Campaigns on for mayor, City Council, with no election for school board
Fundraisers under way as candidates seek voter support
With the deadline now past for filing for municipal and school board elections in Pleasanton, two City Council members are vying for election as the city's mayor and four are seeking election to fill two seats that will be available on the council in the Nov. 6 election.
Only the three incumbents were seeking re-election to the school board, which means there will be no election in that race. Trustees Chris Grant, Jamie Hintzke and Valerie Arkin are unopposed and will automatically be re-seated in December when their current terms expire.
Sean Kullman, a tenured English instructor, took out papers as a school board candidate but failed to file them before the Aug. 10 deadline. If he or anyone else would have sought election to the board, there would have been an election.
City Council members Jerry Thorne and Cheryl Cook-Kallio are campaigning for mayor. Whichever one is elected mayor still allows the other to remain on the council to complete the two years left on their current terms. A special election, as mandated by the City Council, will be held probably in March to fill the seat vacated by the winning mayor candidate.
Those seeking a seat on the City Council in the upcoming election are businesswoman Karla Brown, transportation consultant Erlene DeMarcus, Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Pentin and Michael Harris.
Thorne and Cook-Kallio have already held separate campaign and fundraiser rallies to generate support for their mayoral bids. Cook-Kallio will hold another one next Wednesday evening at the home of Becky and Murray on Gray Fox Circle, which will also celebrate the candidate's 58th birthday.
DeMarcus told supporters at a campaign breakfast Wednesday morning at the Alameda County Fairgrounds pavilion that, if elected to the City Council, she will seek common ground among all divergent groups in the city to keep Pleasanton fiscally sound with good schools, recreational facilities and housing that's affordable to teachers, police and firefighters and others.
"I have seen this city becoming divided on issues, and I will use my experience and ability to work with anybody to continue the progress we have seen here," DeMarcus said.
DeMarcus has a long history of public service in Pleasanton and the region. Once a traffic and transportation consultant to former Congressman Bill Baker, a Republican, she was chosen to serve on the BART board of directors. As Pleasanton's representative on that board, she is credited with winning the support of her associates to finance bringing BART to Pleasanton, the first extension ever authorized by BART directors. No longer a BART board member, she now owns her own transportation consulting firm.
Former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer, who introduced DeMarcus at Wednesday's breakfast rally, said DeMarcus has worked tirelessly on a number of public and nonprofit boards, including the American Heart, Cancer and Diabetes associations.
"It's wonderful to find people in our community who are willing to stand up and serve and bring their years of expertise that's made their work so beneficial to the Valley," Mercer said.