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A crowded field in Foster City

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, July 26th, 2007 at 4:31 pm in Uncategorized.

Seven candidates have taken out papers for the City Council race in Foster City, where two council members are up for re-election and a third, Mayor Ron Cox, is being termed out.

Councilwoman Linda Koelling and Councilman Rick Wykoff have filed their nomination papers already as part of their re-election bids. They’re joined by Art Kiesel, a member of the city Planning Commission, and Marcia Cohn-Lyle, a member of the San Mateo Union High School District’s Board of Trustees.

Those four are joined by three candidates who have not yet returned their nomination papers: Patrick McKinnie, a group home counselor; Huijun Ring, a biotechnology manager who holds a PhD in medical genetics; and Stanley Roberts, a television journalist with KRON-4.

Roberts ran for City Council in the 2005 race, coming in fourth out of five candidates with 10.3 percent of the vote. McKinnie, 26, was born and raised in Foster City. He says the City Council has “lost its focus” and doesn’t cater to the needs of residents. Ring supports the inclusion of a public charter high school in the city’s development of 15 acres next to the government center.

Despite the quantity of candidates, the 2007 campaign has been quiet so far. If silence equals inactivity, that could spell trouble for the challengers, said Councilman John Kiramis, who won a slot on the council by coming second in the 2005 election with 27.7 percent of the vote.

“I would have started campaigning in April,” said Kiramis, who made it his mission to knock on the door of nearly every home in Foster City, which had 7,145 owner-occupied housing units in the 2000 census.

Kiramis decided to aim for 6,500 homes. To reach them all, he divided that figure by the number of days left in the campaign. He said he wound up visiting about 85 homes a day, working close to seven days a week.

Kiramis said anyone with the time and dedication to attempt his feat should plan to knock on his or her last door by early October in order to reach voters filing absentee ballots.

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26 Responses to “A crowded field in Foster City”

  1. jane Says:

    Dr. Huijun Ring will be a voice for the people of Foster City. With her education and business experience she has my vote. Foster City needs a council that hears what the residents are saying. Sadly, we don’t have that now.

  2. Minda Says:

    Yes, foster city needs Dr. Huijun Ren’s backgroup and experiences bring the city to the next level. We are living the Foster City, we will vote to show our voice.

  3. Marc Says:

    There has been growing impatience with the current city council that does not listen to its residents. Case in point is the selection of the current developer even though that developer received the most negative public comments. Through the current lot out. I support any of the challengers.

  4. Robert L. Nelson Says:

    Dr. Huijin Ring has the business and managerial experience, as well as the high-
    powered analytic skills, that are sorely needed on Foster City’s Council. Owing to her
    professional accomplishments she prizes education and learning, and has promised
    to support construction of a Community Education Center to serve community members
    of all ages. In addition, she has the background that equips her to deal effectively
    with all manner of City concerns, including commercial development, budgeting, infra-
    structure, public safety, etc. Rarely has a candidate with her abilities and experience
    sought to serve our City.

  5. Kaplan Says:

    Huijun is sooooo sweet!

  6. Will Says:

    Marcia Cohn-Lyle’s desire to run for the Foster City council is despicable. After being part of the financial destruction of the San Mateo Union High School District, which three grand jury investigations have attributed in large part to mismanagement by the board of trustees, she should try to stay and fix that mess, or admit she is not capable of governance and retire. Running for the city council is a desertion of the problems she has been party to. It also shows a gross lack of respect for Foster City voters, as she must assume that the residents have not paid attention to her record.

  7. Norman T. Says:

    The citizens of Foster City have been rallying for a high school for over thirty years.

    Yet the city and the school district have spurned our desires. The current council has had a chance to help us get a public charter high school for several years now, but have given nothing but a tentative, temporary, and grudging set aside of a few acres, with no support for any development of a school.

    Local public education is a right, and our council should be doing whatever they can to help get us a high school. Only Huijun Ring has so far given strong support for this in her campaign- it seems she is the only candidate that is listening to the residents. Huijun has my full support.

