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Upfront ELECTION 2012

Gray injects green into council campaign Consultant takes funding lead with a $30,000 contribution to his own campaign by Gennady Sheyner


im Gray’s dark-horse candidacy for the Palo Alto City Council received a major boost from a $30,000 contribution that the financial consultant has injected into his own campaign. Gray, who has twice run unsuccessfully for a seat on the ninemember council, is hoping that the third time will be the charm — and he’s got the funds to prove it. While he ran his first two campaigns on a shoestring budget, his recent $30,000 contribution has given him the largest campaign chest of the six candidates in the race. Gray, whose top issue is fiscal re-

sponsibility, told the Weekly that he is not accepting contributions for his council campaign. His decision to fund the campaign exclusively with his own money, he said, is intended to reinforce his status as an independent candidate. According to campaign-finance records filed Friday, Oct. 5, attorney Marc Berman also remains flush with cash. His $23,846 places him second behind Gray, though his funds have come from a diverse network of donors. These include economist Stephen Levy and planning Commissioner Alex Panelli, both of whom served with Berman

on the Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission, a panel that analyzed the city’s infrastructure needs. Councilman Pat Burt edged former Mayor Liz Kniss for third place in fundraising by the Sept. 30 deadline, with $11,075. Burt’s large field of donors includes various neighborhood leaders, including Karen White, Annette Glanckopf and Norm Beamer; established politicians such as Assemblyman Jerry Hill and state Sen. Joe Simitian (each contributed $100); and local developers. Two entities associated with prominent developer Charles “Chop� Keenan had each contribut-

ed $500 to Burt’s campaign. Mark Gates of the real-estate company Hamilton Management chipped in another $500. Burt also received $500 from Jim Baer, a prolific consultant who has been involved in most of the city’s recent major development applications. These included the recently approved Lytton Gateway development, a four-story structure pegged for Lytton Avenue and Alma Street. Two of the partners involved in the Lytton Gateway project, Lund Smith and Boyd Smith, each gave $500 to Burt’s campaign. At the same time, Burt received a $250 contribution from the California League of Conservation voters. The other incumbent in the race, Greg Schmid, reported $8,059 in contributions as of Sept. 30, though his contributions came from very different sources than Burt’s. Some of the city’s leading critics of major new developments, including for-

mer council members Jack Morton ($150), Emily Renzel ($200) and Enid Pearson ($100) contributed to his campaign. Land-use watchdogs Bob Moss and Fred Balin have also chipped in $100 each. The retired economist also received $100 contributions from former mayors Yoriko Kishimoto and Gary Fazzino and from state politicians Hill and Simitian. Kniss, meanwhile, ended the reporting period with $10,921 in cash. The termed-out Santa Clara County supervisor has received contributions from numerous local residents and former officials. Kishimoto and Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd each contributed $100. Kniss has also received $500 from the campaign of her fellow Supervisor Ken Yeager. The sixth candidate in the race, Mark Weiss, isn’t raising any funds for his campaign and has not filed a campaign-disclosure form. N


School board candidates to square off on Monday Additional local political forums scheduled as Nov. 6 election looms


he Palo Alto Weekly is sponsoring a forum on Monday, Oct. 15, with candidates for the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education. The event will be moderated by state Sen. Joe Simitian, a former Palo Alto school board member, and held at 7:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave. The four candidates vying for three available spots in the election are incumbents Melissa Baten Caswell and Camille Townsend, software engineer Ken Dauber and parent educator Heidi Emberling. Two additional school board can-

didates’ forums will take place later this month. With Election Day approaching, civic groups continue to host a variety of voter-education forums, providing the electorate with opportunities to learn more about the people and issues they will be voting on Nov. 6. Here are some other upcoming events: Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education s 3UNDAY /CT  AT  PM AT Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St. s7EDNESDAY /CT ATPM

at Nixon Elementary School, 1711 Stanford Ave., sponsored by the PTAs of Nixon and Escondido elementary schools. State Assembly and State Senate s 7EDNESDAY /CT    PM at 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park. Cosponsored with League of Women Voters South San Mateo County. Election Day: presidential, state legislature and county final elections s 4UESDAY .OV   AM  PM More information is available at N — Palo Alto Online staff

