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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

City CouncilCity of AlbanyNovember 8, 2016California General Election

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November 8, 2016California General Election

City of AlbanyCity Council

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (13/13).

About this office

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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 3 candidates of 5 total candidates.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
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Incumbent
5,386 votes (27.93%)Winning
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  • Make sure that the City and it's businesses remain economically vital
  • Support Climate Action and the environment including parks and open space
  • Promote mobility and safety with traffic calming, bicycle, and pedestrian projects
Profession:Director, Cloud Operations
Director, Cloud Operations, Bluescape (2013current)
City Council Member, Albany — Elected position (2014current)
Member, School Sustainability Committee — Appointed position (2016current)
Planning and Zoning Commissioner, Planning and Zoning Commission — Appointed position (20132014)
Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Parks and Recreation Commission — Appointed position (20072012)
Traffic and Safety Commissioner, Traffic and Safety Commission — Appointed position (20062006)
Bowdoin College B.A., Chemistry (1983)
Co-founder, Albany Strollers & Rollers (2004current)
Member, Sierra Club Bay Chapter Executive Committee (2011current)
Outings Leader, Sierra Club National Outings, Alaska Subommittee (2005current)

I grew up in New Jersey and Massachusetts and attending college in Maine. After my Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, I spent 3 years in service to my county in Togo, West Africa, with the Peace Corps. After returning, I settled in the Bay Area and launched my career in technology. I've lived in various parts of the Bay Area, settling in Albany in 2001. Always an environmentatlist, in 2003 I began my close involvement with the Sierra Club, first as an Outings Leader, and then in the Club leadership. In 2004, I began my service to the community with co-founding of Albany Strollers & Rollers, the bicyclist and pedestrian advocacy group. In 2006, I began my service to the City with stints on Commissions for 9 years. I've served as your City Council Member since 2014.

  • Sierra Club
  • Rochelle Nason, City Council Member
  • Peter Maass, Mayor
  • Paul Black, School Board
  • Charlie Blanchard, School Board
  • Ross Stapleton-Gray, School Board
  • Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond
  • Loni Hancock, State Senator District 9
  • Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond
  • Gabriel Quinto, El Cerrito City Council
  • Andy Katz, EBMUD Director, Ward 4
  • Dianne Martinez, Mayor of Emeryville
  • Janet Abelson, El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tem
  • Tony Thurmond, Assemblymember, District 15
  • Vinnie Bacon, Fremont City Council Member
  • Dianne Martinez, Mayor of Emeryville
  • Rebecca Saltzman, BART Board, District 3 (includes a portion of Albany)
  • Nancy Skinner, former AssemblyMember and candidate for California Senate District 9
  • The Democratic Party of Alameda County
  • The Green Party of Alameda County
  • East Bay Young Democrats
  • Evolve California
  • Preston Jordan, Charter Review Committee
  • Ken McCroskey, Traffic and Safety Commission
  • Margie Marks, Social and Economic Justice Commission
  • Kathy Diehl, Social and Economic Justice Commission
  • Janet Smith-Heimer, Sustainability Committee
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Nick Pilch:

I would like to continue my active leadership by:

-promoting mobility and safety with traffic calming, bicycle, and pedestrian projects

-supporting parks and open space including the waterfront

-supporting climate action by promoting the efforts of our Sustainability Committee and seeking the funding they need

-driving economic vitality by removing roadblocks to appropriate development projects

-addressing the housing crisis

-implementing a city-wide street tree plan

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Nick Pilch:

There are many important issues to our city, but we will fail to be able to do much if we do not keep our cty econmically viable. This means removing roadblocks to smart development and doing what we can to help our local businesses, and making sure we are not missing out on any funding opportunties like grants.

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Nick Pilch:

PDAs are a great tool for helping our city grow wisely - densely along the transit corridors. We are in a housing crisis and i believe increasing the housing stock is one key element to alleviating the housing pressure. Taking advantage of PDAs, and the grant opportunties and other opportunties they provide, is good for our City. Growth must also take into consideration the current property owners and their concerns. Stepping down building heights next to existing properties is one tool to use. Building housing along transit corridors means being able to build housing where occupants don't need that many cars. The northern San Pablo Avenue area is perfect for this due to its proximity to a BART station. Where parking might be a concern, however, the tool is residential parking permits.