  8. Steven Says:

    I live in Foster City for several years. I support Dr. Huijun Ring for City Council. She is the candidate who symbolizes Foster City’s new demographics.

  9. Jinfu Says:

    Foster Cith needs new energy and perspective. Dr Huijun Ring is a candidate who can bring new energy and perspective. I fully suport her for City Council.

  10. Patrick Yang Says:

    Considering Foster City is a diversified community, we need someone who represents
    new immigrants. Dr. Huijun Ring is an ideal candidate for this.

  11. Nancy Chen Says:

    For those who won’t consider, listen, and work for the majority of the residents, they will be replaced by someone like Dr. Huijun Ring, considerate and willing to listen. With her excellent background and business experience as well as the support from Foster City residents, she will bring a fresh air to city council. I fully support her.

  12. Jinhai Says:

    As a Foster City resident, I strongly support Dr. Huijun’s candiate for city council. She will speak and represent for those in new demographics.

  13. xiaofeng Zhang Says:

    I support Huijun Ring for City Council. She has been rallying for a high school for several years.
    Huijun will bring new energy and globalization to meet Foster City’s challenges

  14. Stella Z. Says:

    I support Dr. Huijun Ring for city council since she will be a voice for all the families with young ch ildren. More and more young families are moving into FC every year. It is a time for us to have someone represents us in the city council.

  15. Gang Xiong Says:

    My whole family fully support Dr.Huijun Ring for Foster City council. It is very important for Foster City to have a high school.

  16. Catherine Raye-Wong Says:

    My husband Arnold Wong and I support Huijun Ring for Foster City counsel. We have been residents of Foster City for 18 years as a couple, and Arnold grew up in Foster City. Huijun is not only articulate and bright, she is a very caring mother. We support, as Huijun does, a Foster City high school, and feel our community will benefit greatly by Huijun’s ability to lead us into the future.

    She wholeheartedly has our votes!

  17. Inside Bay Area > The Insider > Ring on fire Says:

    […] all the challengers, however, Ring has made the most noise so far. And if form holds from the last time we wrote about her, the comments section will soon fill up with glowing recommendations from her […]

  18. Harry W. Tong Says:

    We should vote for the best candidate based upon their positions in important issues and not solely based upon their race or ethnicity. Dr. Ring’s supporters are strictly newly arrived Mandarin speaking Chinese.

  19. Marc Says:

    Dr. Ring’s supporters are much broader than newly arrived Mandarin speaking Chinese, not that it would be a problem if they were. Take a look at the full list of her endorsements at It includes a long list of supporters and I would not call Leeland Yee, Gene Mullin, Sierra Club, many others.

    Harry Tong has made a personal attack on Dr. Huijun Ring in his letter to the editor calling her a “pawn” of former elected officials. I do not believe Harry Tong knows Dr. Ring all that well. I would certainly not describe Dr. Ring as anyone’s pawn. Dr. Ring has strong convictions and integrity. She is also a talented, committed candidate that supports the betterment of Foster City. As a working parent in a knowledge intensive industry, Dr. Ring understands the importance of education. Her messages are resonating well with the Foster City community and she has mounted a strong campaign.

  20. Jeanne Says:

    I have know Huijun for more than 10 years and I know she is too strong to be a pawn for anyone. I think it is sad that some people think that her only supporters and “newly arrived” Chinese. Is it so wrong to support someone who care about education and our environment? Yes, Huijun is Chinese. So what? The fact is, she is the most highly educated, the most hardworking of all the candidates. We shouldn’t support candidates based on their race, but we shouldn’t put that against them either.

  21. Michelle Says:

    Look at all the facts before voting. Who has experience? Who will do what is best for this city. Will this Charter High School succeed? Considering only a VERY small portion of Foster City students will be able to attend, is it the school we are looking for??? The students won’t have the opportunity to play high school sports, play in the band, be a cheerleader or participate in any extra curricular activities. The only reason Dr. Ring has so much support is because she is behind the “high school”. Is that why we elect our officials? What about people who care about the seniors, the rec center, our city business structure, new business development, and just listening to what the residents of FC really want. Do your research before voting, so you don’t regret it later. Make sure whomever you’re voting for knows a little more about Foster City than just wanting a high school there.

