboc, and a separate $4,476 to the Duboc/Winkler effort.
That committee raised $20,429, and spent $23,196. The committee's biggest single contribution this reporting period was from Palo Alto-based Keep Our Region Energized, Inc., which gave $9,000. Virginia Chang Kiraly, a Menlo Park Republican who unsuccessfully challenged 21st District Assemblyman Ira Ruskin in the November election, is chief executive officer of Keep Our Region Energized, according to her statement on VoteCircle, a nonpartisan Web site.
The San Mateo Central Labor Council did some heavy spending in the council race in its effort to replace Ms. Winkler and Ms. Duboc with Mr. Robinson and Mr. Cline.
As of Nov. 3, the council spent $22,180 — $13,382 for mailers opposing the incumbents and $8,298 in mailers supporting Mr. Robinson and Mr. Cline.
The Almanac will report on any spending by the council after Nov. 3 in next week's edition.
Below are other donations of note from mid-October through Jan. 31. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
• John Boyle: Mitchell Tuchman, Menlo Park, commercial real estate, $300; Menlo Business Parks, Palo Alto, real estate business, $1,000; Bernard Magnussen, Palo Alto, car dealer, $1,000; Bill Lane, Portola Valley, former publisher of Sunset magazine, $200; John Anderson, Atherton, car dealer, $333.
• Vincent Bressler: Robert Ekedahl, Menlo Park, retired, $500; Jack Morris, Menlo Park, consultant and former mayor, $100; Melody Pagee, Menlo Park, project manager and city planning commissioner, $100; Elias Blawie, Menlo Park, lawyer, $400; Chuck Kinney, Menlo Park, retired and former mayor, $100; Michael Gullard, general partner Cornerstone Management, $250.
• Rich Cline: David Speer, Menlo Park, facilities planning and construction, former council candidate, $250.
• Lee Duboc: Danielle L. Del Carlos, Redwood City, architect, DES Architects and Engineers, $1,000; Bernard Magnussen, Palo Alto, car dealer, $1,000; Menlo Business Park, Palo Alto, real estate business, $1,000.
• Heyward Robinson: Don Brawner, Menlo Park, landlord and city housing commissioner, $200; Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, Oakland, $250; Paul Collacchi, Redwood City, systems engineer and former mayor, $1,000; Anita Yu, Menlo Park, founder of Westly Foundation, $500; Penelope Huang, Menlo Park, Realtor, $200; Chuck Kinney, Menlo Park, retired, former mayor, $100; Plumbers & Streamfitters Local No. 467, Menlo Park, $1,000; Jack Morris, Menlo Park, retired, former mayor, $100; Melody Pagee, Menlo Park, project manager and city planning commissioner, $100; Susan Robinson, Menlo Park, retired, $500; David Speer, Menlo Park, facilities planning and construction, former council candidate, $650.
• Mickie Winkler: Menlo Business Park, Palo Alto, real estate business, $1,000; Scott L Smithers, Atherton, principal, Lane Partners commercial real estate, $500; John Anderson, Atherton, car dealer, $333; Henry Riggs, Menlo Park, architect and city planning commissioner, $500.
• Menlo Park on Track: Andy Cohen, Menlo Park, retired judge and city councilman, $200; Morris Brown, Menlo Park, president of Moavco and head of Menlo Park Tomorrow, $500; Don Brawner, Menlo Park, landlord and city housing commissioner, $200; Jennifer Fisher, Menlo Park, retired, $500; Denise Brown, Menlo Park, retired, $500; Stu Soffer, Menlo Park, consultant and former planning commissioner, $500; Patti Fry, Menlo Park, retired, former planning commissioner, $250; Bressler for Menlo Park Council, $771.