By Roz Rogoff
Carol Rowley Follows Heart and Bill ClarksonUploaded: Jan 20, 2011
Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from City Councilperson Carol Rowley. I asked her what she was calling about. She said, "What do you think?"
I said, "After I wrote that you are not planning to run for Mayor, now you are calling to tell me you are."
"I've given this a lot of soul searching," she said, "I need to do this at this time."
She asked me to hold off writing a story on it until she had a chance to make a public announcement.
I saw Carol at the Arts Advisory Committee meeting later Wednesday night, but she didn't say anything more about her plans to run for Mayor. She was with Carol Lopez, who is on the Parks and Community Services Commission. Councilperson Scott Perkins was also at the Committee meeting.
I was planning to write my Friday Observer blog on the new kinetic sculpture being installed in Athan Down this week. It will be completed by Friday afternoon, for those of you who want to see it. It's a fun piece.
Carol phoned me at 11 pm to tell me I could take the lid off the story; so that's why I'm writing this now. She knows I don't like to be "scooped," as they say in the News Biz.
I also received an email from Carol Lopez, who is Carol Rowley's Campaign Manager, announcing Rowley's candidacy for Mayor of San Ramon. I'll let the Editor of the Express post the formal announcement in the news section of this paper. I'm writing from my own experience and perspective.
I am a little surprised that Carol took this move. The two candidates both worked for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Bill Clarkson was a Trustee for 12 years and Carol Rowley was Principal of Country Club Elementary School for 19 years.
I asked Carol how she thought the two of them both being in the SRVUSD would play out. She said, "I'm the only one with experience on the City Council." She has served 8 years on the Council and was on the Parks and Community Services Commission for many years before that.
So that's one distinction Carol can make with her opponent(s). I added the parenthetical (s) because it is still very early in the year. More candidates could pop up like rabbits, but according to Carol it won't be Councilperson Dave Hudson. He won't be running for Mayor this year.
Dave at least has a "safe seat." Since his term goes through 2013, he could lose and still stay on the City Council. Carol's term is up this year, so if she loses as Mayor, she's off the City Council. I asked her if she's willing to risk that. "I'm following my heart," she said.
So far, in my opinion anyway, both of the candidates are qualified yet provide voters a real choice. I'm sure some residents will consider these two candidates part of the political establishment, so there could be at least one more joining in the race for Mayor.
And with Carol not running for Council, this opens up her Council seat for a newcomer OR maybe not. There has been some speculation that Mayor Abram Wilson might run for City Council. He cannot run for Mayor again, but there are no term limits on City Council seats.
This election is looking to be very interesting, and not at all as expected (by me anyway). One thing I guarantee. My hat is firmly fastened to my head.