The pool of candidates for Palo Alto's City Council race may soon widen, with seven residents recently pulling candidacy papers.
Both City Councilwoman Liz Kniss, the sole incumbent in the race, and Lydia Kou, a proponent of slow-growth who narrowly failed to secure a council position in 2014, have announced their intentions to seek one of four available seats this November.
Danielle Martell, who last ran for council in 2005, is making another run. On Tuesday, she became the first person to file papers, making her entrance into the race official. A familiar name to longtime political observers, Martell has been a vehement critic of the Palo Alto Police Department and has frequently clashed with staff of other city departments.
Over the last two years, she has composed numerous public letters raising concerns about safety at the Rinconada Pool (city officials have rejected her arguments that the pool isn't safe) and criticizing Library Department staff (she alleged that the city banned her from the Downtown Library after she complained about being assaulted by an acquaintance of a library intern).
Other Palo Alto residents are considering entering the race. Two sitting planning commissioners have pulled papers: commission Chair Adrian Fine, a College Terrace resident who works at Nextdoor.com and who joined the commission just after the November 2014 election, and commission veteran Greg Tanaka, a tech entrepreneur who joined the commission in 2010 and who served as its chair last year.
Tanaka also lives in College Terrace and served as the president of the neighborhood association before joining the planning commission, where he is now the longest-serving member.
John Fredrich, a retired Gunn High School civics teacher with five council races on his resume, now appears to be considering a sixth campaign. Fredrich ran for the council in 1975, 1977, 1981, 2003 and 2014. Two years ago, he finished tenth in a 12-candidate field. A Barron Park resident who said he identifies with the slow-growth "residentialists," Fredrich has been particularly critical of recent commercial developments.
Local resident Michelle Kraus, head of a global-technology-industry advisory firm, has also pulled papers for a council candidacy, according to the City Clerk's office.
The City Council will see four of its nine seats up for grabs this year, with Mayor Pat Burt and Councilman Greg Schmid both terming out, Councilman Marc Berman leaving to seek a seat in the state Assembly and Kniss seeking a fresh council term.