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Nick Pilch:

The City is already under a consent decree to repair our sewer systems and we are makng good steady yearly progress towards repairing the entire network. On the City Council, I have made sure that staff has budgeted for this and continues this progress. Keeping our infrastructure up for alternative transportation is vital to clean air. I have long supported many bicycle and pedestrian projects in Albany and will continue to do so. On the ballot for November in Albany is a parcel tax for sidewalk repair, brought forward by an advocacy group that I co-founded. The tax is graduated to the size of the parcel - multi-family units and condominiums pay the least. This will help ensure that those who want to walk can - I'm especially concerned with our children, those with mobiliy issues and the elderly. Making sure that people can easily choose non-greenhouse-gas producing vehicles for their transport is important to me. That is also why I will push for electric vehicle charging stations in Albany should I be elected to a second term. We need to support those who choose plug-in vehicles.

I believe in active leadership and support progressive causes. I'm an environmentalist, but also a supporter of smart growth. I support climate action, especially renewable energy and alternative tranportation. Finally I support social justice and believe we have a ways to go.

Incumbent
5,328 votes (27.63%)Winning
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  • Addressing our area's housing crisis and allowing Albany to step up to this challenge with our own appropriate solutions.
  • Keeping the City on track to meet our Green House Gas emission reduction goals by promoting green energy supply, conversation and making our City more walkable and bike able.
  • Work to achieve our goals in a fiscally responsible fashion, maintaining and strengthening our Budget Stabilization Fund.
Profession:General Contractor, retired
Council Member, Albany City Council — Elected position (2012current)
Planning and Zoning Commissioner, City of Albany Planning and Zoning Commission — Appointed position (20062012)
BA was from UC Berkeley and secondary Teaching credential was earned at SFSU Bachelor of Arts, and California Teaching Credential, Political Science, and teaching social sciences and reading skills at the High School level. (1972)
Volunteer, Citizens for the McLaughlin State Park (2006current)
Volunteer , SEVA Foundation (19802014)
Soccer Coach for my daughters Soccer team, Albany Berkeley Soccer Club (20092010)
  • Joanne Wile, former Mayor of Albany
  • Robert Lieber, former Mayor of Albany
  • Robert Cheasty, former Mayor of Albany
  • Nancy Skinner, former State Assembly member, currently a candidate for the State Senate, 9th District
  • All of our current sitting City Council Members
  • Marge Atkinson, former mayor of Albany
  • Ron Rosenbaum, Chair of the Albany School Board
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Peter Maass:

1.  Keeping the City on track to meet our GHG goals.

2.  Work towards completion of our Active Transportation Plan

3.  Begin planning on how our community will respond to climate change and ocean rise.

4.  Seek to encourage Albany appropriate solutions to the Bay Area's housing needs.

5.  Seek funding and begin planning and construction of Solano Ave. streetscape improvements.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Peter Maass:

The most immediate issue for Albany currently, is our growing lack of affordable housing.  Too many in our community are being displaced by the rising costs of housing.  Stop gap solutions have been proposed, but I believe that the only long tem, sustainable and socially equitable solution is to find ways to increase our housing stock.

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Peter Maass:

The first part of th at balance has to be education.  Education on what is being proposed by the Plan Bay Area goals. Then, while keeping an open dialog with our community, explain that there are solutions to the perceived sacrifices around parking, traffic/ congestion, etc.  Many of the solutions involve looking to expand alternatives to private car ownership.  Increased density along our transit corridors can help make our community greener with a greater level of goods and services available to everyone in the community.  It does require those in government to keep strenghtening our transit systems, walking and biking routes and other infrastructure. 

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Peter Maass:

Albany is fortunate in that it has already begun the replacement of our existing sewer line, and has in place a plan for a fairly rapid completion of our goals.  Grant moneys and extending some existiong bond measures should be able to make this job doable.  The important issue going forward is making sure that these improvements not only cover the needs of today's community but also the needs of a likely larger community we are likely to have in the future.

— September 13, 2016 Josh Lebowitz and the Community Media Access Committee

The video was a humorous  attempt to explain some basics about how the City Council is organized, including the Mayor and the relationship between the appointed Commissions and Committees and the elected Council.  I also tried to personalized the video with some general biographical information and explanation of some of the bigger issues around homelessness, housing, climate change etc. and how they affect our City.  This was not done as a reelection campaign piece, but was meant to be a proto type for additional interviews of a diverse group of citizens in the community.  It was inspired by Jerry Seinfeld's web series, Commedians in Cars getting Coffee.