Public Agenda


Big spread in financing of school-board race Caswell raises the most cash with the most donors; Dauber effort is mostly self-funded


chool board incumbent Melissa Baten Caswell led and challenger Ken Dauber trailed in fundraising for next month’s election for the Palo Alto Board of Education, according to campaign finance reports through Sept. 30. In the last three months, Caswell received $18,012 in contributions from 71 donors. Challenger Heidi Emberling raised $12,844 from 36 contributors; incumbent Camille Townsend raised $10,079 from 40 donors and Dauber raised $9,657 from 29 donors, which included a $5,697 loan to himself. The four candidates are vying for three available school board seats in the Nov. 6 election. Caswell’s largest donors, at $500, were former school board member Mandy Lowell, Sue and

by Chris Kenrick Lou Pelosi, Heather Rose, Preeva Tramiel and Michael Rantz. Contributions at $400 came from Gary Kremen; at $300 from Claudia and Doug Begg; at $260 from Judy and Todd Logan and at $250 from John Kirchmann, Camilla Olson, Yoriko Kishimoto, Marvina White, Asher Waldfogel and Helyn MacLean, Amy Sung and Wim deGroot, Susan Paul, Hollis Caswell. Barb Mitchell, Dorit and Greg Scharff, Lauren Bonomi and Sarah Sands. Emberling’s largest donor, at $500, was Preeva Tramiel. Contributions at $250 came from Aiofe Maynard, Diana Walsh, Brennan McKenzie, Barb Mitchell, Sarah Sands, Richard Hirsch and Steve Ross. Townsend’s largest donors, at $1,000, were Shan-I Judy Severson and Kathleen Eyre. Contribu-

VIDEO: Candidate interviews The four candidates for Palo Alto school board and the six candidates for Palo Alto City Council discussed their experience and opinions on relevant issues with the editorial board of the Palo Alto Weekly recently. Each candidate’s video is 30 minutes long. Watch them all on by clicking on the “Election 2012� module.

tions at $500 came from Mandy Lowell, Jack Moses and Jim Baer; at $350 from Charles Jacklin; and at $250 from Deborah Peng, Lauren Bonomi, school board member Barb Mitchell and Stephen Smith. Dauber’s campaign has been mostly self-funded, with $5,697 from himself and $3,960 in contributions from others. His largest donors, at $500, were David Bailey and Darren Neuman. Contributions at $200 came from Meri Gruber, Karen Kang, Rajiv Bhateja, Mitchell Polinsky, Greg Schmid and Michael Klausner. All four candidates reported smaller contributions as well, ranging from $20 to $200. Complete campaign finance reports are on file with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. N

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings next week CITY COUNCIL ... The council plans to meet in a closed session to discuss potential litigation relating to the construction of the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center. The council also plans to have a study session with Assemblyman Rich Gordon, discuss a recent colleagues’ memo calling for consideration of ways to reduce the rising costs of employee benefits; and consider adopting an ordinance instituting a moratorium on parking exemptions for developments downtown and near California Avenue. The closed session will begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, in the Council Conference Room and will be followed by the session with Gordon. The rest of the meeting will follow in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). CITY/SCHOOL COMMITTEE ... The committee plans to hear an update on traffic safety, discuss the school district’s enrollment report and hear an update on the city’s capital-improvement projects. The meeting will begin at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Council Conference Room at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD ... The board plans to discuss 1070 Page Mill Road, a proposal by Stanford University to demolish 67,000 square feet of commercial space and construct a 116,000-square-foot, two-story research-and-development building. The board also plans to discuss 1845 El Camino Real, a proposal by Ken Hayes for a three-story mixed-use building; and to talk about the Rinconada Park Long Range Plan. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). CUBBERLEY POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE ... The committee plans to hear a status report from the Cubberley Community Advisory Committee co-chairs. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in the school district office (25 Churchill Ave.).


Palo Alto Weekly 10.12.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the October 12, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly

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