Kenny Martin/Daily Journal
Top: San Mateo Mayor David Lim gave an ecstatic thumbs-up during an election party at Three restaurant in downtown last night. Bottom: Deputy Mayor Robert Ross and supporters gathered to watch the polls gather in his favor at Pasta Primavera last night.
Mayor David Lim and Deputy Mayor Robert Ross easily retained their seats on the San Mateo City Council, voters decided yesterday.
They will be joined by Public Works Commissioner Joe Goethals, who came in third place in the five-person race for three seats.
“I feel good about the future of San Mateo, I think we had a lot of great people run this time and I feel like there’s a lot of interest in the city,” Goethals said.
Lim generated the most voter support with 27.4 percent of the vote, according to the semi-official results from the San Mateo County Elections Office.
“I’ll continue being accountable and accessible. [For the] first four months, I’ll have meetings on sustainability, street repairs and quality-of-life issues,” Lim told the Daily Journal.
Ross came in second with 23.4 percent, narrowly ahead of Goethals who came in with 23.3 percent of the vote.
Goethals, like Lim, is a prosecutor for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and is giving up his position on the Peninsula Health Care District Board to serve on the council. It’s bittersweet, because the health care district is very important the city’s well-being, however he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a role on the council, Goethals said.
Joshua Hugg came in fourth with 13.3 percent of the vote. Regardless of the outcome, he stayed true to his values and will remain in civic service and continue to support the community as a planning commissioner, Hugg said. Although disappointed in the loss, he is happy to have provided voices to people who wouldn’t otherwise be part of the dialogue, Hugg said.
“I’ll continue to work to make the city the best it can be to the extent that I can,” Hugg said.
Communications and marketing professional Karen Schmidt took her first swing at city politics and came in fifth with 12.6 percent of the vote.
Ross, a 28-year veteran of city’s police department, has served on the council for four years, as has Lim. Goethals will be filling councilman Brandt Grotte’s seat after he opted not to run for re-election this year. Ross looks forward to working with the young Goethals.
“I’m excited, I think Joe will bring a set of fresh eyes and some new perspective,” Ross said.
With the city’s recent controversy and lawsuit over the new 7-Eleven on San Mateo Drive, Lim and Ross need a strong cohort.
Even with a top-notch council, the city still has several staff vacancies to fill after three members of the Community Development Department, including director Lisa Grote resigned. A new city manager will also need to be appointed as the former city manager Susan Loftus retired Nov. 1. The city has a great interim city manager in Larry Patterson and, once things are reorganized, he would like to see everyone come together as a team at City Hall, Goethals said.
With continued input from the community and businesses, Ross said he hopes to create a long-term vision for the city. Affordable housing, city staff oversight and developing a more fruitful downtown are issues all of the candidates agree need work.
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