Ten applicants vying to be appointed to the Fremont City Council

The city of Fremont has received 10 applications from residents seeking to be appointed to the City Council seat that Bill Harrison vacated Dec. 4, when he was sworn in as mayor.

The council is expected to appoint its fifth member after holding special meetings Jan. 9 and 14. According to state law, the council has until Feb. 2 to fill the vacancy.

We’ll have more on this next week. There’s a lot of history and intrigue within the list of applicants. Until then, here they are, in alphabetical order:

Tariq Ali, David Bonaccorsi, Christina Broadwin, Robert Brunton, Robert Chavez, Yogi Chugh, John J. Dutra, Rick Jones, Raj Salwan and Rakesh Sharma.

Chris DeBenedetti


  1. I have checked the list of candidates that want to be appointed to the Fremont City Council. They are all good people and I applaud them for volunteering for public service.

    Some have ulterior motives, such as Dutra Development. I want to thank the Dutra’s for there public service but, it is time for someone else that does not have the name Dutra, to serve the COF.
    There are a lot of familiar names but most of them are political hacks. They all show up for when there is a vacancie to fill on the Council.

    I have seen a real exciting candidate at work.
    Yes, Christina Broadwin is my choice to fill the City Council Vacancy. She has proven to be a effective and sucessful community organizer. She has spoken very effectively in frontof the City Council and got them to agree and compromise on Open Space issue.
    What I really like about Christina Broadwin is She is effective, gets things done.
    She would be a excellent addition to the Fremont City Council.
    What do you think?

  2. #1 – agree and would love to see Ms. Broadwin selected.

    Having said that, I do not believe her activism on the Kimber Park issue will (in the eyes of our legacy incumbants) trump her relative lack of appointment and/or participation on “official” CoF boards or councils. I hope I’m wrong.

  3. #2 The Tri-Cities Democratic Forum and the Alameda Democratic Party completely control local politics. Talk to failed candidates who did not get the backing of the Democratic Forum and Democratic Party.

    So, when the Fremont City Council picks a candidate to fill the vacancy created when Bill Harrison become Mayor.

    It will be a candidate blessed by the above Democratic Organizations. People who work hard at the Democratic Organizations and pay there dues, they will be backed. Oh, qualifications, will that is way down the list….

    That is why I am a person who refused to disclose there party other wise a Independent. Both parties are corrupt

  4. Fremont council to hold special meeting Wednesday to consider applicants for open seat
    By Chris De Benedetti
    Posted: 01/06/2013 12:00:00 AM PST

    FREMONT — For rookie Councilman Vinnie Bacon, the special meeting scheduled Wednesday to appoint a fifth council member might give him a sense of déjà vu.

    He and his colleagues, including new Mayor Bill Harrison, will start by narrowing down a list of 10 applicants, some of whom competed with Bacon when he sought a council appointment two years ago. Bacon correctly predicted then he would not receive that appointment — it went to Dominic Dutra — because he did not have enough political allies on the council.

    Now that he is on the other side of the dais, Bacon said he is not sure how the process will play out.

    “It is a political appointment and these things can get political,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to shape up this time.”

    Raj Salwan, a veterinarian and major property owner who is chair of the powerful Tri-Cities Democratic Forum, is considered by some a front-runner. Salwan lost to Dutra in late 2010. Unlike Bacon, Salwan received a vote from Harrison, a close ally.

    Will history repeat itself? And will Harrison’s newfound mayoral sway weigh more heavily than before?

    Bacon declined to discuss the specifics of each candidate, but suggested that it may be more difficult this time for the council to fill the seat, the term of which expires in 2014. The candidate selected must get votes from a majority of the council’s four members to be appointed to the position, which became vacant when Harrison was elected mayor in November.

    Sue Chan, recently re-elected to a second four-year term, said the council will approach the slate of candidates with fresh eyes. “I don’t go in with any preconceived notions,” she said. “We’re looking for someone who can contribute their talents, experience and expertise, and who will work well with the council.”

