If you file papers to run for an election, make sure you know what papers the public can see.
At least, that was the lesson Charles Gilcrest, who is running for a San Leandro City Council seat, learned this week.
On a ballot designation worksheet, which is available for the public to view at City Hall, Gilcrest wrote that, as an alternative to being designated on the ballot as a local business owner, he would have liked to be designated as “The Best Choice.”
Each candidate is required to write in how he wants to be designated on the ballot, and the form states that the designation
must be your prinicipal profession, vocation or occupation and may be no more than three words.
If the first designation doesn’t make it, then the candidate can put in two alternatives.
So it looks like if “local business owner” wasn’t suitable enough, “The Best Choice” was the next best thing for Gilcrest.
His reason: It was supposed to be an inside joke between he and the city clerk.
“I figured she might tell us that none of us could use commissioner on the ballot,” Gilcrest said in a phone interview Monday. (He also is a Board of Zoning Adjustments commissioner.) “And I figured the (candidate) statement itself was public, but not the worksheet. My mistake.”
The irony in this Freudian slip is that no other candidate who turned in papers for the election made this same mistake. And Gilcrest is a political consultant who has worked on numerous elections, so you would think he knows better.