Transportation consultant Erlene DeMarcus launched her campaign for election to the Pleasanton City Council Wednesday, telling supporters at a campaign breakfast that she will seek common ground among all divergent groups in the city to keep Pleasanton fiscally sound with good schools, recreational facilities and housing that's affordable to teachers, police and firefighters and others.
Former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer, who introduced DeMarcus at the breakfast rally held in the Pavilion at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, said DeMarcus has worked tirelessly on a number of public and nonprofit boards, including the American Heart, Cancer and Diabetes associations.
"It's wonderful to find people in our community who are willing to stand up and serve and bring their years of expertise that's made their work so beneficial to the Valley," Mercer said.
DeMarcus has a long history of public service in Pleasanton and the region. Once a traffic and transportation consultant to former Congressman Bill Baker, a Republican, she was chosen to serve on the BART board of directors. As Pleasanton's representative on that board, she spearheaded the $517 million dollar BART extension to Pleasanton, the first extension ever authorized by that agency's directors. Although no longer a BART board member, she continued to serve on technical advisory committee for extending BART to San Jose.
She now owns her own transportation consulting firm, the DeMarcus Group, where she continues to work on transportation related projects.
As a member of the City Council, DeMarcus said she will put her years of experience in serving many areas of government and community work to channel divergent interests to the overall benefit of Pleasanton.
"I have seen this city becoming divided on issues and I will use my experience and ability to work with anybody to continue the progress we have seen here," DeMarcus said.
DeMarcus is one of four candidates seeking election to the council, where two seats are to be filled in the Nov. 6 municipal election. The other candidates are businesswoman Karla Brown, Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Pentin and Michael Harris.
Current council members Jerry Thorne and Cheryl Cook-Kallio are campaigning for mayor. Whichever one is elected mayor would still allow the other to remain on the council to complete the two years left on their current terms. A special election, as mandated by the City Council, will be held probably in March to fill the seat vacated by the winning mayor candidate.
Council members Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan are termed out this year after serving the allowable eight years on the board. Mayor Jennifer Hosterman also must step down due to term limits.