BURLINGAME -- This tony Peninsula town's management of new development and parking define the nine candidates running for three spots on the Burlingame City Council.
Some candidates are focused on creating more parking in the city's downtown core, while others prioritize protecting the town's upper-class look by closely supervising upcoming building projects, including potential construction at its landmark downtown post office.
Voters will decide Tuesday who, with two incumbents in the running, get to oversee development issues over the next four years.
Incumbent Councilwoman Ann Keighran and challenger Nirmala Bandrapalli are both concentrating on downtown parking. With higher-end retailers like Anthropologie, an Apple Store and J. Crew, the knot of stores near Burlingame Avenue attract shoppers -- and cars -- from around the Peninsula.
According to Keighran, it's time to make a decision on parking. "We need to figure out the location, capacity and cost of providing short- and long-term parking needs," she said.
Bandrapalli, an entrepreneur, supports "a two-story parking structure with architectural integrity in the city's aesthetic style," as well as a smartphone app to get shoppers to existing spots.
Some construction projects, including the proposed sale and potential redevelopment of the city's historic downtown post office site on Park Road, requires the council's full attention, according to three of the challengers.
The 1941 building, with bronze doors and Art Deco sculptures, is subject to restrictions to protect the historic structure, which could impact a developer's preliminary proposal to put up 100 apartment units and 35,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space near the site.
Challenger Stephen Duncan, a former assistant drugstore manager, advocated for "careful planning and development of the post office property, while maintaining historic landmark status."
Russ Cohen, a former councilman, agreed, saying high-density housing in downtown "will have serious impacts and needs to be carefully monitored to minimize those impacts."
Candidate Ricardo Ortiz, a consultant, shared their concern, saying, "We must ensure that these (developments) are built to match the neighborhood to protect the character of Burlingame."
Two other challengers are seeking to clean up problems they see in the city's handling of construction projects. Realty company owner Andrew Peceimer says he wants to make "sure each voter's voice (is) heard" by denying big projects, such as the $17 million Burlingame streetscape project, unless they are voter-approved.
Alexander England Kent, who works in finance and real estate, wants to stop developers from being able to hire council members or planning commissioners to represent their project as it goes through the approval process. Leaders must represent "Burlingame's best, long-term interest -- not just one party," Kent said.
Incumbent Councilman Michael Brownrigg touts the city's public and private financing of the Burlingame Avenue streetscape project but noted that the "budget remains the single most important issue for the city."
"We are in good shape," he said. "However, there are still challenges in terms of employee expenses, deferred maintenance and new investment."
Candidate Robert Schinagl did not respond to requests for information.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.
Here is how much eight of nine candidates for Burlingame City Council have raised, according to statements filed as of the Oct. 24 deadline:
Andrew Peceimer: $51,863
Ann Keighran: $23,455
Nirmala Bandrapalli: $23,086
Russ Cohen: $15,388
Michael Brownrigg: $13,550
Ricardo Ortiz: $13,495,
Steve Duncan: $2,000
Alexander Kent England: $1,578
Robert Schinagl: No report filed