The November elections are starting to take shape as candidates have begun to emerge for local Pleasanton seats, with the initial filing deadline approaching next week.
For Pleasanton City Council, incumbent Councilwoman Kathy Narum and challengers Joe Streng and Julie Testa have all taken out nomination papers and plan to submit their completed paperwork to the city clerk in the days ahead.
Meanwhile, Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne has already filed his candidacy paperwork and is the only person to publicly declare their intent to run for the mayoral post.
The same is the case for Pleasanton Unified School District's Board of Trustees, where only incumbents Joan Laursen and Mark Miller have entered the race so far.
The deadline to file candidacy paperwork to qualify for the general election is Aug. 10, although the date is extended by five days in any election where an incumbent doesn't file -- which is expected to be the situation for City Council, with Councilman Arne Olson announcing he won't seek a second term.
With Olson bowing out of a re-election bid, the council is guaranteed to see at least one new member after the Nov. 6 election.
Narum revealed more than two months ago that she would pursue a second term this fall. It would mark the final term for the councilwoman under the city's term limits.
She has served on the City Council since voters picked her in a special mail-only election in May 2013 to fill the council seat left vacant when voters elevated Thorne to mayor. She was re-elected to a full four-year term in November 2014.
In the past several days, Streng and Testa also publicly announced their intent to seek one of the two council positions up for grabs. They each have pulled nomination forms but have not yet filed the documents, according to city clerk Karen Diaz.
A longtime Pleasanton resident who graduated from Amador Valley High School as a teenager, Streng served as a regular member on the Parks and Recreation Commission from 2010 until earlier this year, in addition to one year earlier as an alternate member. Among his favorite projects he cited Bernal Community Park, Cubby's Dog Park and the 2017 update to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.
Streng said his three priorities as a councilman would be fiscal responsibility and oversight, carefully planned development and maintaining Pleasanton's quality of life.
"Moving forward, our city faces issues that will require cooperation and leadership," he said in a campaign statement. "We've taken steps to prepare for our pension obligations, but more needs to be done. Managing traffic around and through Pleasanton continues to require a regional approach to develop long-term solutions, as well as local action to keep our streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians."
"Our city is one of many across California that needs to deliver housing solutions to keep up with a growing need. I'm ready to tackle these and other matters head on," he added.
A longtime community advocate with focuses on school overcrowding and slow growth, Testa is a familiar face in council and school board audiences, among other public meetings. She also has city service experience with 11 years previously on the Human Services Commission.
"The threat to the quality of life that Pleasanton residents value has never been greater," Testa told the Weekly.
"Campaign season is an important opportunity to inform the community regarding issues of concern. I want to help our community understand the threat that exists with future high-density development and the impacts it will have on traffic and our overcrowded schools," she added.
"I will let residents know there is a reason to be concerned that the discussion of injecting recycled sewer water into our drinking water is back. I want residents to know that the risks of contamination that gave Pleasanton voters reason to reject Measure J in 2000 still exist," Testa said.
This is the second straight election year Testa has sought city office. She lost her bid to unseat Thorne in a two-candidate mayoral race in November 2016.
This time around, Thorne is seeking his fourth and final two-year term as mayor. Thus far, no other potential candidate has pulled papers to challenge Thorne as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Diaz.
On the school board side, two seats are up for election and both incumbents have filed for re-election.
Laursen has sat on the board since first being elected in November 2010, and most recently served as board president in 2016-17. She is a board representative for the Tri-Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) and the Regional Occupational Programs Joint Powers Board.
Miller, the current board president, is seeking a second consecutive four-year term this fall. He is a representative to the City of Pleasanton Liaison Committee and the PUSD Audit Committee.
The two announced their intents to run for re-election in a joint statement issued in April, months before the filing period opened in July.
Prospective candidates for mayor and school board have until Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. to file candidacy papers. If Olson follows through on not seeking re-election, the council deadline will be extended to Aug. 15 at 5 p.m.
Candidacy papers for city positions must be filed with the City Clerk's Office; contact Diaz at 931-5027. For school board, candidacy documents must be submitted to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office in Oakland; call 510-272-6973.