FREMONT -- Council members tonight are expected to fill the seat vacated by Bob Wieckowski, who resigned last week to join the state Assembly.

On Tuesday, council members whittled down a field of 14 applicants to six: former Council members Dominic Dutra and Judy Zlatnik, planning commissioners David Bonaccorsi and Yogi Chugh, Human Relations Commissioner Raj Salwan and local Sierra Club leader Vinnie Bacon.

The appointee will serve out the remaining two years of Wieckowski's term. Only Dutra and Zlatnik have said they would not seek election in 2012.

Council members are scheduled to interview the finalists beginning at 5:30 p.m., before ranking them and voting for Wieckowski's successor.

On Tuesday, council members each picked their five preferred applicants. All four council members voted for Dutra, Bonaccorsi and Salwan. Three voted for Chugh, and two voted for and Bacon and Zlatnik.

Zlatnik, a longtime supporter of Wieckowski's, served on the council from 1992 to 2002.

Dutra, who served from 2002 to 2006, is CEO of Dutra-Cerro-Graden, a real-estate development firm that also does land-use consulting for clients, which include the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont. His father is retired real-estate magnate and former Assemblyman John Dutra,

Bonaccorsi, who does legal work for Dutra, is a partner in the Newark-based law firm Bernard, Balgley & Bonaccorsi. He previously lost a bid for the Ohlone College board of trustees.


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Chugh is an executive at Sony who has worked with Indo-American community leaders, including Romesh Japra, on the annual Festival of India parade. Bacon, the first runner-up in the 2008 and 2010 council elections, is a technology professional who opposed the Oakland A's moving to Fremont.

Salwan, a veterinarian, is a major property owner and the operator of the American Animal Care Center in Fremont, which has been criticized by at least two former customers. Their negative reviews on Yelp.com, caused Salwan to threaten a lawsuit, documents show. Both customers refused to remove their posts, but Salwan never filed lawsuits.

"It was not the right way to handle it. I regret doing that," Salwan said Wednesday. "Now I have a much thicker skin," he said. "You can't keep everyone happy. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

Salwan has a clean record with the California Veterinary Medical Board.

Contact Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. For more Fremont news, read his blog at www.IBAbuzz.com/tricitybeat.