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Millbrae mayor race candidates focus on budget, police issues

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Six hopefuls are vying for three seats on the Millbrae City Council amid a climate of Police Department struggles and economic uncertainty.

Among those running in November is Marge Colapietro, the current vice mayor and only incumbent.

Colapietro defended the council’s handling of the Police Department, which is floundering with limited staff and no full-time chief, saying a two-year study into a partnership with San Bruno tied the council’s hands.

But candidate Marc Farber, a former police commander, said the council spent six years looking at the same issues without solving them.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Lorrie Kalos-Gunn is running for a third time, and she is focused on fiscal issues.

“What I’ve never seen is an absolutely strategic plan that says, ‘Here is how we’re going to carry forward,’” Kalos-Gunn said.

After losing by 67 votes in 2007, community volunteer Wayne Lee also is back on the campaign trail.

Lee said big development projects involving BART or downtown won’t solve the city’s pressing financial problems fast enough, and cutting more staff and services is unsustainable.

After two terms on the council, Robert Gottschalk was termed out in 2009, but now he wants to return.

Gottschalk, who has the most council experience of any candidate, is strongly opposed to increasing taxes. One of his top priorities would be to make the building and planning processes faster and cheaper to attract more projects.

Political newcomer Anne Oliva’s campaign is focused on private property rights, public safety and no new taxes.

“If we start taxing on point of sales for property owners, that will infringe on owners’ values and rent will go up,” said Oliva, a Realtor.

She said she hopes to revitalize the downtown area by encouraging an anchor store that small businesses could thrive around.

 

Millbrae mayoral race candidates

Robert Gottschalk
Occupation: Attorney
War chest: $8,000
Endorsements: Millbrae Councilor Nadia Holober; Millbrae Councilor Paul Seto; former county Supervisor and Millbrae Mayor Mary Griffin; Millbrae School District board Trustee Marjory Luxenberg

Marge Colapietro
Occupation: Vice mayor
War chest: $7,300
Endorsements: U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier; state Sen. Leland Yee; Assemblyman Jerry Hill; county Board of Supervisors President Carol Groom

Lorrie Kalos-Gunn
Occupation: Fire battalion chief
War chest: $5,000
Endorsements: Former Millbrae Mayor Lew Grasberger; 2007 Millbrae Woman of the Year Ann Kirkbride; 2009 Millbrae Woman of the Year Patricia Realini; Millbrae School District board Trustee Marjory Luxenberg

Wayne Lee
Occupation: Engineer
War chest: $0
Endorsements: U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier; Millbrae Councilor Gina Papan; Millbrae Councilor Nadia Holober; Millbrae Councilor Paul Seto

Anne Oliva
Occupation: Realtor
War chest: $0
Endorsements: Assemblyman Jerry Hill; Millbrae Councilor Gina Papan; Millbrae Mayor Dan Quigg; county Supervisor Don Horsley

Marc Farber
Occupation: Retired Millbrae police commander
War chest: $0
Endorsements: None

nkyriakou@sfexaminer.com