http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/11/14/aim-hosting-forum-with-candidate-information


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - November 14, 2008

AIM hosting forum with candidate information

Alamo seeking qualified people to run for town council

by Geoff Gillette

Alamo residents interested in serving on a town council can learn what to expect in the first years of a newly formed government, at a meeting hosted by the Alamo Incorporation Movement (AIM) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The presentation will also address the ins and outs of campaigning.

County officials recently approved a ballot in March to ask residents if they want Alamo to incorporate. In the same election, voters will choose Town Council members to take charge of the newly minted government - if it is approved.

AIM spokesman Chris Kenber said the intent of next week's meeting is to get as much information out to potential candidates as possible.

"What we decided is that it's really important to get really good candidates for town council," he said. "And we've found that people have a lot of questions about it."

Kenber said the two questions he hears most are:

1. What is it like to run for town council?

2. What is it like to be a member of a town council?

The forum will feature several area residents who have been involved in governance and incorporation efforts.

Speakers will include San Ramon City Councilman Scott Perkins and former Danville Town Council members Beverly Lane and Susanna Schlendorf. The panel will be moderated by Lafayette City Councilwoman Carol Federighi. Organizers have also invited the Contra Costa County Elections Department to participate to answer questions pertaining to the process itself.

Kenber said he is hopeful that residents on both sides of the issue will take advantage of the information they are providing.

"The reason AIM is not moderating the meeting, just setting it up, is that we want people to be able to get the facts," he said.

Kenber himself has some experience in running for election, having served on the board of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. He said the campaigns for both are similar, just different in scope.

"When you are running for school board, you have around 75,000 people you need to reach; in Alamo that number is more around 15,000," he explained. "It's less daunting financially, but it's still a campaign."

He added that he has no intention of running for one of the town council seats, primarily because he does not have the time to commit to the task of creating a town government.

"Anyone who takes on this task needs to know that the first year of a new town is an enormous amount of work," he said. "It's not the same as joining an existing town council. You're creating something from scratch. My commitment is to get this through the election, get it won, then stand on the sidelines and watch."

County Election officials said residents can file nominating petitions now. Potential candidates need to have 20-30 nominating signatures from Alamo residents. There is no cost for filing; however, if a candidate wishes to have a 200-word candidate statement in the county's election brochure it will cost $540. Filing deadline is Dec 5.

The candidate information meeting will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Creekside Community Church, 1350 Danville Blvd., Alamo.

Comments

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2008 at 7:25 am

Thank you, Dolores, for this article and special thanks to Geoff and Chris for clear confirmation of the purpose of the meeting. Our neighbors appreciate your response to our request for clarification.

Best wishes,

Hal