With two out of three Woodside Town Council seats uncontested in this election, it's great to see three passionate and engaged candidates competing to represent the new District 2, which encompasses parts of Emerald Hills east of Interstate Highway 280 and borders Huddart Park.
The fact that the newly redrawn districts reduce the town's traditional seven council seats down to five, creating larger districts, makes it even more important that voters get a say in who will represent them for the next four years.
All three candidates, incumbent Brian Dombkowski, architect and town volunteer Steve Lubin, and Woodside Elementary School PTA vice president and accounting firm partner Elizabeth Kaske have housing -- easily the most polarizing and complicated issue facing Woodside at the moment -- among their top priorities.
Kaske offers financial skills and a newcomer's perspective, having recently moved to Woodside from Menlo Park. Her desire to serve her new hometown is admirable, but we think she would be a stronger Town Council candidate if she first turned her drive for civic service toward one of the town's advisory committees. With a little more experience and knowledge of the workings of Woodside's town government, we think she could become a formidable council candidate in the future.
The choice between Lubin and Dombkowski is harder. Lubin is a lifelong town resident who offers a deep knowledge of the town's land use and development history, having had a hand in several big projects over the years. He helped design the Woodside Community Museum with his wife Thalia, and has put in many years of service on several town committees dating back to 1975. His dedication to serving the town is longstanding and without question.
In his first term on the Town Council, Dombkowski has demonstrated his willingness to roll up his sleeves and put in the work to steer the town through a contentious issue. His open-door policy for meeting with constituents is admirable and very necessary. We think he has shown the ability to read the temperature of the town and come up with compromise solutions, like the revised housing element proposal he crafted with council member Chris Shaw, dubbed the "Shawkowski" proposal. His pragmatic approach of not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good seems best suited to this fraught moment for Woodside. We recommend a vote for Brian Dombkowski for Woodside Town Council.