    Other favorites include a pair who also competed and lost two years ago in a council appointment race: David Bonaccorsi, planning commission chair and partner in a Newark-based law firm; and Yogi Chugh, a planning commissioner and corporate real estate firm executive active in the Indo-American community.

    Other applicants with political or electoral experience include Rakesh Sharma, a former planning commissioner who placed fifth in the recent council race; Robert Brunton, a former Ohlone College trustee; John J. Dutra, a developer serving on the economic development advisory commission; and Rick Jones, a retired Fremont police officer. Dutra and Jones finished third and fourth in the November council election.

    Newcomers Tariq Ali, chief technology officer for the San Mateo County Employees’ Retirement Association; Christina Broadwin, head of grass-roots neighborhood group Save Kimber Park; and Robert Chavez, a former longtime NUMMI employee, also have applied.

    The large number of Fremont applicants contrasts with recent elections in some Bay Area cities, which sometimes had candidates running unopposed for major offices.

    “We are very fortunate we have so many talented people who are willing to serve,” Chan said. “That makes the selection all the more difficult. Lucky us.”

    The first special council meeting is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday. If no candidate gets a majority, a second meeting may be scheduled for Jan. 14, when the council likely would interview remaining candidates and make its selection. It would be the third time in nearly as many years that a council member is chosen by appointment.

    Under state law, the vacancy must be filled by Feb. 2, otherwise the city would hold a special election that could cost Fremont taxpayers more than $600,000, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

  5. Councilmember Bacon stated.

    “It is a political appointment and these things can get political,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to shape up this time.”

    Now that is a sad state for Fremont..
    Now this would be considered a pure politics if:
    Raj Salwan, a veterinarian and major property owner who is chair of the powerful Tri-Cities Democratic Forum, is considered by some a front-runner. Salwan lost to Dutra in late 2010. Unlike Bacon, Salwan received a vote from Harrison, a close ally.

    Now what would be BEST for Fremont,
    Christina Broadwin, head of grass-roots neighborhood group Save Kimber Park. If she is Not appointed then if she chooses she will win the seat in 2014.
    So Mayor Harrison how about choosing Christina Broadwin
    our next elected City Councilmember instead of a political hack (Raj Salwan) allegedly the most sued man in Fremont.
    It will be interesting and give us a clue on how Mayor Harrisons will serve the citizens of Fremont

  6. “I asked Harrison about ranking Salwan #1. He said he liked Salwan’s business experience.”

    So, to rationalize making Salwan his first pick, wouldn’t Billy H have to also argue that the relative business experiences of all other candidates was less meaningful or impactful in some way??

    You know, because like Mr Dutra hasn’t spent any time pouring over a balance sheet or estimating an ROI on his investments or something . . . . all of which seems pretty flimsy IMHO.

    But, perhaps West has a bead on this one. His opinion is at least, in part, shared by that of Matt Artz –

    “You can make the argument that it’s a politically astute vote for Harrison. As a former Republican, he’ll have to try a little harder when he runs for mayor in 2012 to show the local Democrats that he’s a true Democrat. Salwan is well-connected with the party, so now Harrison can say that he was the only council member to pick one of the true-blue politically active Dems for council.”


  7. #5 Bruce …Councilmember Bacon has little to no credibility. Those who believe that “Bacon means business” was in the slightest way truthful have been duped. Fact is Vinnie Bacon has driven more jobs and businesses out of Fremont than he will *ever* be able to bring back in. Sad to say you *true believers* got away with your deception without even putting it up for a vote. A professional sports franchise would have been approved by at least 51% of the voters of Fremont if it had got to be voted on and your side knows it. Why wouldn’t your side let the people decide? You naysayers killed it and the majority of the people of Fremont have been swiftboated into mediocrity as a result. Isn’t it true that the unsavory tactics of your vocal minority depend on apathy to get elected? I’m afraid you who know no shame and will continue resort to any tactic to get your way even if Fremont screams and suffers. Councilmember Bacon needs to step down If Fremont ever is prosper.

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