As of press time, Joseph Klinge, Rodger McKeon and Paul Seger had also pulled papers. City Manager Bryan Montgomery said he expected five to six candidates to file and assumes that most of the candidates who’ve pulled papers will complete the process.
McKeon ran for a council seat in the 2008 election, running on a platform of conservative budgeting and responsible growth.
“Oakley must not be allowed to become just another cookie-cutter, strip-mall and bedroom community on the landscape of America,” McKeon said in a 2008 interview with the Press. “Oakley must become a destination city to truly experience its full potential. Oakley will not become a destination city if all of its businesses and amenities are the mirror image of other cities in Contra Costa County.”
Seger, the unofficial videographer of Oakley Council meetings and member of Oakley Citizens for Responsible Growth, regularly speaks out at council meetings, offering his views about the proposed power plant, saving open spaces, safe neighborhoods and limiting housing density.
“The crucial issue for the city of Oakley is that of land-use,” said Seger in an e-mail to the Press, “and I will promote a full General Plan review with the goal of creating a citizen-influenced unique character while envisioning acceptable minimum architectural requirements that will define Oakley for decades.”
Seger also plans to help construct an economic model for promoting the growth of independent, local business.
First-time City Council candidate Klinge could not to be reached for comment.
If all five potential candidates file candidacy papers, it will be the first time these seats have been up for grabs in a public election in four years. In 2006, incumbents Rios and Connelley ran unopposed and were automatically reinstated to their positions by default.
Connelley has served on the council for five years, as mayor for one year. Connelley was appointed to the council in 2005 to fill the final year of Jeff Huffaker’s term when Huffaker left to take a judgeship, and now Connelley hopes to finally garner the votes of Oakley citizens.
“I’m looking forward to the competition,” Connelley said. “I’d like to get out there and grab a few votes for myself. I’d like to get a vote of confidence from the public to let me know that they like the job I’ve been doing.”
Connelley said he hopes to remain on the council, as he has some loose ends to tie up, such as continuing to see progress made through the economic development plan. An environmental activist, Connelley also hopes to continue the city’s support for the Delta Discovery Experience at Big Break, which is scheduled to open later this year. Though he hadn’t filed his candidacy papers at press time, Connelley has already generated a Web site, www.bruceforoakley.org, to promote his campaign.
Councilmember Rios could not be reached for comment. If elected, this would be her third term.
The deadline to file candidacy papers is 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6. A potential candidate must be a registered voter residing within Oakley. Those interested in running for office are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the Oakley City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk to review and pick up papers for their run for office.
Candidate statements are limited to 200 words and cost $490. There is also a $25 filing fee to offset the city’s administrative costs associated with processing election documents.
The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2. In the case of a tie, the council has decided to draw lots rather than hold a special election.
For more information about running for City Council, call Oakley City Clerk Nancy Ortenblad at 925-625-7013.