Rajan, Simmons Announce City Re-election Bids

Update: Kish Rajan and Bob Simmons are running again on Nov. 6; July 16 is the date when candidates can take out election papers.

Update Wednesday morning, Skrel report.

Kish Rajan and Bob Simmons are running for re-election to the Walnut Creek City Council.

In an email to Walnut Creek Patch, Mayor Simmons said, "I have decided to seek re-election to the City Council and will meet with the City Clerk on Monday to start the process."

Mayor Pro Tem Rajan confirmed his candidacy in a Tuesday telephone interview.

Monday, July 16, is the time that candidates can take out election papers from the city clerk. The candidate nomination period ends Aug. 10, unless an incumbent doesn't run, in which case the filing period is extended until Aug. 15.

The post of incumbent Council member Gary Skrel, a former mayor who has been on the council since 2000, is also up this year.

Skrel said he is undecided. In a Wednesday phone interview, he said, "Twelve years is 12 years but it's still a blast. I'm still deciding."

Simmons, elected to the council in 2008, is a retired lawyer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Simmons and his wife, Judy, moved to Walnut Creek in 1987, where they raised two sons who are now adults. As to political affiliation, he said he writes "decline to state" on the elections forms.

Rajan, elected to the council in 2008, is the mayor pro tem, meaning that the council has signaled its intent to appoint him mayor at a reorganization meeting after the November election, if Rajan is re-elected to the council.

Expected to run for the council is local small businessman Justin Wedel, who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2010 and has been vocal at occasional city meetings, objecting to policies of the council. Patch has an email out to Wedel seeking comment.

Wedel has made no formal announcement. He was introduced as an independent candidate for Walnut Creek City Council when he spoke in May to the Save Our Stanley group, which is fighting plans for a new event center at Rossmoor.

More from Kish Rajan

Rajan said he planned to run on his record of follow-through on positions taken in his first campaign in 2008, and he plans to work on the same issues in the next four years:

"I'm looking forward to talking to voters about what we said we were going to do and our ideas," Rajan said.

Rajan in 2010 promised attention to:

  • fiscal soundness
  • parking and transportation
  • emphasis on neighborhoods and families.

He vowed to promote the city's fiscal soundness, said Rajan, "and I think we've done well."

As to strategy in parking and transportation policy, Rajan said, "I'm proud of the leadership I was able to display and continue to display."

"I've been an advocate for our parks, our pools, our sports fields — things that are about families' recreation and health," said Rajan, adding that he emphasizes giving public safety resources to maintain the security of neighborhoods.

Rajan, a Democrat, said he thought it was important to talk about city issues in a nonpartisan context. "One of the things I appreciate the most about local politics is its nonpartisan culture, he said, citing his "experience and exposure to Sacramento and even Washington, watching those systems work and fail to work."

On the Walnut Creek council, Rajan said, "We certainly don't agree on everything — we have different perspectives and values, but I don't think we ever compete with each other. When you take that out of the environment, it makes us far more functional and results-oriented."

A lifelong Walnut Creek resident, Rajan is married to Evie and they have three children. Rajan is director of North America mobile sales with SanDisk Corp.


Watch Patch for updates on candidacies.

michael frederick July 16, 2012 at 08:58 PM
WC Indy, Public employee union activism is an obvious concern (particularly for County...). However, your concerns would have merit here iff: After having rec'd WCPD support, a council member IMMEDIATELY rewarded it. In the next election cycle, Council members sought additional PAC support by forming a committee to benefit police officers, comprised exclusively of police officers and their supporters. ONLY THEN, would this be a comparable situation, where the Council members responsible marketed their PUBLIC office for PERSONAL gain. Then, you'd have demonstrated serious concern for "the avoidance of impropriety" we see evidenced by Skrel and Simmons. As to your belief that abstract civil engineering should preempt democratic process and drop onto this community like a spaceship, without community input -- my response is simple. If the arguments you regurgitate had unquestionable merit and community support -- they wouldn't NEED Council members discrediting themselves, restricting opposing arguments, and stacking commissions. They do. Public deference to committees comprised of corporations, civil engineers, architects, land use attorneys, builders, etc. to answer HOW MUCH TO BUILD resembles asking library fanatics to determine WC library "needs." The answer to the last question looked like 50% more than their Santa Clara model: $50M... That's clearly STUPID gov't. funded and promoted by special interests -- not SMART.
Walnut creek indy July 16, 2012 at 09:51 PM
MF, Since budgetary cycles and election cycles are not always co-terminus then perahps you can rember the old addage, you can shear a sheep many times, you can eat him only once. Translation, there was a clear movement by the wc police to push for specific members of city council to be elected, those members have since pushed specificly for that agenda. Has there been many oppurtunities for them to translate that directly? Yes actually there has, in terms of staffing cuts wcpd has faced very little to none, by the way if you know where to look you will find wcpd cars running in parking lots with wcpd sitting in them in the shade doing paperwork. And there will be more oppurtunities soon, wait until the next budget comes up... So do we disagree, clearly. I look at this as entrenced interest who are used to higher levels of funding battling tooth and nail to retain that funding at the cost of the community at large. I also see development as a fact of life, another addage for you, nothing in life ever stays the same the only constant is change
Mary Reed July 17, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Walnut creek indy, you have no idea what you are talking about. How is advocating for the safety of the community not the job of EVERY council member? No police staffing cuts? Do you even life in Walnut Creek? Both my kids attend High School in Walnut Creek. Last year one of them was the victim of a serious crime on campus and was assisted by a WCPD school resource officer who had been on campus teaching a class. Due to the budget cuts you seem to not be aware of all school resource officers and school programs have been eliminated. 4-5 officers lost is a lot for a small community like ours and it matters. Tone deaf people like you make it very hard for people like me to support causes I believe in like the arts and libraries. That is the reason I got everyone on my street to vote against Cindy Silva 2 years ago. Public safety is a top priority no matter how you try and spin it.
Jim July 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
If you work at a desk are you there most of the day? Cops write police reports on computers in their CARS Enstein! That IS their office. LOL You also didn't answer Ken's question. What financial benefit do police officers get by highlighting staffing cuts? Doesn't the city have less money to spend if they hire more? Don't officers work less overtime? You also forgot to mention that even with the additional officers the police budget is less than it was last year. The arts budget went up however. Based on the timing of your attacks on public safety I'm going to say your "Indy" label conceals someone connected to an upcoming political campaign. Someone that will be getting money from a developer perhaps? Come on, tell us the truth!
Walnut creek indy July 20, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Jim Just returned to this post thread and after a quick look into your comment history it seems the only thing your interested in is police activity in walnut creek and how we are so woefully undeserved and under protected. It must be a very frightening world you live in where walnut creek is such a scary crime ridden place to be. I'm not saying police fire and other government workers are bad in any way. But can't we just be adults about how we procede, FYI I'm not even suggesting cuts I'm just tired of every conversation on this topic turning into a shouting match.


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