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November 24, 2022
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Rookie candidate Moore soars into first place for Los Gatos Town Council

Incumbent Badame notches a close second

Rob Moore, the progressive first-time candidate for Los Gatos Town Council, edged ahead of the slow-growth-advocating incumbent Mary Badame to claim first place in early voting results. There are three positions available on Council, as Mayor Rob Rennie was up for reelection, and Councilmember Marico Sayoc decided not to run again.

Moore’s initial tally was 3,776 (22.8%) to Badame’s 3,615 (21.82%), Rennie’s 3,369 (20.34%), executive Rob Stump’s 2,870 (17.33%), long-time local businesswoman Margaret Smith’s 2,200 (13.28%) and Planning Commissioner Reza Tavana’s 735 (4.44%).

“It feels really good. It’s a lot of hard work, so it’s very gratifying,” said Moore, when asked about his pole position status minutes after the results were released. “Fingers crossed.”

As the night unfolds, the future direction of the town hangs in the balance, as some candidates stridently oppose the residential development outlook advocated by others.

While Stump and Badame are the candidates favored by those in town urging as little growth as possible, in the hopes of preserving the small-town character of the community, Moore and Rennie have advocated for policies that would allow some density increases, while preventing intensification in other areas. Tavana did not appear to have done much active campaigning during the race.

The Los Gatos Community Alliance, a local group behind a referendum that seeks to do away with parts of the 2040 General Plan that would allow additional home construction in some areas of town, supported Stump and Badame and decried Moore and Rennie for boycotting a public forum they held. Moore and Rennie had refused to attend, saying the event was biased against them.

At the last Council meeting, Nov. 1, Badame was the lone vote against allowing a developer to put up a less obtrusive form of story poles, the visible markers that demonstrate the size of potential developments to the public. She said locals need to be made aware of projects coming down the line however possible, so they have a chance to share their comments.

Meanwhile, in the education world, two candidates seemed to be rising to the top for the Los Gatos-Saratoga UHSD Governing Board. Alex Shultz had brought in 6,394 votes (26.1%), with Steve Chen just behind at 6,302 (25.72%), with Misty Davies in third at 4,641 (18.94%), David Guidry at 3,699 (15.1%) and Chris Miller at 3,465 (14.14%).

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]