For a challenger and an incumbent, Linda Mason and Irene O’Connell, respectively, have a lot in common — though they may not want to admit it.
Both have good ideas and are willing and able to put them into action. In a conversation about ideas, Mason can pitch them fast and furious while O’Connell can tell you she’s tried them or is working on them. While they might seem like an odd couple, they might actually be good colleagues once the election campaign is over.
What Mason brings is energy, insight and a relative newcomer’s perspective while O’Connell brings insight and experience.
O’Connell has been on the council for 20 years and has a proven record of getting things done while imagining a better future for all San Bruno residents. Key to her tenure is the transit corridor plan and the passage of Measure N which established new heights for that to happen. O’Connell is not flashy, but is knowing and would provide a steady hand during a time of transition.
Mason is a relative newcomer to the city but has proven experience on the Planning Commission. Her husband, Andy Mason, is also involved and is likely to remain so as a member of the San Bruno Park Elementary School District Board of Trustees. She brings fresh ideas, enthusiasm and an analytic mindset to the table. While she thought the Mills Park development was too tall for nearby residents, she is not afraid of growth if done responsibly and with a mind to the future. In addition, she believes in the age-old concept of forging new relationships in the name of progress but also the importance of balancing that with the voices of current residents.
Incumbent Marty Medina has proven to be a good steward for the public good and is responsive and responsible. If he were to be re-elected, he would continue along that vein. However, his no vote on the Mills Park development sent the city into a tailspin of potential legal action from many parties and could prove to be a poster child for the need for state intervention on local planning matters. Being responsive to the public and the city’s residents is one thing, opening the city up to potential legal liability, while giving future developers pause and providing opponents of local control a strong case is quite another. Besides, the project was good and should have been approved.
Challenger Stephan Marshall has many of the requisite bona fides. His family has long been involved in city politics, he is immersed in the city’s community and could likely hit the ground running.
San Bruno is fortunate to have such good choices for its council. But sometimes it just comes down to who would be best suited for serving the city on the council, and we believe O’Connell and Mason are the simply the standouts in this election.