  22. Marc Says:

    Michelle, “look at all the facts before” writing. Take a look at about the high school The high school will be serving Foster City and Foster City students.

    It is true that Dr. Ring has a lot of support because of the high school. But Dr. Ring has a lot of personal support from friends and neighbors who know her personally. She listens to the people. She is also wonderfully qualified and has tremendous leadership skills, entrepreneurial management experience, volunteer experience and academic credentials.

    I completely agree with Michelle that you should do your research and come to the same conclusion that many of us have: vote for Dr. Ring!

  23. Harry W. Tong Says:

    Marc was wrong when he said, “I personally attacked Ring”. I gave her benefit of a
    doubt and raised the question of “whether she was a victim and being used as a pawn
    by proponents of charter school as she is new in FC”? I’ve only met and spoken to Ring
    once and do not know her. I am vehemently opposed to wasting $30 million to build
    charter school and told Ring that I would love to vote for her, but we are on opposite
    sides of this issue. Now that Marc answered my question that Ring is NOT a pawn for
    Dave Kruss, Eileen Larsen and charter school is her own idea, I will do everything in
    my power to stop her.

  24. Harry W. Tong Says:

    Thank you for updating your website and deleting OCA and Evelyn Long as your
    supporters when they never agreed to do so. Also thank you for expanding your News/
    Photos up to 9 English articles as I would like to get to know you better but cannot read

  25. Marc Says:

    Harry, you should learn to get your facts right. No one has proposed a public charter high school that is going to cost $30M…except for you!!!

  26. KayLynn Says:

    Nice to see how many friends Ms. Ring has, and to know of her
    education however – isn’t it more important to present the true facts
    regarding the charter school she is trying so hard to get passed. From the looks of the requirements – her own children wouldn’t even be able to attend.

    As a resident of Foster City for over 30 years – I am truly amazed how
    Ms. Ring has changed our once peaceful election process. It never used to be about democrat or republican – just about the facts and issues.
    The facts and issues are CLEARLY not being stated by Ms. Ring or her organization- and those who write in about her background or how
    “nice” she is clearly don’t understand the issues at hand.

    Please read some facts from an artice dated Sept. 21, 2007 from the
    Insider/ Inside Bay Area . .

    “For the Foster City High School Foundation and Envision Schools,
    the team pushing to include the school on a prized 15-acre parcel
    of land next to City Hall, things got rocky right from the start.

    Daniel McLaughlin, CEO of Envision Schools, which operates four
    charter schools in the Bay Area, appeared to be caught off guard
    when council members asked him whether the organization’s policy
    of giving preference in admissions to children who would be the first generation in their family to go to college meshed with Foster City’s
    relatively affluent population.

    More generally, council members were concerned that taxpayers could
    wind up paying $8-15 million or more for a school where Foster City
    children numbered in the minority. In fact, according to the charter
    the group submitted to the San Mateo Union High School District,
    residents of Foster City wouldn’t get any preference at all.

    So who would get preferred admission to the school, which would
    be open to all California students? Children of school staff and
    Envision board members both inside and outside the school
    district, among others.

    But McLaughlin’s presentation really went off the rails when council
    members asked him why the name of the school, as it appeared
    on the charter petition, had been changed from the Arts and
    Technology High School of Foster City to the Arts and Technology
    High School of San Mateo.

    Though a city staff report indicated the name change was provisional
    and subject to change, McLaughlin’s flat-footed response —
    that since Foster City would be paying for the school, he was sure a
    name switch could be arranged ”

    Why should the tax-payers of Foster City pay for a school that
    our children probably will not even be allowed to attend? The Technology school was offered the old Crestmoore High School site – why was that
    site not taken advantage of? It can easily house more students?
    What are the REAL priorities behind those who want a school for so few students, yet want so many others to pay for it?

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