Four candidates are now in the race for election to the Pleasanton City Council, along with two others seeking election as mayor.
Olivia Sanwong, a member of the city's Economic Development Committee who ran unsuccessfully for council two years ago, filed nomination papers before Friday's deadline, qualifying for a position on the Nov. 4 municipal ballot.
She joins incumbent City Councilwoman Kathy Narum, former Planning Commissioner Arne Olson and George Bowen in the bid for one of two available council seats.
In the council election, Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio is stepping down this year after serving eight years on the council, the maximum allowed under term limits.
Also, Narum, who was elected in a special ballot-by-mail election in May, 2013, to fill Mayor Jerry Thorne's unexpired term on the council, also must be elected to a full four-year term to continue on the council
In the mayor's race, Pleasanton attorney Matt Morrison, who was unsuccessful in his bid for election to the Zone 7 board last May, is challenging incumbent Mayor Jerry Thorne, who is seeking re-election to a second two-year term of office.
Narum launched her campaign for election to a full four-year term on the council at a crowded breakfast campaign last February in the Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Narum, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from UC Davis, served five years on the city's Planning Commission before her election to the council. Earlier, she served on the city's Parks and Recreation Commission for five years.
She is also past president of the Pleasanton Seahawks swimming organization, and served on the city's East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force and as chairwoman of the city's Heritage Tree board of appeals.
"During (my service) on the council, I've really tried to be accessible, listen to all perspectives and be accountable," she said.
She cited as some of her accomplishments working to finish construction drawings for the next phase of the Bernal Park property, creating a citizen's task force to develop a plan to upgrade the appearance of the city-owned Pioneer Cemetery, approving changes to the Downtown Specific Plan with regard to residential properties that will improve design and remodeling and adopting a revised cell phone tower ordinance that will improve the coverage in the city.
She said her priorities include reviewing and strengthening the city's fiscal policy "so that we will continue to ensure that our city's finances are sustainable."
"It is essential that we continue to have a sound fiscal policy that enhances revenues while looking for ways to reduce expenses through efficiency," Narum said. "We need to continue to reduce the city's unfunded pension liability, to promote thriving business parks so that we can attract and retain businesses in the city, and to further streamline the process of opening a business in Pleasanton."
In filing for election to the council, Olson, a retired bank executive who has lived in Pleasanton for 28 years, cited his experience in serving for the last eight years on the Planning Commission.
"This gave me a thorough understanding of our city's planning process," he said. "I strongly favor slow growth policies that ensure local control over land use decisions while complying with state law."
"As a council member, my two highest priorities will be neighborhoods and business," he added. "Pleasanton is a collection of individual neighborhoods that together form our wonderful community. Preserving the small town intimate feel of individual neighborhoods will assure that the community as a whole will continue to reflect our small town values."
"Businesses are vital to Pleasanton," Olson said. "They provide us with a large percentage of the revenue needed to keep our community fiscally sound, safe and clean. I pledge to work diligently to preserve and enhance our business base. In particular, I pledge to protect the jewel of Pleasanton, our downtown."
Sanwong said she is an advocate for sustainable growth policies that balance development with Pleasanton's quality of life and natural environment. Her decision-making process for policies will be based on each project's impact, including but not limited to water, open space, schools, traffic, public safety, libraries, and the downtown.
She has the endorsements of Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), who is also a candidate for re-election to that office, and outgoing Councilwoman Cook-Kallio.
Sanwong, a member of the city's Economic Vitality Committee completed her Master's Degree in Business Administration in May 2011 from the Simmons School of Management in Boston,
For more information about Olivia Sanwong, sign on to her Website at www.Vote4Olivia.com/
Bowen is perhaps best known for his work with veterans' organizations in promoting a Wente Concert fundraiser last October that raised funds to support wounded soldiers. Last month, he also announced the formation of a citizens' coalition, Pleasanton Voters for Smart Growth, an organization that is opposed to adding more apartment houses in the city.
"I am running for the City Council because I am convinced that the people of Pleasanton need a council member that will hold the line on further unnecessary residential growth," Bowen said. "The Council's upcoming decisions about adding thousands of new homes make Pleasanton's growth the most important issue facing the city in the years to come."
"I am very concerned that Pleasanton is rapidly and unnecessarily departing from our long-held vision of being the 'City of Planned Progress,'" he added.
Although he has never served on a Pleasanton commission or in an elective office, Bowen has been active with a non-profit organization he founded that is focused on reducing teen driving related deaths. He also serves at the national level on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Living Donor Committee, advocating for safe and transparent practices in living donor organ transplantation.