Incumbent
3,589 votes (18.61%)Winning
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  • Continue to maintain the basics of modern civilization -- streets, sewers, fire and police services, clean water and safe energy.
  • Complete our new public works center and Pierce Street Park.
  • Implement parking reforms and encourage the development of affordable and market-rate housing.
Profession:University of California science editor and writer
Science Editor and Writer, UC Berkeley College of Chemistry (2006current)
Council member, Albany City Council — Elected position (2012current)
Research Analyst, UC Office of the President (19962006)
School board member, Albany Unified School District — Elected position (20022006)
Graduate Student Researcher, Graduate Student Instructor, Acting Instructor, UC Berkeley Dept. of Economics (19891996)
Economic Analyst, Budget Analyst, Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington (19861989)
UC Berkeley Economics, ABD (all but dissertation), Econometrics, International Trade, Tech Tranfser (1993)
UMASS Amherst M.A., Political Economy (1986)
The Evergreen State College B.A. Liberal Arts, Economics (1984)
Ride leader, Santa Rosa Cycling Club (2010current)
  • Allan Maris, former mayor and school board member
  • Doug Donaldson, Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Hon. Peter Maass, Albany Mayor
  • Hon. Rochelle Nason, City Council
  • Hon. Peggy McQuaid, City Council

Ballot statement

Summary

My 200-word ballot statement.

Thirty years ago I started my public-sector career as a budget analyst for the State of Washington. I moved to the Bay Area in 1989 for economics grad school at UC Berkeley. Six years later I moved to UC Village in Albany with my young son, Max (AHS 2010, Berkeley 2014). I began working as a research analyst for the UC Office of the President 20 years ago. For the last 11 years I have been the science editor for Berkeley’s renowned College of Chemistry. I will retire next year. I bought our Albany bungalow in 2000. I served on the school board from 2002-06 and I have been on the city council since 2012. I apply my years of experience to thoughtful analysis of policy alternatives. I always keep in mind that I represent the interests of all 18,000 Albany residents. The current city council has been very productive. Residents can once again safely use the Albany Bulb, and the UC Village mixed-use project is well underway. But there is more work to be done. With your support, I’ll keep working for Albany for another four years.

Council accomplishments

Summary

A brief summary of what the Albany City Council has accomplished in the last four years.

The last four years have been good ones for the council. The Albany Bulb is once again safe to enjoy. The mixed-use project at University Village is well underway. We have started work on our new public works center and will soon begin work on Pierce St. Park. We have repaired sidewalks throughout the city and have installed traffic calming features on the streets south of El Cerrito Plaza. Our general plan is finished, the council has improved cell phone coverage and has put an end to the excessive level of medical and other benefits that the previous council had created for themselves. We have negotiated fair and reasonable agreements with our police and fire fighters.


This council has placed two important measures on the November ballot that I favor — Measure P1, a parcel tax to fund sidewalk repairs for 10 years, and Measure N1, which will allow the the City Council to update parking standards to encourage affordable housing development. Two other measures, Q1 and R1, are housekeeping amendments to modernize our city charter language. These are uncontroversial and also deserve your support. I do not support Measure O1, the soda tax, or Measure S1, which will end our very reasonable term limits for the school board. The city council is not interested in ending term limits for itself. I discuss my reasons on my website. I also encourage you to vote for Meaure A1, Alameda County’s bond measure to support affordable housing.


Like the rest of Alameda County and much of the Bay Area, Albany is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis and will be for many years. Although the council will tackle many smaller problems during the next four years, housing — and how to maintain Albany’s unpretentious, family-oriented, middle-class identity — will be the issue that dominates and influences all the others.


As a council member, I believe the best way to do my job is by maintaining my independence. I am a registered non-partisan voter, and I only accept endorsements from individuals I respect inside our borders. The only “stakeholders” I care about are the 18,000 Albany residents I swore to serve in my oath of office.

My city council blog

Summary

I have written several entries and thousands of words on city council policy and decisions.

Please see mb4albany.org, my city council blog.

