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Los Gatos Council Race Uncontested

Ex-county school boss Colleen Wilcox decides not to run.

It looks like the Los Gatos Town Council race will be uncontested this fall, with the only candidate who would have created a contest announcing Wednesday evening she would not be running for one of the two open seats available on the body.

That means and , who's indicated she wants the seat vacated by will be automatically elected to the two seats come Nov. 6.

had pulled papers to run announcing Monday she was "heavily weighing a few things," before making it official.

"After considerable deliberation I decided not to run this year," Wilcox wrote in an email responding to a question as to whether she had decided to participate in the race.

She continued: "I had hoped to bring consensus and compromise to a divided Council and town that I dearly love. When it became clear that I would be unable to do so at this time, I chose not to run. Naturally, it was a difficult decision. I only hope that those who take office without being elected will be objective and represent the needs of the entire community."

San Jose State University political scientist Larry Gerston, a Los Gatos resident, said the outcome means the race for Council will be unopposed.

"It's two people running for two seats and that's an uncontested race," Gerston stated about the obvious, when asked to comment. "There will be an election in the technical sense, but two people running for two seats means they'll win."

As of 4:22 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15, the final deadline to file papers to run when an incumbent decides not to run for re-election, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office November 2012 candidates list only listed Spector and Jensen as filing papers for the race on July 16 and July 24, respectively.

In this case, the five-day extension to file was granted due to Rice's decision not to run. It was during this additional time that Wilcox considered running, but apparently decided against it.

"Anytime there's a change agent in a position of authority, that person is likely to receive all kinds of comments. When she was the superintendent of education for Santa Clara County, Colleen Wilcox was certainly known as a change agent. People like her are likely to catch all kinds of criticism in some respect because they're unwilling to accept the status quo. That's the burden a change agent often has," Gerston said.

Jensen acknowledged Wednesday evening that the race is indeed uncontested and added "there shouldn't be an election unless the Town Council decides that an election should be held notwithstanding the expense to the town."

Her reaction to automatically getting a seat on the Council? "I ran for a reason—to change the direction of the Council—so I am pleased that it looks like I will be in a position to do that," she said.

For her part, Spector said she didn't think there would be an election unless the Council requires one at town expense. "I am proud that I can continue to represent this town on our Council," she said.

Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson said Thursday morning that the Council meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20 had been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 to add the appointment of Spector and Jensen to the body, saving the town the expense of running an election, which would be between $40,000 and $50,000.

Jim Thrall August 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I hope these two candidates still campaign to some extent and tell us what they want to do to either maintain the status quo or what changes they would like to see. Too bad we don't have anyone to make this a contested race...
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz August 16, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I agree. We need to know about both of them.
Dyan Chan August 16, 2012 at 08:40 PM
We need to encourage more people to get involved. It's hard to juggle work and family, and we all need to weigh our involvement in other activities every day. Given the response to the story about Colleen Wilcox, I'm not surprised more people aren't running.
Dyan Chan August 16, 2012 at 08:41 PM
P.S. If there's no contest, I do hope we will not undergo the expense of an election!
AR August 16, 2012 at 08:44 PM
they've got something better than rhetoric - actual track records. go look at their comments, voting history, etc. i agree that uncontested races are not an optimal outcome for any democratic process, but i'd rather have an uncontested race than one in which one candidate unfairly benefits from a hotly (and pointlessly) debated contrived controversy
Jesse Ducker August 16, 2012 at 09:37 PM
One of hand, I always feel wary about candidates running un-opposed. On the other hand, if it does spare the cost of an election, something good can come out of it.
James George August 16, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Colleen, don't worry about these two candidates. They are the type of people who want to represent this cities voters in a fair minded manner as they have both proven in their current offices.
Mckenna Smith August 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Well this is sad. It means it's either horrible serving on the council or that there aren't any people in this town willing to challenge these two candidates and as Judy Glickman said in her article in July Los Gatos Voters Lose if Only Two Run For Council! http://losgatos.patch.com/articles/letter-no-election-on-los-gatos-town-council-with-only-two-candidates
Mckenna Smith August 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM
It also won't matter how or what they say at interviews, forums or debates because there probably won't be any ... why bother if there is no race? Two seats + two candidates = two winners and no "losers" (except for the voters).
Parthenia M. Hicks August 17, 2012 at 04:50 AM
So interesting. When I experienced the LG Leadership program, there appeared to be several good folks who would serve the town well. Wish they would come forth.
Jeffrey Bachman August 17, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Seriously!!?? 12 years on the Council?? Can you say term limits? I guess if no one comes forward, these people can be in there indefinitely.

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