By Tim Hunt
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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add... (More)
About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in addition to writing editorials for more than 15 years. I have served as a director of many non-profits in the Valley and the broader Bay Area and currently serve as chair of Teen Esteem and on the advisory board of Shepherd?s Gate. I also served as founding chair of Heart for Africa and have travelled to Africa seven times to serve on mission trips. My wife, Betty Gail, has taught at Amador Valley High (from where we both graduated) since 1981. She and I both graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as did both of my parents and my three siblings. Given that Cal tradition, our daughter went south to the University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in international relations. Since graduation, she has taken three mission trips and will be serving in the Philippines for nine months starting in September. (Hide)
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Pleasanton residents will have four choices for one City Council seat when they receive their mail-in ballots for the May 7 special election to fill the final two years of Mayor Jerry Thorne's term.
Thorne was elected mayor last November. Thanks to an action by a prior City Council, a special election is required to fill his seatthe council cannot appoint a successor. By contrast, in Dublin, where Councilman Eric Swalwell was elected to Congress to replace the 80-year-old Maryland resident Fortney Pete Stark, the council decided earlier this month to solicit applications, interview applicants and then appoint a council member to replace Swalwell.
The differencea cool $250k that it will cost Pleasanton for the mail-in election. And the election by mail was substantially less expensive than a traditional polling place election.
What's intriguing about this race is three of the four were not publically involved in the council race in November. Planning Commissioner Kathy Narum ran Mayor Thorne's campaign last fall and has enlisted a number of public officials in her campaign.
She's joined by David Miller, an out-spoken critic of the city's progress in pension reform, and a self-identified Tea Party member. Miller directs a software program for a Silicon Valley company.
The other two candidates are business people Mark Hamilton, the direction of financial services at ADP in Pleasanton, and Olivia Sanwong, a market research analyst and former member of the Amador Valley High comp civics team. Both hold master's degrees.
Looking at credentials, it looks like a strong field for one seat. It will be one of those elections that residents have a positive decision among good candidates for the council seat.