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Marcia Jensen to Run For Los Gatos Town Council in November Election

Longtime Los Gatos resident has distinguished herself as a studied and dedicated town planner.

Los Gatos Planning Commission Chairwoman Marcia Jensen announced this morning she will enter the race for a seat on the Los Gatos Town Council this coming November.

Jensen, 55, who's serving her second four-year term on the Commission, said her decision to run was based on her belief that recent decisions made by the Council majority have taken Los Gatos in the wrong direction, and her commitment to assuring that the Town remains a great place to live.

“Los Gatos residents are entitled to a Council whose members will consider all consequences of the decisions they make and follow the policies already in place which are designed to insure that our schools, infrastructure, natural setting and small Town character are preserved,” Jensen said in a written press release.

Jensen, who also serves on the Los Gatos General Plan and North 40 Advisory Committees, will run against Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice and Vice Mayor Barbara Spector, whose four-year terms are up this year.

During her service, Jensen assisted in developing Town policies and guidelines, including the Los Gatos Boulevard and Downtown Streetscape plans, tree protection and the Blossom Hill Open Space Study. At the end of Jensen’s initial tenure on the Commission, the Town Council, in 1999, commended her “well-reasoned decisions ... for Los Gatos as a community that provides an excellent quality-of-life for all its residents.”

Jensen said she has never run for elective office and has several endorsements she wasn't ready to announce.

In 2003, Jensen volunteered as a Raymond J. Fisher Middle School parent representative to the Excellence in Education Task Force. In 2010, she was selected to be a member of the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury, acting as Chair of the Cities and Special Districts Committee.

Jensen has been part of the Los Gatos community since 1985, living here with her husband, Leo Cunningham (Los Gatos High School Class of 1978), her children Ryan and Alexandra (Los Gatos High School Classes of 2007 and 2009) and more recently, the family’s mischievous, but beloved Westie and Nellie.

Jensen worked as assistant United States Attorney for the San Jose division from 1987 to 2003. She was responsible for the investigation, motion practice, trial and appeal of federal criminal cases. She tried more than 35 cases to jury verdict, including first-degree murder, bribery and financial fraud. She also litigated more than 15 appeals and argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Jensen also worked as a litigation associate for the San Jose law firm of Robinson & Wood from 1985 to 1987 where she specialized in insurance defense and she was a deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office from 1981 to 1985. She was responsible for pretrial law and motion, misdemeanor trials, felony prelims and trials. She participate in more than 30 jury trials of misdemeanor and felony crimes ranging from drunk driving to rape and kidnap.

In her free time, Jensen loves Sharks hockey, yoga and fitness training, her vegetable garden, and everything Los Gatos has to offer.

According to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter's Office, the filing period for the non-partisan race begins July 16 with the deadline to file all required nomination papers ending Aug. 10. The election is Nov. 6, 2012.

Larry Arzie May 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Marcia hit the nail squarely on the head, by saying the council majority has taken the town in the wrong direction. She is being diplomatic and understated to say the least. I would have changed that to: with bias taken the wrong direction. With self interest taken the wrong direction. Incompetently taken the wrong direction. And with their approval of the Netflix building, they took the town in an illegal direction. All under the oversight and approval of our Town Manager. It seems there should be two to say good by to. Marcia, you have the support of the community. We will all be behind you. Thank you for the work you have done on the planning commission and look forward to eliminating the voting block of an errant council.
Sandra Vaurs May 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Great news! Marcia has the welfare for Los Gatos at heart. The same cannot be said ot three of the current council members. I hope that people will get behind her so we can preserve the wonderful place where we live.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Too early to announce her candidacy? Don't think so. Marcia Jensen will need to work hard to beat one of the two incumbents who are well known and well connected in town. Today, Jensen also told Los Gatos Patch she's open to live blogging with voters on the site who can ask her questions and share their concerns using our website. Excited about Jensen and any of the other candidates who participate in the race to answer your questions live on Los Gatos Patch.
Maria Ristow May 03, 2012 at 04:19 AM
This is welcome news certainly! Marcia's comment about "a Council whose members... will follow the policies already in place" is exactly right. It gets disheartening to watch the Planning Commission make reasoned decisions based on the plans and policies of our town, only to have a divided Town Council override those decisions. It's time for consistency and commitment to maintaining what keeps LG desirable.
Henry Olmost May 03, 2012 at 05:29 AM
I've watched several planning Commission Meetings online, and Ms.Jensen knows her stuff, She would be an excellent choice and Los Gatos will be fortunate if she is elected.
Thomas Mangano May 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Glad to see Marcia run for the council. She already has my neighborhood's support! Having directly been involved with the Union project and observing other development project actions for the last 4 to 6 years it is clear the majority of Town Council has been trying to render the Planning Commission's work product and guidance irrelevant. The work product of the Planning Commission with the help of Marcia has been significant better in terms of following town codes and state codes than the Council's work product. Mr. Rice having moved from the Planning Commission to the Council in 2008 has been a champion and a necessary swing vote to decommission the Planning Commission's work. Hopefully, he will be decommissioned in November.
LG Citizen May 03, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Please vote for Marcia Jensen and Barbara Spector this fall. They are best hope for putting the brakes on for the rampant development in that is impacting all aspects of the town's infrastructure, most importantly our schools!
Mary B. May 03, 2012 at 09:11 PM
We are fortunate to have a candidate whose integrity and qualifications are backed by such outstanding credentials. My neighborhood is supportive of your goals to follow town policy in preserving our natural setting and small town character.
Richard Allen May 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I support Marcia Jensen for Town Council. I have observed her at many Planning Commission meetings and she is effective and fair and will be a good replacement for one of our current Town Council members. She has the requisite ethics, knowledge and independence to help turn-around the current Council's majority which has nullified much of the Planning Commission's good work.
jak vannada May 05, 2012 at 12:06 AM
We’re very fortunate to have Marcia Jenkins running for council in the fall. As much as I like Steve Rice personally, his goals for the town are not mine, nor those of a great many long time residents. Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Spector don’t always vote the same, but when it comes to land use and zoning laws, they both seem to understand that using the Planned Development tool advocated by the council majority (including Mr. Rice) and the Town Staff, circumvents the intent and the wish of the vast majority of Los Gatan’s. We don’t like more traffic nor overcrowded schools. It takes a certain amount of confidence and bravado – or total exasperation to run against an incumbent mayor. However, there’s not a stronger candidate out there nor one with a better track record for upholding the zoning, land use and hillside rules. Thanks to Ms. Jensen for giving us a shot a turning the town back around.
Renee Di Duca-Patton May 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
What a breath of fresh air! We met Marcia this past week, and I believe she'll bring a clear and intelligent perspective to town government. We need Marcia's ability to apply consistent rules and guidelines to the planning review process to ensure that Los Gatos continues to evolve in a way that preserves its natural beauty and character. She demonstrates a great deal of personal courage and will stand up for what she believes. She has shown this repeatedly in her years on the planning commission.

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