Only Planning Commissioner Pat Burt has taken the once-traditional route to the council by serving on the city's powerful land-use commission. Burt, 55, and Hewlett-Packard Director of Philanthropy Sid Espinosa, 35, have emerged as frontrunners with active fundraising efforts, powerful endorsements and organized platforms.
Debbie Mytels, 59, a longtime neighborhood and environmental activist who is an associate director of Acterra, was the only woman until Stella Marinos entered Wednesday, the last day to file. Marinos, a new name in Palo Alto politics, was not available for comment by deadline.
Mytels, who entered the race in late July, lags behind Burt and Espinosa in fundraising efforts.
Dan Dykwel, a Realtor and community volunteer, entered the race early and has said he plans to emphasize business development, improve communication between the city and the school district and improve methods of involving volunteers in community affairs. He was not available for comment by deadline.
Current council members Judy Kleinberg, Dena Mossar and Bern Beecham are blocked from running again by term limits. Councilwoman LaDoris Cordell decided not to seek another term.
Espinosa said he thinks the city efficiency and maintaining infrastructure such as libraries and proposed police headquarters are on the minds of Palo Altans. He has raised $10,000 so far and received numerous endorsements, Espinosa said. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Espinosa said he is concerned that more people are not getting involved with the civic process and that he had hoped for a more diverse pool of candidates. A campaign kick-off is planned for Sept. 9 in College Terrace's Werry Park.
His Web site is www.sidespinosa.com.
Burt said he has heard the community is concerned about development and ensuring city facilities and services keep pace. He has raised about $8,000 so far. The city's financial stability is also a hot topic and Burt said he hopes to offer incentives for hotels to locate and remain in the city. He also hopes to re-examine redesigning the golf course to improve the course, provide flood control and offer additional playing fields. Burt said he also wants to consider converting California Avenue to a two-lane road. His campaign kick-off is planned for 3 p.m. on Sept. 8 in Hoover Park.
His Web site is www.patburt.org.
Mytels said balancing housing and jobs is a top concern of city residents. The Stanford Medical Center and Shopping Center expansions are also key, and she said she hopes to investigate the future of the city's composting program. Mytels said she hasn't started fundraising actively yet and has about $2,000. She is hosting a coffee gathering Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Café Sophia at 2706 Middlefield Road.
Her Web site will be www.debbiemytels.com.
Other candidates include the following:
—Victor Frost, a panhandler and repeat council candidate, has most recently been challenging the city's expanded ban on sitting and lying in sidewalks from his post on Homer Avenue. He has also said he intends to sue the city and Whole Foods to purchase a five-acre goat farm.
—Gunn High School grad Yiaway Yeh, 29, recently worked in public finance and has graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Yeh has said he wants to support infrastructure and give back to Palo Alto, which taught him the importance of community. He was not available for comment by deadline.
—Mark Nadim, 54, a foothills resident, said he was motivated to run following the debate over the staffing of the Foothills Park fire station. Nadim is also interested in open-space issues and said he wants to ensure commercial land is not all rezoned for housing. He is an engineer and real-estate investor.
—Smokey Wallace, 70, is a Downtown North resident who said he doesn't think the city is managed very well. Wallace said Palo Alto's infrastructure, particularly streets and sidewalks, are not maintained and the city lacks sufficient parking. He is a retired manager of technology companies.
—Former school board member Greg Schmid, 67, said he was motivated to run by recent land-use decisions. He said he wants to sustain city revenue, ensure access to neighborhood schools, prevent population growth from overwhelming city services, adapt streets and transit and maintain local commercial centers. He plans to raise $15,000 to $20,000 and is preparing a Web site.
—William Ross, 59, said he has extensive experience as an attorney working with municipal government, finance and land use. He said he was motivated to enter the race following the Fire Station 8 debate. He also said he would like businesses to be able to expand to serve neighborhoods.
—Timothy Gray, a late entry to the race and newcomer to Palo Alto politics, was not available for comment.