Four vie for three Atherton council seats


Voters will have a choice of four candidates to choose from in filling three vacant seats on the Atherton City Council on Nov. 2. Two incumbents will be joined on the ballot by Bill Widmer and Cary Wiest.

Incumbents Jerry Carlson and Jim Dobbie are running to retain their seats, while Councilman Charles Marsala chose not to seek another term.

The filing period for running for a council seat ended at 5 p.m. today (Aug. 11).

Mr. Widmer is a member of the town's Audit Committee, and attends meetings of the Finance Committee.

While most of the candidates have served on Atherton commissions and committees, Mr. Wiest, a real estate appraiser and recent arrival in town, has been involved with San Mateo County boards.

He was a member of the San Mateo County Charter Review Committee, convened last November to review the county's charter and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on issues such as by-district elections and how to fill vacancies on the board. He also is a member of the county's Jail Planning Advisory Committee.

Before moving to Atherton in the latter part of 2009, he lived in unincorporated San Mateo Highlands.

Audit Committee member Rose Hau, Planning Commissioner Phil Lively, and Rail Committee member Mike McPherson took out papers, but didn't file them.

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Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

As of 5:00 PM--This election is already officially over--the council make up is set.
Time to get an early start looking for all new slate of staff: city manager, attorney, Bld Official, and Town Planner
Let's try to get this right for a change.

Like this comment
Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

The Atherton Civic Interest League and the League of Women Voters will hold a Candidates Forum at 7 PM on 30 September at the Pavilion in Holbrook Palmer Park.

Like this comment
Posted by David Henig
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Aug 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Good luck to all the candidates. I highly recommend that residents attend the Candidates Forum on September 30. It is a great way to see the candidates, ask them questions, and get informed.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I sent this email to the four candidates today:

It is my intention to personally (and not in any other capacity) endorse, support and vote for the three candidates who fulfill the following criteria:

1 - committed to open and transparent government and pledged not to use closed sessions except when absolutely necessary (as opposed to using closed sessions whenever permitted).

2 - independent as demonstrated by neither seeking nor accepting support from anyone who is not a registered voter in their jurisdiction, which means accepting neither money or endorsements from unions, developers, business organization or civic groups.

3 - committed to acting in the best interest of the citizens of their jurisdiction rather than to further their own agenda or the agenda of some outside group.

4 - committed to working with their fellow council members to find the best solution for their jurisdiction without personal attacks or animosity.

5 - committed to having a balanced budget without recourse to reserves or accounting tricks.

6 - open to considering any opportunity for significant costs savings such as outsourcing of specific services.

7 - Superior critical thinking skills.

I would welcome your responses regarding your position on these criteria.

Like this comment
Posted by Atherton Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm

You have expressed concern for individual's right to sue their local government, but seem to have no concern about individual's rights to support candidates even if they are not registered voters, or if they live in a different jurisdiction. That is crazy! The result will be more of the same, deeply entrenched old-boy network of candidates (primarily from Lindenwood.) Ed was right, the fix is in and the election is already over....Sad.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Atherton taxpayer (one of thousands) states:"but seem to have no concern about individual's rights to support candidates even if they are not registered voters, or if they live in a different jurisdiction."

In my mind this is a question of the lesser of evils. I believe that contributions from people or organizations who are not eligible to vote for the candidate to whom they contribute simply corrupts the electoral process. As a Fire Board Director I saw the firefighters union spend almost 5 times as much as any individual candidate to try to pack the Board with people sympathetic to the union's interest - they failed.

We the voters elect people to represent us, not to represent people who live elsewhere or special interest groups. By law people can support whomever they wish but I will only support candidates who have the integrity and courage to ONLY accept support from individuals who can actually vote for them.

The result of my standard is not the election of the 'old boy' network but the choice of the voters uncontaminated by outside contributions.

You may have a different standard and that is your choice.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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