Parks Commissioner John Mills preparing to run for San Ramon City Council | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

Parks Commissioner John Mills preparing to run for San Ramon City Council

Uploaded: Jun 7, 2013

I spoke to City Clerk Pat Edwards this afternoon to ask if Harry Sachs and Dave Hudson were the only two candidates running for City Council if the election would be cancelled. Many of us still believe Jim Livingstone will not run again in the fall.

If Jim doesn't file by the August 9th deadline, the filing period would be extended to August 14th. The opening date for filing is July 15th, so that still leaves plenty of time for new candidates to jump into the race. In fact another new candidate is on the verge of announcing.

Pat told me that John Mills, who has been on the Parks Commission since 2010, is planning to run for City Council. So, along with Dave Hudson and Harry Sachs, that makes at least three candidates for City Council this November.

I was surprised about John Mills. Not because he isn't an excellent candidate, but because this is the first I've heard of it. I have not seen anything on it in any of the local press, so I hope I'm scooping everyone here.

Mills already made the announcement at a meeting of the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club on May 23rd. I guess that shows how little attention anyone around here pays to Democrats. This is from the meeting announcement on the Club's website:

"The local speaker at this meeting will be John Mills, Future Candidate for the San Ramon City Council.

John is a local Democrat who is planning to run in this fall's election. He's spent his career as staff to elected officials at the city, county, and state levels of government since 2000, most recently as the Chief of Staff since 2006 to Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. His public service extends beyond his work life, including as a member of the First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission since 2008 and the Chair for Legislative Advocacy of the Country Club Elementary School PTA Board since 2011. John also has been involved with the City of San Ramon since 2006, serving on the City's Economic Development and Housing Advisory Committees, and most recently as a member of the Parks and Community Services Commission."

Mills service on Committees and Commissions before running for City Council is what I call "paying his dues." The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Parks and Community Services Commission provide excellent experience on how the City is run and make great stepping stones to City Council.

Mills' job as Chief of Staff for Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager gives Mills another level of experience none of the other candidates have. Even though Santa Clara County has different laws and procedures from Contra Costa County, Mills' experience with Yeager is invaluable in understanding the relationship between cities and counties.

I first met John Mills when he interviewed for the Planning Commission in 2010. I attended the Council's interviews of four candidates for the Commission. Jean Benedetti was appointed to the Planning Commission, Harry Sachs was reappointed, and John Mills was appointed to the Housing Advisory Committee. Phil O'Loane was not reappointed and later ran for City Council partly as a response to not being reappointed to the Planning Commission.

I phoned Supervisor Yeager's office this afternoon to speak with John Mills about his candidacy, but he wasn't available. I left him a message and received an email from John that he's preparing to make an announcement next week. He asked if I could wait with my blog until Monday.

I originally planned to write this Friday's blog on the winner of DSRSD's James B. Kohnen Scholarship, so I could write that blog now instead of this one on Mills, but I want to scoop the other newspapers tonight. So I wrote to Mills that I'd like to post this now. He was very cooperative and emailed me a photo (included), and a Press Release and a Resume, which are not included. Thanks John, and good luck.