Attorney/Architect
3,203 votes (16.61%)
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  • Make Albany's streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian pathways safer for all of Albany's residents.
  • Develop and implement preservation and maintence strategies for Albany's parks, open spaces, and waterfront.
  • Stronger implementation of Albany's Climate Action Plan and Active Transportation Plan, as well as developing strategies to address affordable housing.
Profession:Attorney & Architect
Planning & Zoning Commissioner, Albany, California Planning & Zoning Commission — Appointed position (2014current)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law Juris Doctor (2014)
University of Minnesota, School of Architecture Master of Architecture (2002)
University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts Bachelor of Arts (1999)

I've lived in North Albany for more than seven years with my family and I currently work at an Oakland-based architecture firm.  As both an attorney at law and a licensed architect, I have a knowledge of real property law, municipal law, architecture, green building and urban planning, and a deep passion for local politics, community-building and government.

  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • Green Party of Alameda County
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Erik Giesen-Fields:

I would like to: (1) ensure that Albany’s streets and pedestrian pathways are as safe as possible; (2) ensure that Albany meets its Climate Action Plan goals to reduce greenhouse gas emission; (3) maintain Albany’s fiscal health and budget surplus; (4) develop an active strategy to preserve and maintain Albany’s waterfront, open spaces, and parks; (5) address affordable housing with a comprehensive approach tailored to Albany; (5) continue to implement Albany’s Active Transportation Plan; and (6) support Albany's schools, police, and fire department.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Erik Giesen-Fields:

To continue Albany’s prosperity infrastructure maintenance and development, affordable housing, and the affects due to Albany’s changing demographics needs to be addressed.  Albany’s sidewalks need to be improved to ensure that all of Albany’s residents can navigate the city.  More street lights need to be installed to improve community safety.  A comprehensive and holistic approach is needed to address affordable housing in Albany.  Albany’s demographics are changing and the concerns of both the new families moving to the city as well as the longtime residents of Albany should be addressed.

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

Answer from Erik Giesen-Fields:

To balance the regional Planned Bay Area (PBA) goals and local goals there needs to be a healthy dialogue with the community about what PBA is proposing and how it will impact our community.  Community outreach and involvement about affordable housing, Albany's rental market, and parking is another necessary process to make sure that local conditons and needs are understood and considered.  By involving the cummunity we can tailor our individual policies and measures to address the concerns of Albany's property owners, landlords, renters, business owners, and parking issues.  Albany's Climate Action Plan and Active Transportation Plan are two ways that Albany can work to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions and our dependance on individual car ownership, both PBA goals.  ABAG provides development strategies, resources, and funding that could potentially benefit Solano Ave. and San Pablo Ave. which are both Priority Development Areas.

4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

Answer from Erik Giesen-Fields:

Support for Albany’s existing plan to replace and improve the sewer infrastructure is essential.  While the actual repairs are important it’s also important to make sure that Albany’s infrastructure system will be able to meet the future needs as the city grows and develops.

Mechanic
1,706 votes (8.85%)
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  • I would like to work on making affordable housing a higher priority in the City of Albany.
  • I would like to find a way to reach out to a broader segment of Albany residents so that more of them attend city meetings and voice their opinions about the issues that concern them.
  • I would like to see Albany residents and business owners participate more actively in recycling.
Profession:Mechanic
Representative for Albany's Homeless Community, City of Albany Homeless Task Force — Elected position (20122013)
Homeless Youth Outreach Worker, Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless (20012001)
College of Alameda Auto Technology (2004)
Member and Founder, Diverse Housing Working Group (2013current)
1.
Question 1

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?

Answer from Amber Whitson:

I would like to see the city of Albany encourage more developers of low-income housing to bring their projects to our city.

I would also like to see the City perform better outreach and encourage a more vigorous dialogue between the various demographic groups in our city about the issues that we face.

2.
Question 2

What do you consider the most important issue facing the city?

Answer from Amber Whitson:

Housing. A shortage of affordable housing and, in the case of rent increases, a lack of communication and (in the most egregious situations) a lack of regulation.

A hard working person who has lived in Albany their whole life, and whose equally hard working parents could afford to raise them here, should not live in fear of being priced out of their own town just because they don't own their own parcel.

3.
Question 3

How do you plan to balance the regional Planned Bay Area (ABAG/MTC) goals of Priority Development Areas (PDAs) with local needs of property owners, traffic/parking/congestion problems, and other local concerns?

No answer provided.
4.
Question 4

Considering the disintegration of local infrastructure, how can the city upgrade to meet the current regulatory requirements for clean air and for clean water discharge into the Bay?

No answer provided.

Events

Videos

Candidate Forum for City Council and School Board Candidates — October 10, 2016 League of Women Voters

Back-to-back forums for the candidates for Albany, CA, City Council and Member of the Board of Education, Albany, CA, Unified School District

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

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