The Redwood City Planning Commission chair running for City Council agreed to change his ballot designation from that appointed office to “businessman.”
Ernie Schmidt’s decision and Redwood City Clerk Silvia Vonderlinden’s agreement staved off a court hearing originally scheduled yesterday to consider council candidate Corrin Rankin’s petition over the original label.
Schmidt said he agreed to the change as a way of expediting a resolution so he and the other candidates can instead focus on more important issues in the Nov. 5 election like public safety, revenue and affordable housing.
“I really don’t feel there’s a story in this,” Schmidt said. “My ballot designation was the same as the one approved when I ran for county supervisor.”
Schmidt ran in the June 2012 primary.
Schmidt said he has several jobs — marketing, Realtor and auto sales.
Rankin said yesterday she’s glad the situation resolved with the stipulation, or agreement, rather than a court ruling.
“Now we can get back to what’s important. This issue was about the policies of the election, the process and not about the campaign,” Rankin said.
Rankin, owner of a bail bonds business, petitioned the San Mateo County Superior Court last week to prevent Vonderlinden from allowing Schmidt to list “Chairman Planning Commission” or “Redwood City Planning Commission Chair.”
Election law holds that aside from incumbents, elected officials and judges, candidates can use no more than three words to explain their current “professions, vocations or occupations.” Rankin’s attorney, Dennis Scott Zell, said at the time of filing these must be a means of livelihood or income rather than a volunteer or appointed position.
A Redwood City spokeswoman said the city didn’t object to the matter’s resolution.
“Although designations such as ‘commissioner’ have a history of being accepted in our county and court clarification would have been helpful, the city is pleased that the candidates came to an amenable solution,” said Sheri Costa-Batis, public communication and engagement manager, in an email to the Daily Journal.
Schmidt and Rankin are among six candidates vying for three seats on the Redwood City Council in the Nov. 5 election. The others are incumbents Jeff Gee and John Seybert, business manager James Lee Han and nurse Diane Howard who previously served on the council.
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