San Carlos mayor to step down

Two familiar faces are emerging as possible City Council contenders after Mayor Tom Davids announced he will retire after three terms.

Both Davids and Councilwoman Inge Tiegel Doherty are up for re-election this November. Tiegel Doherty told The Examiner in March that she will seek another term.

The 2005 race was crowded with newcomers when both Mike King and Don Eaton retired from the dais, a situation that earned Vice Mayor Brad Lewis and Councilman Bob Grassili spots on the council.

“I’ve done this for 12 years, and that’s probably enough,” Davids said. “After 12 years you’ve heard most of the stories, and done most of what you could to solve them.”

The candidacy period opens July 16, but that hasn’t stopped some from talking about who might launch campaigns this summer. So far, the likeliest candidate is Randy Royce, chairman of the city’s Planning Commission and a former member of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Citizens Advisory Committee.

Royce could not be reached for comment because he is traveling in Asia.

“He said he would not run if Tom [Davids] was running,” said City Clerk Christine Boland. “He’s a definite contender.”

Anotherpossibility is John Hoffmann, a one-time council member who ran — and narrowly lost — in the 2005 council race. As to the 2007 race, “I’m giving it serious consideration,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann has been openly critical of San Carlos politics in the past, opposing the $600,000-a-year shuttle program, SCOOT, and calling the city to task on its fiscal problems, which have resulted in a structural deficit of $1 to $2 million per year.

“We’ve been running a deficit each of the last several years, and then there’s always the ‘we need more money.’ At times, you need to find internal economies,” Hoffmann said.

Any new candidates should be well-versed in the city’s key issues, including the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s hospital proposal, the ongoing controversy about how to resolve the city’s playing-field shortage and the future development of San Carlos, according to Councilman Matt Grocott.

Sally Mitchell, a former mayor and current board president of the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce, agreed that the city’s economic future is key.

“The city is facing a dire budgetary situation,” Mitchell said. “Many of us see this as an opportunity to ensure the city broadens its sales-tax base.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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