James Dobbie running for Atherton council | February 27, 2008 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - February 27, 2008

James Dobbie running for Atherton council

by Andrea Gemmet

Atherton resident James Dobbie is the first candidate to file for a vacant seat on the five-member Atherton City Council.

A special election is set for June 3. The filing period for nomination papers and candidates' statements ends March 7.

Mr. Dobbie is a member of the Atherton Planning Commission and the chair of the town's general plan committee. He also frequently attends City Council meetings.

He is running to fill the remaining year and a half of former councilman Alan Carlson's four-year term.

Mr. Dobbie, an Atherton resident since 1994, lives in the Lindenwood neighborhood with his wife Patricia. He's been retired since 1996 from a career in senior management in high-tech companies, including Memorex and Avantek, he said.

A native of Scotland, Mr. Dobbie said he moved to the United States with his wife in 1957. Prior to moving to Atherton, the Dobbies lived in Palo Alto for 19 years.

He earned degrees in electrical engineering from Glasgow University in Scotland and from Arizona State University, he said.

In a written candidate statement, Mr. Dobbie said his goals as a council member will be to increase the transparency of the town's activities, help the council become a unified team, and ensure closer oversight of town operations.

"I hear a lot of complaints," Mr. Dobbie told the Almanac. "People feel the council doesn't communicate enough, that there are too many secrets. We need to somehow find a way so that the council gives the feeling that everything is open and above board."

He also aims to find a more permanent source of town funding than the parcel tax, but he declined to name any specific ideas just yet.

"I have a lot of ideas, but I don't want to bring them up until I've analyzed them more," he said.

Mr. Carlson, who was serving as Atherton's mayor at the time, resigned his seat in November after selling his house in Atherton and buying a new home in Carmel.


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