Mountain View Voice

News - August 6, 2010

Large field teed up for council

Four pull papers to run against three incumbents

by Daniel DeBolt

So far, four people have expressed interest in challenging the three incumbents for their seats on the City Council. Friday is the deadline for entering the race.

The newest to express interest is planning commission chair and slow-growther John McAlister. McAlister, who owns Mountain View's Baskin Robbins, was a serious contender in the 2008 City Council race, losing to John Inks by 3 percentage points and about 2,000 votes. But while he had gone to the trouble of "pulling papers" recently, McAlister said Monday that he was still weighing his options and may or may not enter the race, which would put him up against his political ally and friend, council member Jac Siegel.

Meanwhile, pot club operator Matt Lucero had yet to pull papers, despite the big splash he made about running several weeks ago. He did not return the phone calls from the Voice by the press time.

Mountain View resident Greg David has submitted his paperwork to become a candidate, but little is known about his intentions, as he has not returned phone calls from the Voice. He is said to be on vacation this week.

David is the brother of Brian David, who wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary, the Shoreline Wellness Collective, in Mountain View. Their family ran Eddy's Sport Shop on Castro Street for many years.

As reported last week, Google software engineer Dan Waylonis has also announced his intention to run, as have incumbents Margaret Abe-Koga, Jac Siegel and Ronit Bryant.

Many of the prospective candidates have potential conflicts of interest in decisions the City Council will make over the next year. Waylonis may be prohibited from voting on actions directly related to Google, such as office development, but may be allowed to vote on things indirectly involving Google, such as the city's general plan update, said City Council member and lawyer Mike Kasperzak.

City Attorney Jannie Quinn said the issue required extensive analysis before she could weigh in on each candidate's situation.

Similarly, it may appear to the public that David and Lucero have a conflict of interest in voting on medical marijuana-related actions. The council is expected to vote on a medical marijuana ordinance in the coming months.

Lucero has said he would abstain from votes having to do with his Sunnyvale marijuana dispensary, Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective, moving to Mountain View. But he and David may be allowed to vote on Mountain View's medical marijuana ordinance, Kasperzak said.

Abe-Koga said in an email that she has already kicked off her re-election campaign and has quickly raised $13,000, which is more than many candidates raised during the entire 2008 election.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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