Election Update: Seven Qualify to Run for Three Council Spots

Only one person filed to run for city treasurer. Click the "Keep me posted" button for future stories related to elections in Albany.


Seven people have qualified to run for three spots that will open later this year on the . Candidate names are listed below in the order that they qualified. We'll be posting a range of questionnaires with the candidates soon. 

  • Nick Pilch, Software Development Manager
  • Peter Maass, General Contractor
  • Tod Abbott, Albany Business Owner
  • Michael Barnes, UC Science Editor
  • Peggy Thomsen, Incumbent
  • Sheri Spellwoman, Homemaker/Fitness Instructor
  • Ulan McKnight, Business Owner

Only one person filed to run for city treasurer: Kim Denton.

Scroll down for information on the school board race.  

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for future posts related to elections in Albany. Know of other election-related resources? Let us know in the comments below.

See the Albany Patch 2012 Election Guide here. Scroll down for prior coverage. A range of election resources appear toward the bottom of this post. 


Three people with school board aspirations have qualified for the November 2012 ballot, and a fourth has decided now is not the time to run. 

Newcomer Byron Barrett, a system analyst, along with incumbents  and , have qualified for the ballot, according to the city clerk's office. 

There will be two open seats on the come fall. 

A fourth Albany resident, John Amerkhanian, "has decided not to run in this election as it is not the right time for him to make his political debut," said his campaign manager, Aviva Prager, via email. 

No one else has taken out papers for the school board race. 

A sixth hopeful, Michael Barnes, took out papers on Wednesday morning. 

He joins  and incumbent  in considering a run for three open seats on the council. 

, a software development manager, remains the lone Albany resident thus far to have qualified for candidacy to run for a council spot. 

The deadline  at 12:30 p.m. If incumbent Thomsen elects not to run, the  until Wednesday, Aug. 15 (and she will become ineligible for the ballot).

The city will post qualified candidates here.

The city also has  to place a on the ballot. Read .


Incumbents (City Council) and (Board of Education) took out papers this week to indicate their interest in running for office. 

and , both council hopefuls, filed nomination papers earlier this week. (Maass had not completed his application Friday, but had submitted one of the necessary forms.) 

  • OTHER POSSIBLE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES: John Amerkhanian, Byron Barrett,  (Two seats)



Unlike last week, which was marked by a flurry of activity from seven people considering a run for positions in city government or the school board, this week, only one person has thus far taken out papers. 

, local and board member, took out papers to run for City Council on Tuesday. 

Last week, , a member of the city Planning & Zoning Commission, along with  and , picked up nomination papers for the . Pilch is a member of the city Parks & Recreation Commission.  said she is considering another run.

Three seats will open up this fall.

As of the end of the day Wednesday, none of the eight hopefuls had yet been certified by the county.

Scroll down to learn about the other Albany residents who took out papers last week. 


[Editor's Note: The story below originally was published July 18, and was updated July 20.]

Seven people have taken out papers this week as an expression of interest in running for office in either the city government or school board later this year. 

, a member of the city Planning & Zoning Commission, along with  and , picked up nomination papers for the . Pilch is a member of the city Parks & Recreation Commission.

Three seats will open on the council later this year, as Councilman Robert Lieber and Mayor Farid Javandel will have completed two four-year terms and thus be ineligible for re-election; said she is considering another run.

John Amerkhanian and Byron Barrett have taken out papers to run for the Albany Unified School District . Two seats will open on the school board, and incumbents  and  have said they plan to run again. Low also took out papers this week, and Rosenbaum said he plans to do so later this month. 

Kim Denton, current city treasurer, took out papers for that office on Monday. Denton has been Albany's treasurer since 1988, and has faced competitors in two elections.


Candidates , and are required to turn in 20-30 signatures of supporters to be considered for the ballot. The county Registrar of Voters will then review the signatures and confirm their authenticity prior to approving candidates. Candidates who wish to have a statement included in the voter guide must pay a fee to the county of nearly $1,000.

The nomination period began Monday and .


As of May 2012, the county Registrar of Voters listed 9,933 registered voters in Albany, including 6,425 Democrats, 708 Republicans, nearly 300 Greens and more than 2,000 who declined to state a party affiliation. 

In the November 2010 election, Albany had the highest voter-turnout rate in the county, with nearly 71 percent of the city's voters casting ballots. Approximately 55 percent of these ballots were cast by mail.

The next municipal election is scheduled to take place Nov. 6, 2012. 

As of the 2010 Census, Albany had about 18,500 residents. (Approximately 25 percent were younger than 18.)

Find Alameda County other elections resources here:

Election-Related Organizations and Guides for Alameda County and Beyond:

See other elections coverage on Albany Patch here.

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for future stories related to elections in Albany. Know of other election-related resources? Let us know in the comments below.

Peggy McQuaid July 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
2 points of clarification.There are no 8 year terms on council. Mayor Javandel and Council Member Lieber have completed 2 four year terms. You don't have to pay the nearly $1000 fee to be on the ballot, but you must pay it to have a candidate statement in the voter guide.
Eric Bordax July 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I will be moving to Canada if John Amerkhanian does not win.
Stephanie Travis August 05, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Who is John Amerkhanian, and why should we vote for him? Stephanie Travis
Emilie Raguso August 06, 2012 at 10:39 AM
We'll definitely be adding more about all the candidates after they qualify and we receive answers to various questions we asked....
City of Albany August 09, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Please note deadline for candidates to file nomination papers is Friday, August 10 at 12:30 p.m. per posted City Hall standard office hours.
Emilie Raguso August 10, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Thanks for clarifying, Nicole! The county notification confused me.
Jim Beller August 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Judging by the amount of verbiage the above list of council candidates have generated in Patch comments, I predict we are going to have some long city council meetings.
Michael Barnes August 14, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Jim, First of all, if a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then we should get 1,000 words for every one of your cartoons, right? There are only two candidates that have really contributed lots of words to the Patch, myself and Ulan McKnight. Ulan's comments have been focused more on Gill Tract issues. I have written and commented on a variety of topics. When it comes to elections and city politics, people often complain that it's hard to know how the council members think about issues, and they seem uncommunicative. I have made it very clear where I stand on many issues. Albany residents can vote for me or not, but they can't complain that don't know were I stand. I've been taking the time to communicate with voters for months.
Jim Beller August 14, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Michael, I'm including Nick in my high-verbiage count because he is always in my inbox with Stroller and Roller posts. My main question is: Does running for city council make you a "public figure" that I can libel and slander with impunity? Also, candidates, please forward several photos for me to work on caricatures.
Michael Barnes August 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Jim, OK, now it get it. Public figure? Yes, I think so, so libel on dude! I think the distinction is that libel is written and slander is spoken, so I don't know if either of those cover cartoons. I'll get you some photos soon.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something