Locally, prospective candidates are allowed to collect up to 30 signatures, but it only takes 20 to qualify, according to Pleasanton City Clerk Karen Diaz. The filing deadline in order to be on the November ballot is at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.
Although the terms of three Pleasanton school board members expire this year, they have not yet said if they will seek re-election.
That's different in the city races.
Already, two City Council members -- Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne -- have launched their campaigns for the mayor's post, which is being vacated this year by Mayor Jenifer Hosterman because of term limits.
Two others -- Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Pentin and Realtor Karla Brown -- have also launched their campaigns for the two seats that will open this year on the City Council. Those positions are being vacated by council members Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan, again because of term limits.
If either Thorne or Cook-Kallio is elected mayor, the City Council would have a third vacant seat which would be filled in a special election, likely to be held next March. Both candidates have two years remaining on their current term of office.
The school board members whose terms are ending this year are Valerie Arkin, Chris Grant and Jamie Hintzke. They were elected in 2008 and are eligible to seek those positions again. There are no term limits for school board members.
Seeking public office in Alameda County is not cheap. In addition to a filing fee of $25, candidates who want their names along with information about their qualifications on the printed sample ballot will have to pay an estimated $1,117 toward the cost of printing and distributing these ballots. The cost is based on the ballots going to the 40,256 voters now registered in Pleasanton and the cost of translating the candidates' statements into four foreign languages in addition to English. In Alameda County those languages are Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
At its last meeting the City Council agreed to soften the initial cash outlay for candidates, allowing them to pay $600 upfront along with the $25 filing fee, and then to pay the balance of the estimated $1,117 after the election. That will give newer candidates time to raise campaign funds that can be used for this expense.
Diaz said the cost to Pleasanton of the November election is estimated at $75,000, which has already been budgeted. The school district also will have to bear the cost of its election, although the Alameda County Registrar of Voters which handles school elections has not yet set that fee.
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