Parks Commissioner John Mills preparing to run for San Ramon City Council | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Parks Commissioner John Mills preparing to run for San Ramon City Council

Uploaded: Jun 7, 2013
I spoke to City Clerk Pat Edwards this afternoon to ask if Harry Sachs and Dave Hudson were the only two candidates running for City Council if the election would be cancelled. Many of us still believe Jim Livingstone will not run again in the fall.

If Jim doesn't file by the August 9th deadline, the filing period would be extended to August 14th. The opening date for filing is July 15th, so that still leaves plenty of time for new candidates to jump into the race. In fact another new candidate is on the verge of announcing.

Pat told me that John Mills, who has been on the Parks Commission since 2010, is planning to run for City Council. So, along with Dave Hudson and Harry Sachs, that makes at least three candidates for City Council this November.

I was surprised about John Mills. Not because he isn't an excellent candidate, but because this is the first I've heard of it. I have not seen anything on it in any of the local press, so I hope I'm scooping everyone here.

Mills already made the announcement at a meeting of the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club on May 23rd. I guess that shows how little attention anyone around here pays to Democrats. This is from the meeting announcement on the Club's website:

"The local speaker at this meeting will be John Mills, Future Candidate for the San Ramon City Council.

John is a local Democrat who is planning to run in this fall's election. He's spent his career as staff to elected officials at the city, county, and state levels of government since 2000, most recently as the Chief of Staff since 2006 to Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. His public service extends beyond his work life, including as a member of the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission since 2008 and the Chair for Legislative Advocacy of the Country Club Elementary School PTA Board since 2011. John also has been involved with the City of San Ramon since 2006, serving on the City's Economic Development and Housing Advisory Committees, and most recently as a member of the Parks and Community Services Commission."

Mills service on Committees and Commissions before running for City Council is what I call "paying his dues." The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Parks and Community Services Commission provide excellent experience on how the City is run and make great stepping stones to City Council.

Mills' job as Chief of Staff for Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager gives Mills another level of experience none of the other candidates have. Even though Santa Clara County has different laws and procedures from Contra Costa County, Mills' experience with Yeager is invaluable in understanding the relationship between cities and counties.

I first met John Mills when he interviewed for the Planning Commission in 2010. I attended the Council's interviews of four candidates for the Commission. Jean Benedetti was appointed to the Planning Commission, Harry Sachs was reappointed, and John Mills was appointed to the Housing Advisory Committee. Phil O'Loane was not reappointed and later ran for City Council partly as a response to not being reappointed to the Planning Commission.

I phoned Supervisor Yeager's office this afternoon to speak with John Mills about his candidacy, but he wasn't available. I left him a message and received an email from John that he's preparing to make an announcement next week. He asked if I could wait with my blog until Monday.

I originally planned to write this Friday's blog on the winner of DSRSD's James B. Kohnen Scholarship, so I could write that blog now instead of this one on Mills, but I want to scoop the other newspapers tonight. So I wrote to Mills that I'd like to post this now. He was very cooperative and emailed me a photo (included), and a Press Release and a Resume, which are not included. Thanks John, and good luck.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Raymond, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

Ms Rogoff,

You say that "I guess that shows how little attention anyone around here pays to Democrats." That's a curious statement since these are the San Ramon party registration figures from the Contra Costa County Elections Division as of 6/6/2013:

Registered Democrats 13,406

Registered Republicans 10,166

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I was joking, but I'm surprised there are that many more registered Democrats than Republicans in San Ramon. Danville has a higher registration of Republicans. I thought the parties were more evenly divided here. Everyone on my block, including me, is registered Republican. So I was making a little dig. You haven't learned to figure out my writing style yet.

Posted by Raymond, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Well, you know how literal Republicans are...

Posted by MLOliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Some of us (me) are fairly liberal except when it comes to tax $$$$$.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

City Clerk, Pat Edwards, emailed me some corrections for my blog. I see that my Editor, Jessica Lipsky, already fixed my error in the date to file if one of the incumbents doesn't file by August 9th. This would extend the filing date from August 9th to August 14th.

Mrs. Edwards also wanted to correct my terminology. "As I said in our telephone conversation, Mr. Hudson, Mr. Mills, and Mr. Sachs have filed the initial Fair Political Practices Commission forms relating to candidacy (Form 501 - Candidate Intention Statement and Form 410- Statement of Organization Recipient Committee). However, no one is a ?candidate? until they have received and completed their nomination forms."

So Mr. Sachs and Mr. Mills and even the incumbents are not officially "candidates" yet, and cannot be until the nomination period opens on July 15th.

I've been asked if I know of anyone planning to run for Mayor. The only one I know is Bill Clarkson. If anyone reading this knows someone else who might, please let us know.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


Mr. Mills has decided not to run for City Council after all. I'm disappointed because I felt he would make an excellent Councilman. I hope he reconsiders for the next election, which will be held in 2016 if the measure to switch to even year elections passes this year.

Here's his email explaining his decision not to run.

"Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I have been exploring a run for San Ramon City Council this year. Over the last several months, I have taken the steps necessary to lay the groundwork for a campaign, including filing the preliminary paperwork, opening a fundraising committee, and engaging in conversation about the direction of the city with many of you. First and foremost, I want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for your time, interest, and support as I explored this opportunity.

As the notion of a city council campaign shifted from theoretical to real, the demands that such a campaign would place on my family and me became real as well. I came to realize, over the course of the past several days, that I cannot run a city council campaign on my own terms. After a great deal of personal reflection, I?ve decided that the time is not right for me to pursue a seat on the San Ramon City Council.

My life is wonderfully full. I am first and foremost the father of two young boys, and I enjoy being able to participate with them in their school and extracurricular activities. My partner also works, and I share responsibilities with him at home. I have a very demanding yet personally very rewarding full-time job in public service. And I have a full plate of community involvement, on my own terms, that allows me to be active in my community but not feel obligated to the point that I sacrifice valuable time with my family. In other words, I have balance, and a city council campaign at this point in my life would upset that balance too much.

I?ve come to realize that I cannot run the campaign that would be up to my own personal standards, or that would meet what I feel is my obligation as a candidate to the voters, without tremendous personal cost to me and my family. I do not make this decision lightly, but I know in my heart that it is the right decision for my family and me.

Thank you again for encouraging me in this process, and thank you in advance for your understanding of my decision to do what I feel is best for my family and me.

Yours sincerely,

John Mills"

Posted by Brettwrelo, a resident of Ridgeview Commons,
on Sep 1, 2017 at 7:56 am

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