Kathy Narum
Kathy Narum

PLEASANTON -- With nearly 40 percent of the vote, Planning Commissioner Kathy Narum will become the fifth member of the Pleasanton City Council, according to unofficial election results tallied by the county.

Preliminary numbers from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters show Narum won 39.6 percent of the 11,655 ballots cast -- 4,586 votes. She was followed by high-tech professional David Miller, who had nearly 27 percent. Candidates Olivia Sanwong and Mark Hamilton trailed at 17 percent and 16 percent respectively.

"I think it's time to celebrate," said Narum, who spent Wednesday morning collecting her campaign signs. "I'm hoping the campaign is over, and I'm really excited to get to work."

Narum, 56, said her first order of business as a council member will be to find ways to bring additional revenue to the city, to address such issues as improving the Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery and funding the second phase of Bernal Community Park.

"If we can increase city revenue, we can get the capital improvement program (going) and start to do some of those things," Narum said.

Miller placed second but said he was happy to have brought issues such as the unfunded pension liability, loss of local planning control and transparency in government up for discussion during his campaign.


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"I wanted to make sure the issues I cared about were up there," Miller said. "I have nothing but pride in the campaign and my supporters ... We fought a good fight.—(Narum) ran a great campaign and I'm looking forward to her being an excellent council member," he added.

Sanwong, the only Democrat in the race, said she will continue public service in Pleasanton and is already planning another council run.

"It will be a different game," Sanwong said. "This past election helped me figure out my team and who my base of support is, so I'm excited for 2014."

Hamilton, who was involved in his first campaign, said the election was a "learning experience" for him, and that he would consider running again.

"To run a good campaign, you've got to have the funding," he said. "I have a better idea of what it takes now."

Narum, who fills a council seat vacated by Mayor Jerry Thorne in November, said she owed her victory to her long-running involvement in city commissions and task forces and a broad range of public support.

Narum was Thorne's campaign treasurer and has been involved in public service in Pleasanton since 1996, serving the past five years on the Planning Commission. She previously sat on the city's Parks and Recreation Commission and is a member of the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force.

Narum said she would resign as planning commissioner on Wednesday night, leaving two vacancies on the commission that will need to be filled though a mayoral selection and City Council approval. Commission chairman Phil Blank termed out at the end of April.

According to the Registrar of Voters office, voter turnout in the mail-in only election was 28 percent. The county has 28 days to verify the votes, but election officials say they may be able to certify the results by Friday. If so, Narum would be sworn in at the next City Council meeting on May 21.

"We had four good candidates," Narum said. "It was an active election campaign cycle; it's good we were able to have a discussion on the issues facing the city."

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.