Fremont City Council Candidates

I’ve spent the last few days trying to talk with the City Council candidates who are mysteries to me: John T. Herndon, Kristen Briggs, Vladimir Rodriguez and Carl Flynn.

Flynn is still a mystery to me. I’ve stalked him. I even went to his apartment complex yesterday evening, but no dice. All I know about him is he’s the only candidate other than Linda Susoev who hasn’t responded  to The Argus questionnaire form and he’s got a website that hasn’t been updated for a long time.

Briggs is a single mom living in an apartment in Centerville. She works in the mental health field for Santa Clara County. She said that she didn’t realize how much prep work goes into running a successful council campaign.

She’s always wanted to be in politics and thought Fremont City Council was the lowest rung. Now she understands that people have to earn a seat on the council by suffering through insufferable commission meetings or breaking bread with wonky, uncompromising environmentalists.

She said there’s a lot she’ll have to learn about Fremont, but that you can’t teach integrity and guts, and that’s what she’s got.

Matt Artz


  1. vladimir also can be a hispanic name, like future baseball hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero

  2. I am aware that Harrison (actually individuals working on his behalf) have been asking folks for a promise of a vote. Dont know how widespread these actions are though. . . .

  3. I love those orange signs I see around town, the message is spot on, Fremont definitely needs to elect A NEW city council

  4. Anu Natarjan’s signs are all around town. It looks like she raised lot of money, it is interesting to find out who are her contributors.

    Folks in Mission and Ardenwood areas should not be swayed to vote for her. They should not remind themselves about the response they got from Anu Natarajan when they met to talk to her about Sabercat development, Robson Homes impact on schools in Mission areas and the burglaries in Ardenwood area.

  5. Look at Anu’s website. It’s easy to see who her supporters are. Establishment politicians and community figures all the way.

    It takes some nerve to point to the Always Dream Park as an accomplishment in the area of “keeping Fremont green.” http://anu4fremont.com/priorities.html I mean, really, how hard is it to set aside a tiny piece of land for a celebrity to donate some $$ for a small structure/park?

  6. With all the accusations and sloganeering in the City Council contest, I watched the webcast of the City Council meeting where the Sabercat issue was voted on. Anu was the lone dissenting voice and it is commendable for her to do so based on examination of the factst presented and using her subject matter professional expertise in city planning. It is really unfortunate that some candidtes have been either deliberateli misrepresenting facts or are ill formed of the facts and are spreading those to get hemselves elected. I am extremely familiar with the Patterson Ranch issue which is in my backyard. It is not what some candidates are telling the Ardenwood folks. evevn though the city residents gave their OK for building on Patterson ranch, the City Council members such as Anu have asked the builders some very serious questions and asked for the presentation of facts. The City Council has not yet voted on what will bebuild there and today, the scope is very much reduced than what it first was.

    This City Council is very welll balanced. Two women and thre men. Truly represents the rainbow that fremont is. Besides, one has a safety and law and order backgroud, obe has a financial background, another one has alegal background, Anu is a professional city planner and architect and Sue has a background in biotech and high tech. This Council cannot be that complete that it currently is. So why change? We don’t need another city planner who is hostile to the builders, we dont need another one who is riding on the coattails of another candidate and promises to vote as the other candidate does. We need those who have a proven track record of examining every issue on its merits and voting solely based on the facts presented without any prejudice. I think both the incumbents have proven themselves and there is no reason for a change.

  7. I think we need a tree hugger and a woman who rides on the coattails of a tree hugger on the Fremont city council. Many may disagree.

  8. Chinmoy,

    Your allegations that some Council candidates are spreading false information are rather serious. Do you have any evidence to back up these claims?

    Are you saying the residents ‘gave their OK’ to double the number of homes allowed at Patterson Ranch? Are you trying to peddle the line that Measure K’s defeat means that residents are ok with more development by Coyote Hills? That’s simply not true. A professional poll commissioned by the Friends of Coyote Hills showed that 70% of residents don’t want development there.

