Five contested elections in Almanac area

No contests for town councils in Woodside and Portola Valley.

There will be five contested elections in the Almanac circulation area in November, but not for town council seats in Woodside and Portola Valley.

With the filing period closed Aug. 17, there are only two candidates for two council seats in Portola Valley. And in Woodside, there are four candidates for four seats.

The councils have the option of appointing the candidates to the councils instead of holding elections. That decision may be made this week.

Woodside's council meets in Independence Hall to address this question at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. The Portola Valley council may do the same at its meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. that evening in the Historic Schoolhouse.

The towns' traditions diverge on uncontested elections. In Portola Valley, the council tends to forgo them, citing the cost (about $10,000 this time). Woodside tends to have them anyway.

Running in Portola Valley this time are energy consultant Jeff Aalfs and incumbent Councilwoman Ann Wengert.

In Woodside, there are seven districts. A candidate must live in the district, but runs town-wide. This year, four of the seven seats are up for election. The three incumbent candidates are Ron Romines in District 1, Dave Burow in District 5, and Peter Mason in District 7. The new candidate, Thomas Shanahan, an investment banker, is running in District 3.

Elections do allow write-in candidates to run.

Contested elections

Following are the candidates in contested elections. Candidates are listed in the order shown on a roster at the website of the San Mateo County Registrar of Voters.

Sequoia Union High School District: Five candidates are running for three open seats on the five-member school board. The candidates are: East Palo Alto nonprofit director Larry Moody, San Carlos School District board member Carrie B. Du Bois, Stanford University law school lecturer and Menlo Park resident Allen Weiner, and incumbents Lorraine Rumley and Olivia Martinez.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District: Five candidates are running for two seats on the five-member board. The candidates are: incumbent Bart Spencer, business executive Scott Barnum, security consultant Robert Silano, community activist Virginia Chang Kiraly, and former board member and electrician Steve Kennedy. (This fire district covers Atherton, East Palo Alto and some unincorporated areas in addition to Menlo Park.)

San Mateo County Community College District: Six candidates are running for three seats. The candidates are: incumbent Dave Mandelkern, Jaime Diaz, incumbent Patricia Miljanich, incumbent Karen Schwarz, education nonprofit director Joe Ross, and businessman Michael Stogner.

Woodside Elementary School District: Three candidates are running for two seats. The candidates are: lawyer and parent Kevin P.B. Johnson, businessman and parent Rudy Driscoll, and incumbent and lawyer Virginia "Ginger" Bamford.

Los Trancos County Water District: Three candidates are running for two seats. The candidates are: retired executive director Claudia C. Mazzetti, community volunteer Susan Coons, and community volunteer Nancy Neuer.

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