It's a crowded field of candidates for the Danville Town Council election this November with nine candidates -- including two incumbents -- competing for three at-large council seats.
Danville is well-managed, with a balanced budget and no unfunded liability, and a lot of the credit goes toward its current leadership.
Care must be taken, though, to maintain this envious position in the face of a global pandemic, economic downturn, struggling small businesses and a state government that demands building affordable housing. Danville needs leaders who know what they are doing now more than ever, which is why we are endorsing incumbents Newell Arnerich and Renee Morgan.
To call Arnerich’s experience extensive would be an understatement. His history of civic involvement stretches back more than 30 years as he served on the town's Design Review Board and Planning Commission prior to his first election to the council. That experience is going to be desperately needed to get through the many crises that will likely continue for several years. As the longest-serving council member, Arnerich is a knowledgeable leader who has proven he is not afraid to make controversial decisions that are in the town's best interest.
Morgan, a thoughtful council member with solid civic experience, also deserves another term. She served on the Danville Planning Commission, Danville Historic Design Review Committee and Danville Heritage Resource Commission prior to her election to the council eight years ago. Among other accomplishments during her time on these committees, Morgan helped update two General Plans for the town. She is also a strong advocate for regional cooperation, serving on a variety of regional committees and commissions.
This is an unprecedented election in an unprecedented time. Very rarely do Danville voters see multiple names other than incumbents on the ballot, and now they have seven new candidates to choose from. With Councilwoman Lisa Blackwell announcing she would not run for re-election, there will be at least one new person on the five-person council come December.
For this vacancy, voters should choose current Senior Advisory Commissioner Dave Fong.
Fong has served on state and local committees, and has good relationships with sitting council members and town staff. He should be able to hit the ground running on day one without much of a learning curve. In addition to his role on the town’s Senior Advisory Commission, Fong has also served on a number of education and health committees. We also like that he has experience on the state level as a former appointed member of the California State Board of Pharmacy.
Candidate Turner Stanton also has experience serving on local committees, most recently as a member of the Recover Danville Alliance -- which he joined after independently starting his own strategies to help local businesses reopen amid the pandemic.
Stanton would bring change to the council which, in different circumstances, might be valuable. However, there is no need for change and we feel the town will benefit by staying the current course. A vote for Fong really is a vote for continuity. He's repeatedly praised the council and has basically said he'd continue their current trends.
We commend Mohamed Elsherbini, Nasser Mirzai, PJ Shelton and Kevin Traylor for their willingness to serve, but they failed to distinguish themselves amid the crowded field. We would like to see them gain civic experience by serving on a town committee or commission and running for council again in the future.
Allen Timmons is a “no growth” candidate, which is unrealistic in the Bay Area. He has also repeatedly vocalized a desire to bring his conservative political views to the council. The Town Council is a non-partisan position for good reason; bringing political views to the forefront will only bring divisiveness to the town.
Vote for incumbents Newell Arnerich and Renee Morgan and newcomer Dave Fong for Danville Town Council.