A housing advocate and a high school teacher are hoping to give four incumbents a run for their money when residents vote for their new City Council members in November.
The crowded election for four seats on the seven-member council initially featured four newcomers, including Kevin Bondonno, chair of the city’s Housing and Human Concerns Committee; local businessman Nick James; resident Christina Lucien; and teacher Joneen Nelson. But only Bondonno and Nelson filed paperwork and qualified for the ballot, City Clerk Patricia Howe said.
Incumbents Ian Bain, Alicia Aguirre, Rosanne Foust and Barbara Pierce are seeking new terms on the City Council.
“I think it’s great that people step up and run,” said Foust, first elected in 2003.
For Foust and other incumbents, the challenge is to make sure residents know what they’ve been doing for the past four years. All four said they are getting an earful from residents about downtown’s transformation.
However, those concerns aren’t the mainstays, according to Bain.
“People care most about the issues closest to home — they want their trees trimmed, sidewalks repaired and speeding reduced,” Bain said.
For Bondonno and Nelson, the challenge will be making sure voters know who they are.
Nelson has lived in the Bay Area since the late 1990s. She just finished a yearlong teaching stint at Gunn High School in Palo Alto.
Nelson entered the race out of political frustration. “I love to walk across the fields in Redwood Shores, and they’re tearing them up to put in artificial turf,” she said. She also questions Redwood City’s approval of expansion and 12 new gas pumps at Costco on Middlefield Road.
Bondonno, who has served on the housing committee for six years, is especially concerned about the mix of housing Redwood City builds as it grows, particularly downtown.