While some may be disillusioned with government, one wouldn’t guess it from the list of 13 hopefuls who took out election papers last week, the first week candidates could pick up the candidacy forms from the city clerk.
All five incumbent city councilmembers up for re-election have taken out papers to run again – Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek, District 3, Councilmember Margaret Breland, District 2, Councilmember Diane Woolley, District 5 and Councilmember Betty Olds, District 6.
The most crowded race to date is District 2 in southwest Berkeley, where Breland will face challengers Carol Hughes-Willoughby, a minister and employee of an after-school program, Betty J. Hicks, a retired postmaster, church, youth and San Pablo Park area activist and District 2 resident Jon Crowder a substitute teacher.
AC Transit Director Miriam Hawley has taken out papers to run for the central Berkeley District 5 seat. When the Daily Planet reached Hawley on her cell phone Sunday afternoon, she was standing
on a corner collecting signatures for her run. Each candidate needs at least 20 signatures to run for office. Hawley said she is giving up her transit post to make the run.
She’ll face incumbent Diane Woolley, sometimes known as a maverick, often voting with the liberal/progressive block on social issues and voting with the moderate faction on tax and fiscal issues.
Incumbent Betty Olds took out election papers Thursday. She’ll face challenger Norine Smith, active in planning issues. No challenger has surfaced to face Shirek, a 16-year incumbent.
Two school board seats are open and four people look like they are entering the race to date. All candidates run “at large,” that is, they do not run by district.
They are incumbent School Board President Joaquin RIvera, Irma Parker, who is working on the Diversity Project, has volunteered in the schools for 15 years and is working to get the special schools tax passed, Sheri Morton, whom the Daily Planet could not reach and John Selawsky, active on numerous school committees and chair of the city’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission.
No one has taken out papers to run for any of the four rent board seats that are open.
In principal, candidates must return papers by Aug. 11. However, when an incumbent is not seeking office – for example School Board Member Pamela Doolan is not running again – the filing period is extended until Aug. 16.
Elections are Nov. 7, with run-offs by mail scheduled for Dec. 5.