One City Council candidate who took out papers, Brian Jeffries, did not file, leaving a field of five candidates vying for three open seats on the Council.

Filing closed Nov. 6 for the Feb. 2 special election for City Council and school board.

The Council candidates are incumbents Garrett Keating and John Chiang, challengers Julie Watters, Jeff Wieler and Nancy "Sunny" Bostrom.

Candidates serve for four years without pay. Keating and Chiang are eligible to serve another term, while Mayor Abe Friedman is termed out.

Only the two incumbents, Ray Gadbois and Roy Tolles, filed papers to seek re-election on the school board.

The school board has the option of appointing the two candidates as there are no challengers. Schools Superintendent Connie Hubbard is checking the protocol and said the matter likely would be addressed at a December board meeting.

As a result, the district probably will be relieved of its half of the election's cost, which is estimated to be from $40,000 to $50,000. That will be borne by the city.

Council challenger Julie Watters said she is running to restore sound judgment and independence on the Council. An attorney, married with one son, Watters said she hopes to move beyond the polarization that has come to dominate city discourse.


Advertisement

She campaigned in favor of Measures B and E, the school parcel taxes to supplement dwindling coffers due to state take-aways. She volunteered several years at the Havens library and as a school parent. She got her law degree from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.

Wieler's focus includes taking the "long view" to continue providing superb services to residents for police, fire and paramedics. He has spent 35 years in financial and general management and served previously on the Council from 2002-06.

Wieler says he knows the city's budgets and resources well, with years of experience working with unions and negotiating labor contracts.

"When tough decisions have to be made, I'll make them," Wieler said.

Incumbent Chiang, a CFO, supports prudent fiscal management, and has served on numerous committees, including parks, planning, municipal tax and audit.

He's been an active participant for both city and schools for more than 20 years.

Keating, a scientist, wants to continue working to stabilize the city's budget crisis, broaden representation and perspective on the Council and work closely with residents on their issues.

Bostrom, a deputy marriage commissioner for Alameda County, grew up in Piedmont and has lived there off and on her entire life.

"The time has come. I want to encourage people to think about not being sitting ducks. Crime is escalating. The solution is measurable," Bostrom said.

She proposes placing day and night cameras on entrances and exits to Piedmont to deter criminals. She noted that she has been a victim of burglary at her Piedmont home.

She said Piedmonters are a valiant lot who rally when there is a need. Public safety is a top priority, so people "can walk their dogs safely and sleep at night. Let's put our priorities in order," she said.

Gadbois, a self-employed financial adviser, wants to continue his work on the school board, "fostering a culture of continuous improvement in the quality of our educational program," Gadbois said.

He worked on both parcel tax committees in 2001 and 2005, and served as president of the Piedmont Educational Foundation.

Tolles, a civil engineer, married with two children, says public engagement and transparency of decision-making are high on his list, and he will continue to work to improve the quality of education.

He supported changes and improvements to the math and science programs and would like to develop a few additional classes that are typically offered at other high-end public schools.