    It’s a fact that Anu took campaign contributions from the Pattersons in 2006. Is Anu planning on taking more donations from the Pattersons this year? I think the voters deserve to know this. (Remember in 2008 that the Pattersons gave $9,500 to Trisha Tahmasbi a few days before the election so that it wasn’t reported until after the election. – http://www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/2009/03/02/did-she-break-the-pledge/)

    Last night Anu said she would review the project when it comes before the Council. I think the project is defined well enough at this point where a Council candidate should be able to give their opinion of it. I would vote against the project as it currently stands. The number of homes would have to be significantly reduced and the school issue would have to be resolved before I would consider approving this.

    I really don’t care about the gender of a candidate. I care more about their integrity and what their positions are. I have detailed position papers on Patterson Ranch and other key issues on my website.

  9. That’s simply not true. A professional poll commissioned by the Friends of Coyote Hills showed that 70% of residents don’t want development there.

    The question the “Friends” asked in that poll inferred the development would be right up against the foothills. The result of that poll is meaningless and you know it.

  10. @Vinnie, can you provide the specific wording of the question used in the poll?

  11. Machiavelli may very happy in his grave that his mother Trish Tahamasbi in Fremont exceed than him to dismantle her political opponents. She fed her younger sister, out of state to write very negative comments about the Trish’s opponents particularly Sue Chen and praise her as the best candidate. She took $9500 from Pattersons Ranch when she was running for City Council in 2008 and says they are not developers. There are very senior staffers in Alameda County, but they are loyal to their political bosses, serve the people and show no political ambitions.

    Trish gives the impression that she is the political God mother of her boss and ditched and destroyed his political career as the people were distancing from her. She is now serving as the Vice Chair of United Democratic Committee, 4949 Stevenson Blvd to work for all candidates from Governor to various offices in Alameda County. May God bless these politicians from the political curse.

    It is better that all the candidates running for City Council declare that they are not the employees or agents of the developers, corporations, nor they want to make profit from the office to maintain transparency and integrity of the office and people’s trust.

    VICTORY TO PEOPLE. http://www.FazlurKhan.com

  12. Marty

    Again your statement is misleading on the Coyote Hill poll.

    Let me restate my previous post – please read it slowly…

    This is obviously not for you but for those that are not actively trying to promote churches on this place (if you are indeed Dominic Dutra)

    In January 21st-23rd, 2006, David Binder Research conducted a survey. Here are some of the findings:
    72% of Fremont voters want to maintain a permanent buffer around the Coyote Hills Regional Park and limit development of the area as a whole.
    79% of Fremonters wanted to stop the Patterson Ranch development entirely or limit development in front of the Hills in exchange for development away from the Park.
    These results are almost identical to a survey conducted in 2002 in which over 70% of Fremont voters want to limit development of the Ardenwood Ranch site near the Coyote Hills.

    One of the Bay’s last pre-European habitats runs through the ranch and park, according to a 1999 study sponsored by the US EPA and the regional water quality board. “The diked wetlands east of Coyote Hills support the largest remaining willow groves in the baylands ecosystem,” said the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat report. To all of those interested, the churches are planned WEST of Ardenwood.
    As I measure it on Google Earth, it appears to be .15 miles (or 782 feet) from the edge of the Willow Grove.

    Dominic/Marty: Anonymity evidently breeds bravery….when you come clean on who you really are, I will continue this debate.
    Until then, I look forward to the next steps because I, and many like me, are going to fight this until there is NO development West of Ardenwood.

    Have fun – I love reading your stuff and will be sad when the real estate market picks up and you won’t have the time to write as much.

  13. Come on guys. . .. Patterson Ranch is certainly one (of many) important topics, but, this one point pales in significance to YEARS of inattention and economic meandering by our current council members.

    Anu, Harrison and the rest of the incumbants continue to spend $100’s of thousands of redevelopment dollars on a Centerville project that has produced no practical benefit for Fremont taxpayers.

