Election vacancies usually bring numerous candidates and this year's Martinez City Council race appears to be no exception.
In the two seats up for election, Janet Kennedy is retiring, leaving Mark Ross as the only incumbent running. Ross took out candidate papers last week and says he intends to file them to become an official candidate for re-election this week.
In the meantime, four would-be council members have taken out papers. They are Dylan Radke, son of two former council members and chair of the city Park, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission; former Planning Commissioner Anamarie Avila Farias, Arsenio Escudero and Michael Alford. None has as yet returned the completed papers.
There may also be a race for City Clerk. Incumbent Gary Hernandez has taken out papers, as has Evelyn Centeno. So far, City Treasurer Carolyn Robinson is unopposed.
If there is no incumbent for one of the City Council seats, the race for council candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot will not close until 5 p.m. Aug. 15. In all races where all incumbents file for re-election, filing closes at 5 p.m. Aug. 10.
Filing has also started in five school and special districts involving Martinez area voters. They include the following:
Martinez Unified School District (three seats): Incumbent Denise Elsken has taken out papers, but incumbents John Fuller and Kathi McLaughlin have not done so yet.
Mt. Diablo Unified School District (two seats; district includes southeastern portion of Martinez): incumbents Gary Eberhart and Sherry Whitmarsh, both of Concord, have not taken out papers yet. Brian Lawrence of Walnut Creek, Ernesto de Trinidad of Clayton, and Debra Mason and Attila Gabor, both of Bay Point have pulled papers.
Mt. Diablo Health Care District (three full-term seats, one short-term): incumbents Grace Ellis, Frank Manske and Nick Adler have yet to take out papers for the full-term seats, nor has incumbent James Jasper for the short-term seat. Would-be candidates Roy Kinion and Kevin Coughlin, both of Concord, have taken out papers. The election must be held in spite of the fact the district is in line to be dissolved. Martinez has moved to remove the city from the district.
Mt. View Sanitary District: (three seats, mostly in unincorporated eastern area adjoining city): Incumbent Elmer Schall has filed for re-election, while incumbents Randall Williams and David Maggi have taken out papers for re-election. Beverli Marshall has also pulled papers.
Contra Costa Central Sanitary District (three seats) incumbent Barbara Hockett, Danville, has taken out papers but fellow incumbents Mario Menesini and James Nejedly, both of Walnut Creek, have not. Tadeusz Pilecki of Martinez and Richard Clark of Danville have also taken out papers. Pilecki, if elected, would be the first Martinez resident on the board of directors .
Anyone interested in running for a city office can contact the City Clerk's office at City Hall. Those interested in other local seats can contact the Contra Costa Elections Office, which has considerable information for candidates on its website, www.cocovote.gov.
Candidates for all the offices must be citizens who will be at least 18 years old on Election Day and live in the city or district they wish to represent. Elections are for four-year terms except in cases where a candidate has been appointed to fill a mid-term vacancy.