5 Candidates for 3 City Council Positions

By: Madison Davis, President/CEO, Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, madison@brisbanechamber.org, 415-467-7283

5 Candidates for 3 City Council Positions

Candidate Statements and Photos are listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot. On November 3rd the residents of Brisbane will elect three city council members for a term of four years each (candidate statements are on page 2). Votes may be cast at any vote center in the county and voting in-person can be done early (not just on Nov. 3rd). Alternatively, voters can also mail in their ballots. In-person voting in Brisbane may be done at City Hall, (50 Park Place) beginning October 31st. Hours of the vote center before election day will be 9am-5pm and on election day (Nov. 3rd) hours will be 7am-8pm. Voters may also place ballots in the Ballot Drop Box located just outside city hall, beginning the first week of October.
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Karen Cunninghaml Occupation: Incumbent
During the past three years I have had the honor and privilege of serving my Community as one of your elected City Council Members; as part of those duties I serve on 18 City and County appointed Boards, Commissions and sub-Committees. Due to the current pandemic, my re­ election campaign will be self-funded.
I have very much valued this time to serve my Community for the betterment of the entire community, striving for equality and representation for all. It is a job that I have grown to love. My priorities have always been safety first, fiscal responsibility, quality of life Issues for our entire Community, helping to grow our Business sector, pursuing the possibilities for additional education opportunities, for preschool through high school and maintaining control over our small town atmosphere.
We have achieved much: I continue to promote proactive local decision making and big picture ideas, also reaching out to form positive alliances with others in our County. With the passing of measure JJ, we have as a City, retained full control of the Baylands process despite tremendous pressure from outside influencers.
I have been involved in the renovation of the Brisbane dog park, the Brisbane Library, many Capital Improvement safety upgrades , the approval of the Lunafest Film Series, the introduction of Junior Volunteer of the Year Award, the creation of the Public Arts Sub-Committee, instituted the banning of unhosted STR’s and the ongoing planning for the Brisbane Baylands as well as continually updating our plans for Brisbane’s future for all.
Due to Covid-19 crisis we are facing logistical and financial challenges and if re-elected, I know I will be calling on the people in our Community who are willing and able to step up to help others. I expect some fiscal conservatism will be absolutely necessary and know that we will succeed just as we did in the 2008 financial crisis. As work from home may become a norm that is preferred by some Companies and their Workers, our transportation needs and commercial space needs may change dramatically. We need to have a can do and flexible mindset to rise to these challenges as they present themselves.
Moving forward I desire to continue to be honorable, useful, compassionate and yearn to keep making a difference for everyone in our fair city.
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COLEEN MACKIN
Occupation: Project Coordinator
Brisbane became my home nearly 20 years ago. What a unique community we have, where people carry on timeless traditions and celebrate the sheer joy of living here.
Maintaining the character that is Brisbane almost becomes an oath, and one that I pledge to continue.
I’ve had the pleasure of serving you as a Planning Commissioner the past three and a half years. I held the position of Chair for one term and am one of two Commissioners who sit on the City Council’s Baylands Subcommittee.
Being on the Planning Commission and Baylands Subcommittee has been a rewarding experience. It brings into focus the way our City works and how it interacts with residents, businesses, and developers.
It’s not about being a “decider” but rather a “problem solver” and critical thinker. That requires a lot of research – reading complex documents including State laws, City codes, building plans, pouring through staff reports, listening carefully to what people say and then asking the right questions.
Sometimes the important points are in what’s not being said. I consider it my responsibility to find that out. If there’s one thing I take pride in, it’s doing my homework.
Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of education about Brisbane. I served on the Complete Streets Committee for three years with two successive terms as Chair. I was on the Citizens Committee appointed to study the Baylands Draft Environmental Impact Report in 2012. During my appointment to the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury 2010-11, I also learned much about our County governance.
I’m keenly aware of the issues important to you: growth and development, housing and open space, water and energy, parking, fire, erosion, trees, stewardship of the mountain. And let’s not forget the bigger issues of climate change and sustainability!
Nobody could have foreseen the monumental changes that beset us in 2020 with a pandemic, a recession, and economic uncertainty. Not only will this take its toll on City finances, it will necessitate responding effectively to rapidly changing circumstances.
I am certain with the knowledge and experience I bring, I will be a productive member and contributor to our City Council. You’ve seen my ability to work collaboratively with many different groups, and my goal will be to listen to your input and utilize your talents in the blueprint for Brisbane’s future!
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Cliff Lentz
Occupation: Incumbent
Living in Brisbane for the past thirty years has brought me great joy and appreciation for our wonderful little town. I have been blessed to have helped raise our children in a safe and open community, run a business, and give back to our city through volunteering and serving on the Brisbane City Council.
Together, we have led efforts to improve our environment, provide support for our seniors, strengthen the relationship between the City and our schools, reduce airplane noise, build a new library, demand that the Baylands development is safe and sustainable. Our City is an amazing place to live because we get involved and make things happen. Your collective energy motivates me to work hard on your behalf to find the best practices that retain the living standards we value, while building for a better future.
The pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated that all communities are better off when people come together to help their fellow neighbor, show compassion for the plight of others and put forth policies that are fair and equitable. Helping to form the Brisbane COVID Response Coalition, and then seeing volunteers go to work to assist those in need, made me so proud of our citizens. To see the posters and the flag raising for Black Lives Matter highlighted the commitment of our local government to view City policies through the lens of social justice and equity.
