Anne Oliva was selected Tuesday evening to serve on the Millbrae City Council filling the vacancy created by the unexpected death of Nadia Holober last month.
After a nearly three-hour process, the council quietly agreed upon Oliva to fill the remainder of Holober’s term, which ends in November. Oliva was one of six applicants — Scott Fong, Reuben Holober, Lorrie Kalos-Gunn, Dan Quigg and Ann Schneider also applied for the position. She was sworn in at the end of the meeting.
“Anne has experience working with other elected officials, deep breadth of experience and knowledge of the issues the city faces as well as solutions,” said Vice Mayor Wayne Lee, who added she also gained significant support from the electorate in the last election.
She was 28 votes behind Councilman Robert Gottschalk in the 2011 election.
Oliva said that she was humbled by the support and her desire to serve hasn’t decreased. Oliva is involved locally in a variety of ways. As the owner/broker of Marshall Realty, she’s quite involved with local groups involved in real estate as well as working on state legislation. For the city, she’s been involved in working to generate ideas for the downtown — which is an area she expressed great interest and opportunity for changes in the future.
In the short term, Oliva said she’s willing to help where she can in terms of supporting economic development. Long term, she would like to see more consistency in the vision and development.
Looking at the area around the Bay Area Rapid Transit station, Oliva called the land a prime location that needed a hotel. The city’s vision for Site One, a portion of the land in that area, also came up. Oliva noted that one way to support property owners get the development moving is through finance opportunities.
Oliva also supported extending the fire assessment — an annual levy that ends next year and brings in $1.2 million each fiscal year to the city.
Choosing Oliva took some time.
Applicant names were chosen at random to create the order for the evening. Each was given the opportunity to give a short introduction. Then, all candidates were asked to leave the room while their fellow applicants were interviewed. Interviews lasted no longer than 20 minutes per applicant. Finally, candidates reassembled within the council chambers to give final thoughts before the council took a written vote to narrow the pool. After the first vote, Oliva received two votes while Quigg and Holober each received one. Then the council started to debate. A third paper ballot was enough to make a decision.
Gottschalk was the changed vote. He had supported Holober but acknowledged the points others made about Oliva when announcing his intention to change.
One thing for the council to consider was whether or not the person appointed was interested in running this November. Both Quigg and Kalos-Gunn expressed no intention of running for office this November but a desire to volunteer if needed. On the other hand, Schneider openly acknowledged a desire to run in November and that not applying would be a missed opportunity to get her name out there.
Colapietro said she strongly felt against appointing someone who plans to run in November. Doing so could give them an advantage in the upcoming election, she said.
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