Voters looking for robust competition to lead local school districts and public agencies in Mountain View may be disappointed this November -- so far, there's only a shallow pool of candidates seeking seats.
Several races, including the Mountain View Whisman School District, the Los Altos School District, the El Camino Healthcare District, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Mountain View's seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District remained uncontested as of Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Candidates have until the end of next week, Aug. 10, to file papers to run for public office.
The Mountain View City Council, which has grown to a field of six candidates for three seats, will be a contested race. The Mountain View-Los Altos High School District school board is heading toward a contest; all three incumbents and one challenger, Catherine Vonnegut, have pulled papers to run.
Vonnegut is a longtime parent volunteer who has been involved in school district committees and events since the 1980s, founding Mountain View Whisman School District's annual Choral Fest event in 2001. She will be running against incumbents Joe Mitchner, Debbie Torok and Fiona Walter.
The same can't be said for other local school boards. Mountain View Whisman school board seats held by incumbents Greg Coladonato and Ellen Wheeler are both up for re-election this year, though only Wheeler has pulled papers to file for re-election as of Tuesday. Coladonato did not respond to a Voice query on whether he plans to run in November.
Three trustees on the Los Altos School District, board members Sangeeth Peruri, Vladimir Ivanovic and Bryan Johnson, have terms that expire in November this year, but so far only Ivanovic and Johnson have pulled papers to run for re-election. Peruri did not respond to requests for comment, and no challengers have taken out papers.
Los Altos resident Shali Sirkay, who announced her intent to run for the district's board of trustees in May, pulled papers to file for candidacy earlier this week. Sirkay has been an active PTA member and has been heavily involved in school election campaigns. She holds leadership positions at both the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) and the Los Altos Community Foundation.
The candidate filing period for a race is extended to Aug. 15 if any incumbent fails to file by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. City Council member Ken Rosenberg has announced that he doesn't plan to run for re-election.
Below is the list of elected officials whose terms expire in November and candidates who have pulled papers or announced the intention to run in seven local races, based on the latest information provided by the registrar of voters.
Mountain View City Council
Incumbents: Ken Rosenberg, Lenny Siegel, Pat Showalter
Candidates: Alison Hicks, John Inks, Ellen Kamei, Lucas Ramirez, Lenny Siegel, Pat Showalter
Mountain View Whisman School District
Incumbents: Greg Coladonato, Ellen Wheeler
Candidates: Ellen Wheeler
Mountain View-Los Altos High School District
Incumbents: Joe Mitchner, Debbie Torok, Fiona Walter
Candidates: Joe Mitchner, Debbie Torok, Catherine Vonnegut, Fiona Walter
Los Altos School District
Incumbents: Vladimir Ivanovic, Bryan Johnson, Sangeeth Peruri
Candidates: Vladimir Ivanovic, Bryan Johnson, Shali Sirkay
El Camino Healthcare District
Incumbents: Neysa Fligor, Peter Fung, David Reeder
Candidates: Peter Fung, Mike Kasperzak, Gary Kalbach
Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Incumbents: Pearl Cheng, Bruce Swenson
Candidates: Patrick Ahrens, Pearl Cheng
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Incumbent: Gary Kremen
Candidates: Gary Kremen