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BART director won’t seek Contra Costa supervisor seat

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 7:08 pm in Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

Joel Keller

BART Director Joel Keller will not challenge Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, saying he wants to stay around to see through the construction of eBART into east Contra Costa County.

“I helped start eBART a number of years ago and I am going to stay at BART and see it through,” said Keller, a former Antioch mayor who was re-elected to BART in 2010.

eBART is a planned extension of the train system into Antioch and points east.

His decision to stay out of the race may well clear the path for Piepho’s easy re-election to a third term. No other challenger has emerged and while the official filing period doesn’t open until Feb. 13, the clock is ticking to set up a campaign structure and raise money.

Three Contra Costa supervisor seats will be on the ballot in June including Piepho’s slot and that of  supervisors Federal Glover and Gayle Uilkema. Glover has one declared challenger, Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini. Uilkema is retiring and two women are vying for her seat — Danville Mayor Candace Andersen and Contra Costa Community College Trustee Tomi Van de Brooke.

 

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  • East County Watch

    A very difficult four more years for East County residents if no challenger surfaces. The third term of any supervisor entitles them to not only a pay raise in the second year, a lifetime of benefits from the County. It would be only normal for a career politician such as Piepho to get those benefits from the county and move on to the state to get more benefits.
    Piepho has shown her promises are disingenuous by her pledge to not take contributions from Oil Refineries, Developers, or Unions. This pledge was her platform in becoming a Supervisor in the first place. Her reasoning according to her website was to eliminate to appearance of conflict. Recently Piepho has gladly accepted donations from an Oil Refiner and a Home Developer in excess of two thousand dollars. This is shown on her form 460 that is public record.
    Hopefully an open and honest challenger will surface so the new District III can prosper.

  • lars54

    Every time a seat opens up for anything this Joel Keller guy floats a story that he’s thinking about running, this is about the fifth time he has done this. This gets his name in the paper repeatedly – it’s a can’t lose situation for Keller, he gets press for awhile, then bows out with great fanfare. I didn’t say anything the first four times he floated this story, but now I am. Joel – if you are reading this – nobody believes you anymore when you claim you are eyeing a seat, your credibility as a prospective candidate is zero. You’ve done this too many times. Your bag of tricks is becoming noticeable.

  • John W.

    How much do BART directors get paid?

  • Elwood

    “BART DIRECTOR PAY & BENEFITS
    While BART’s nine elected members of the Board of Directors only make approximately $1,300 per month, they do receive most, but not all of the same benefits BART employees receive. Their level of benefits depends, however, on when they were elected and most are not eligible for PERS retirement.”

    http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2009/news20090702a.aspx

  • John W.

    Thanks.