Architect John Richards will be the newest member of the Town Council of Portola Valley.
Mr. Richards, a planning commissioner in the 1990s, ran unopposed in the Nov. 3 election to replace Councilman Richard Merk, who is retiring after 30 years of volunteer service, including 13 years on the council.
Re-elected in unopposed races were incumbent council members Ted Driscoll for his fifth four-year term, and Maryann Moise Derwin for her second.
Mr. Richards, asked in an interview if he'd felt trepidation, given the certainty of being elected, replied: "Of course. Yeah. I've wondered what I've done here, sometimes. I've wondered if I've gone insane, especially considering the pay."
He had to be convinced to run. "I was pressured by a bunch of people for the last few years and I'd been smart enough to put it off," he said. "This time, I caved. People gave me some good reasons and I couldn't think of any way to get out of it."
The vote totals, as of Nov. 6, was: F. John Richards, 884; Ted Driscoll, 832; Maryann Moise Derwin, 817.