Stay tuned this week as we share answers to your burning questions from Albany City Council candidates. Click "Keep me posted" below for an alert when we publish items about the election. Don't forget to mark your calendar for two forums in October to help you meet the candidates. See our full Abany 2012 Election Guide here. Have more questions? Comment on individual candidate profiles to ask for more information.
What is your affiliation to the Save the Bay/ CESP/CAS/Sierra Club consortium? If you are answerable to them in any way it is important for you to disclose this well before election day. Please disclose any affiliations and/or endorsements by any group (i.e., Sierra Club, Keep Albany Local, Occupy the Farm, Strollers & Rollers, etc.), whether it they are local or national branches, and state whether you are a member of such group or in agreement to their beliefs/agendas. What boards and committees have you served on? How many meetings of (the City Council / the Board of Education) have you attended?
ULAN MCKNIGHT (PATCH PROFILE)
I have not sought endorsements from any group. It would be nice if folks liked me and advocated for me, but you will not see any organizations listed on my website. I believe that each person has one vote. I do not accept corporate funding. I am not looking for corporate or group endorsements.
I will work with everyone and hope to represent all interests within Albany.
MICHAEL BARNES (PATCH PROFILE)
I have no relationship to the Sierra Club or the affiliated groups. I grew disillusioned by the interference of the local Sierra Club groups in Albany politics and ceased being a member years ago. But my skepticism about the Sierra Club goes all the way back to Wendell Berry’s 1977 book The Unsettling of America.
I was briefly a member of Albany Stroller and Rollers, but resigned immediately when I found out the organization (or at least its leadership) had sued the city.
I served on the Albany school board from 2002-06. During that time we started the renewal of both Cougar Field and the Albany Pool. After I left the school board, I worked hard on the pool bond initiative. I am proud of both those projects.
I have not been a member of any city committees. The number of council and P&Z meetings that I have attended or watched via KALB is in the dozens, but not in the hundreds.
I have been endorsed by two organizations, the Contra Costa Times newspapers, and the local organization Albany Kids First. The core of this group is families in Albany Little League and other sports programs for kids.
NICK PILCH (PATCH PROFILE)
I am unaware of such a consortium. I am an elected member of the Bay Chapter Executive Committee of the Sierra Club. I was endorsed by the Sierra Club. I am a member of Save the Bay (through an annual membership fee). I am the co-founder of Albany Strollers & Rollers. Albany Strollers & Rollers does not endorse. My full endorsements are listed on my website. I am in general agreement with the beliefs of groups to which I belong. I share viewpoints with all the groups that have endorsed me, but my views may very well differ from those of the endorsing organization. I will pursue what's best for Albany.
I have served on the Traffic & Safety Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission (three years as chair). I am currently one of two School Board appointees.
I have attended many School Board meetings, perhaps 10 to 20. I have attended very many Traffic and Safety Commission meetings while not serving as a commissioner (roughly 30). I have attended countless City Council meetings.
TOD ABBOTT (PATCH PROFILE)
I do not have any affiliation with the groups listed, other than to participate in some of their public events. The only group that I currently have an endorsement from is Albany Kids First, a group that advocates for youth sports and music programs. I have done work as a volunteer for the Albany Police Activities League. I have also done work for Albany Strollers and Rollers, but I was compensated for that work. I do have strong ties to the Albany Chamber of Commerce, having been its President for several years. The Albany Chamber of Commerce has no connection with any state or national organizations (including the US Chamber of Commerce), its leadership is made up entirely of volunteers from the local business community. The Chamber does not have a specific political agenda other than to represent the interests of the local businesses that make up its membership. I participated in the city’s Economic Development Working Group that met for a year or so in 2010.
I must have attended dozens of City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. At most of these meetings I have spoken as a citizen or President of the Chamber of Commerce.
PETER MAASS (PATCH PROFILE)
Am I now, or have I ever been, a member of, or endorsed by, the Sierra Club? I grew up in a family that belonged to the Sierra Club and I’ve been a consistent member since 1995. In 2006, I worked with Citizens for the Albany Shoreline to help stop the Caruso development at GGF. I agreed with them that this proposal was inappropriate for that location. Right sized and well planned development in our existing commercial zones can benefit all of Albany. I believe that Albany and surrounding communities will be better served if we can keep the majority of the waterfront in the open space category. Urban communities need open space for a variety of activities from ball fields to dog walking, fishing, biking, bird watching etc. The City and Schools will need to replace revenues if GGF were to close, and I believe there is development that can coexist with park space. While the local chapter of the Sierra Club knows that my ideas on the Shoreline are not in total parity with previous SC proposals, they have endorsed me. I have also received endorsements by the Alameda County Democratic Party and the local Green Party, Loni Hancock, and numerous others. I’ve served on the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission for the past six years, and have attended/watched multiple City Council Meetings during that time.
PEGGY THOMSEN (PATCH PROFILE)
I was endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party and Albany Kids First and am a member of the Sierra Club. I decide my own position on issues. I have served on City Council for nearly 12 years and on school board for 16-and-a-half years. I am on the East Bay Sports Fields Authority JPA and the council subcommittee on Gill Tract. I served on both AUSD bond oversight committees and on the social and economic justice, waterfront, and charter review committees. I served on East Bay Division, League of CA Cities and Alameda County Waste Management Agency, Recycling Board, and Congestion Management agencies boards of directors plus others. I missed one council meeting in the past nearly four years.
SHERI SPELLWOMAN (PATCH PROFILE)
I am not affiliated with the Save the Bay/ CESP/CAS/SIerra Club consortium. The Sierra Club made two early endorsements in the campaign and refused to interview other candidates or consider a third endorsement. I am endorsed by the Green Party of Alameda County, and I am the only candidate who is a Green Party member. I support the 10 Key Values of the Green Party which are: Ecological Wisdom, Nonviolence, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Decentralization, Community-Based Economics, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal & Global Responsibility and Sustainability. I am also endorsed by the Albany Farm Alliance (AFA). I am a current member of AFA and former planning committee member. I support the AFA mission statement: The establishment of an agroecological education center and the preservation and promotion of sustainable urban farming on the Albany Gill Tract, in perpetuity. For more information visit my website. I have not served on any Albany boards or committees. I have attended many City Council meetings and a few Planning and Zoning Commission meetings over the past several years, as my work schedule and family commitments have allowed.
Click "Keep me posted" below for an alert when we publish items about the election. Don't forget to mark your calendar for two forums in October to help you meet the candidates. See our full Abany 2012 Election Guide here.