Besides my work in Brisbane, I’ve been our voice in the County for improving public transportation, affordable housing, closing the internet divide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
If reelected, I will continue to:
Apply policies that keep us safe and connected during the pandemic
Work with our citizens to create a Baylands that improves our existing community
Demand that the contamination in the Baylands is properly remediated
Create educational opportunities for our children
Focus on measures that keep the City financially sound
Dedicate more land to open space and improve our environment
Push for greater equity in all City decisions
Although we live in trying times, we also live in a time of great opportunity. Our strength is in our ability to rally around one another and put forth decisions that strive for the greater good.
I would be honored to have your continued support as your public servant on the Brisbane City Council.
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R JASON NUNAN
Occupation: Restaurant Professional
We live in a special town . Whether hiking up San Bruno Mountain, enjoying the Farmers Market or pulling together as a community to provide meals for seniors impacted by COVID, we have much to celebrate in this beautiful community. I love this town — and would love to give back by serving on the Brisbane City Council.
My partner Jad Bernardo and I are transplants from New York City, and we searched Brisbane real estate for months to find our home here. We could not have been happier when we ‘discovered’ Brisbane through good friends and have never looked back . Three years ago, I was offered the chance to lead The Village Pub, a Michelin-rated fine dining restaurant in Woodside. I jumped at the opportunity.
I attended University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) for my BA and The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) for a Master of Fine Arts. I served as General Manager at a top-rated restaurant conceived by Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef fame) as well as Director of Restaurants at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where my role involved building an annual budget that often exceeded $16M. I also was asked to serve as Treasurer on the Board of our coop building. During my tenure we were able to have no increase in HCOA fees for 5 years straight due to careful fiscal management.
I have a deep love for the beauty of Brisbane and our collective ‘backyard’ – San Bruno Mountain. After learning of plans to allow the building of up to 30 new residences in the Lower Acres, a group of fellow residents formed Save the Acres, a non-political action group. We are concerned with the safety of drilling into the fragile soil and displacing native wildlife. We fear for the safety of all residents in case of a wildfire. We also are concerned about additional traffic on all roads leading up to the development – especially the ‘hairpin turn’ at the corner of Glen Park and Humboldt.
I’d like us to keep a watchful eye on High Speed Rail plans and the impact on quality of life, as well as looking to initiatives that will revitalize our Downtown while supporting our local merchants.
My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to the table and preserving the character of Brisbane and the natural backdrop of San Bruno mountain we all cherish. I humbly seek your support in the upcoming election. Given the challenges of meeting with folks I’d welcome you to reach out via email with any questions you might have: robertjason.nunan@gmail.com
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Arthur Sun, Ph.D., LLM
Occupation: Mental Health Advocate
I am a husband to a lovely wife and a father of 3 boys (ages 13, 10, and 8). We have lived and have interwoven ourselves into the fabric of Brisbane, a place we have called home for 11 years. My eldest son, Sebastian Sun recently graduated from Lipman Middle School, and my two younger sons, Julius and Tristan Sun are currently attending Brisbane Elementary School. My lovely wife Elisa and I continue to volunteer in different capacities to serve our community. e.g. I briefly served on Brisbane Complete Street Safety Committee. We truly love our community, care for our city, without reservation.
I graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Political Science, earned my law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center, and my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from California Institute for Human Science. In Boston, I was appointed as an Asian-American commissioner to help address the needs of the Southeast Asian American community. I am currently a member of the United Nations subcommittee number 8, advocating for Human Rights.
I am running for City Council on the platform of “See something, say something.” e.g. A Cleaner Brisbane. I have noticed an increase in the trash in our city negatively impacting our environment, the health and safety of our community, and the beauty of our city. As a resident of the City of Brisbane, as a candidate, I want to make sure that we manage sustainable growth while maintaining our small community culture.
Why “See something, say something”? I feel if something is wrong, we need to be the voice to impact positive change even if it means taking uncomfortable action.
The power of unity and solidarity will guide us to build a stronger bond within our community. Working together as one voice will help us overcome hardships and obstacles such as racial injustice, systematic racism, and help clear the way for something greater to come. If we do not take an active role by learning about how racism and inequality impact our communities, then racism and inequality will continue to affect us all.
The racial injustice and systematic racism, indeed have enlightened some, empowered others and overall brought the fact of the matter at hand, that “Black Lives Matter, “which echoes around the world, and people are working toward greater social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. Moreover, we are confronting the pandemic of Covid-19, economic displacement, social injustice, and personal stress that threatens the well-being of humans. Many of these crises are interrelated and are exacerbated by the lack of leadership. We must work together in the interest of the community, city, and nation to appropriately respond to current social and political challenges of our time. We will then be able to create positive change in our society, guided by our own principles, so we can create a harmonic community and environment for all.
I would like to continue to build a better Brisbane by listening to, frequently taking the pulse of the community, and amplifying the voices of our community, so everyone can be heard. I will work tirelessly to drive positive change. Together, we have the opportunity to build a brighter Brisbane for our children and I am committed to help make that a reality.