    We head off on various boondoggle “visits” to China and India to “develope” business (BTW – where is THAT business – what was the result of those expenditures ?), and ratchet UP our salaries . . . . and all the while, we continue to cry “broke” while we scale back services to taxpayers.

    Wait, wait – MAYBE there’s another tax suprlus hiding in the wings someplace – whatdya think ??

    Other cities are pursuing and attracting the kind of corporate residents necessary to add to community and fill empty commercial space and, ultimately, build a tax base for the long-term. Fremont is busy moaning and groaning about a stadium that coulda been.

    Whether you are pro aggressive development or think a more tempered approach is prudent is just one of many considerations voters need to examine. . . . the MAJOR question is whether or not current incumbants (or the many divisive shills that represent the very same allegiance) HAVE SPENT (or WILL SPEND) your hard-earned dollars with the kind of critical scrutiny so deserving in such a difficult economy. . . .

    As you look around your city, more importantly, as you observe your council meetings and the various policies and actions they have initiated, if you are satisfied with what you observe, you can vote for any of those names that remain less than critical of our current direction.

    Come November, there will be a lengthy list of names on your ballot for City Council, most of whom you can rely upon to do more of the same.

    Only two of those names have aggressively and convincingly argued for prudent change.

    Choose carefully.

  14. @FL, It’s no surprise both Vinnie and Dan sidestepped your inquiry. The question in the poll was posed as development “in front of coyote hills”.

    And despite their assertions otherwise, when voted on by residents of Fremont, their measure was defeated 2 to 1. Those are the facts.

    What is more concerning is that a prominent candidate for city council is either so gullible to present an internal poll by an agenda-driven advocacy group as facts. Or is Vinnie just straight out lying?

    And, Dan. The pulse you may think you have on my identity/career is even more erroneous than your fictitious poll result.

  15. “Torrico ditched and destroyed his political career”? Are you really positing that the guy who was a long-shot candidate in his race for Attorney General who ended up coming SECOND to KAMALA HARRIS no less, destroyed his career?

  16. Matt’s inability to nail down info on Herndon, Briggs, Rodriguez and Flynn confirms for me something that I’ve suspected for some time.

    Folks who come out of nowhere near the end of the race, with no discernible background or platform, who put little or no effort into campaigning, can reasonably be suspected of having been recruited by wealthy, powerful special interests who have no real intention of actually putting these people in office; they’re just on the ballot to split the vote, particularly the under-informed vote, and peel off support from stronger, more viable candidates.

    Can you say Alvin Greene?

  17. FL, There are really three reasons that people who really have no hope to win run for city council, or other office for that matter. The first, is to make a statement (Charles Bartlett two years ago), to use the bully pulpit to get their issues in front of the public.

    The second is they think it would be “neat” to run for office, with no idea of what is involved. Their first shock is the requirement to deposit a couple thousand dollars for a statement of qualifications. My view is that candidates who do not file a statement have no chance. FUSD doesn’t charge for the statement and bears the cost, so while Vladimir Rodriguez does not have a statement in the sample ballot, Diana does. In that case, Diana’s entry into the election against two incumbents, with little chance of winning, cost the school district more than $100,000 because, if no one challenged the incumbents, the election would have been cancelled. I’m not saying people shouldn’t run, but they should be willing to do the work, to raise the money, to wage a campaign. Simply putting your name on the ballot doean’t cut it.

    The third reason people run, more toward your conspiracy theory, has actually happened in the long ago past here. Every election, there would be a bunch of people run who couldn’t win, but one candidate would align himself with most of them, looking for their second votes. It was effective and the orchestrator got elected frequently.

    If you look at the chronology of elections on the city clerk’s page of the city’s web site, you can see historically how the minor candidates have influenced the election results and you will find the answer is not very much.

  18. If anything I’d be more worried about Kathy taking votes away from Vinnie. I see a whole lot of Bacon’s lawn signs next to Anu’s, and to my surprise their support is far from exlusive. If Vinnie is going to have a chance, the FCN spawn need to be unified behind one candidate, and since there’s zero chance Kathy can get elected, the choice is obvious.

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