Candidate filing period now open


Yearning to get involved in local politics? The candidate filing period for the Nov. 4 election opens Monday, July 14. Seats on the Menlo Park and Atherton city councils as well as several school boards are up for election.

The filing period will run through Friday, Aug. 8, but will be extended through Wednesday, Aug. 13, in races where an incumbent candidate is eligible to run but does not file.

Up for election are school board seats in the Menlo Park City and Las Lomitas elementary school districts, on the county Board of Education, and on the governing boards of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the Sequoia Healthcare District.

In Menlo Park the terms of Rich Cline, Peter Ohtaki and Kirsten Keith are expiring. Mr. Ohtaki and Ms. Keith, both completing their first terms, have indicated they will run for re-election. Mr. Cline, who would be running for his third term, has said he is undecided.

An initiative measure sponsored by the grassroots coalition Save Menlo will also be on the November ballot if the Menlo Park City Council does not take action on July 15 to adopt the initiative as written. The initiative would modify the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan with restrictions on office space and a cap on new, nonresidential development, among other changes.

In Atherton the terms of Bill Widmer and Rick DeGolia are ending and the seat vacated by Jim Dobbie's resignation in March is also available. Mr. DeGolia, who was elected to fill out the term of Jerry Carlson in November 2013, and Mr. Widmer, who was first elected in 2010, have both said they will run for another term.

In the Menlo Park City School District, three seats are up for election. They are now held by board President Joan Lambert, who is finishing her first term; Terry Thygesen, who is ending her third term; and Scott Hinshaw, who was appointed by the board to fill Laura Rich's unexpired term in March.

In the Las Lomitas Elementary School District, three terms are expiring: those of board President Jay Siegel, who was appointed in 2009 and elected in 2010; Rich Ginn, who is finishing his first term; and Christie Heaton, who was appointed in 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Ann Jaquith.

Regionally, the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District has four of seven seats open, including Ward 6, the seat now held by Larry Hassett; Ward 6 includes most of Woodside, Menlo Park, Atherton and Portola Valley as well as La Honda, Loma Mar, Menlo Park, Pescadero, parts of Redwood City and San Gregorio. Mr. Hassett has been on the board since 2000.

The Sequoia Healthcare District's Board of Directors has three open seats, which any district resident 18 years or older is eligible to file for. Incumbents are Jerry Shefren, Arthur Faro and Jack Hickey

The San Mateo County Board of Education has three seats open, but those seats do not represent local school districts. Terms are ending for trustees from Area 1, which includes the La Honda-Pescadero and Cabrillo school districts; Area 2, which includes the Jefferson Union, Pacifica, Bayshore and Brisbane districts; and Area 3, which includes the South San Francisco district. Candidates will be elected by all district voters.


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