With only a single candidate qualifying for each of Morgan Hill’s mayor and city treasurer races on the Nov. 3 ballot, the city council this week will consider appointing Rich Constantine and Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz, respectively, to the posts.

Doing so would allow the city to remove the mayor and city treasurer races from the ballot, saving $56,000 in local election costs, according to a city staff report. Each race on the Nov. 3 ballot would otherwise cost the city $28,000.

“Due to the fact that only one nomination was received for each of the two seats, and due to the unprecedented fiscal impacts of COVID-19 on city finances, staff recommends that the city council move forward” with appointing incumbent Constantine as mayor, and Jachimowicz as city treasurer.

However, keeping the races off the ballot would leave voters without the chance to write in a candidate for those offices. Morgan Hill resident Allan Abrams plans to run for mayor as a write-in candidate, but he pointed out to city officials in an email that the qualifying period for write-in candidates does not take place until Sept. 8 to Oct. 20.

The council is scheduled to vote on the direct appointment of Constantine and Jachimowicz at the Aug. 19 meeting. The council could alternatively choose to keep the mayoral and city treasurer races on the Nov. 3 ballot, even with only one candidate listed per race. That would allow voters an option to write in a candidate for each race. 

Abrams had initially pulled papers to have his name printed on the mayoral ballot during the candidate qualifying period earlier this summer, according to Deputy City Clerk Michelle Bigelow. However, he did not end up submitting paperwork to qualify for the ballot before the Aug. 12 deadline.

When the qualifying period was over, only Constantine had qualified for the Nov. 3 mayor’s election. He will be running for his second two-year term as mayor.

And while incumbent City Treasurer David Clink had also initially expressed interest in running for reelection by pulling papers, he ultimately did not qualify for the Nov. 3 ballot. Jachimowicz’ name is the only candidate listed on the city’s election website for the city treasurer’s race. Jachimowicz is a local attorney and former appointed council member. 

The city treasurer serves a four-year term.

In an email replying to Abrams’ inquiry about the write-in qualifying period, Bigelow wrote, “Write-in candidates must meet all qualifications of the office to which they are seeking the nomination. The name of the qualified write-in candidate is not printed on the ballot. Prospective write-in candidates should note that write-in candidacy is possible only if the office appears on the ballot.”

After the write-in qualifying period ends Oct. 20, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters will post a list of all qualified write-in candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot, according to city staff.

In the Nov. 3 race for two city council seats, multiple candidates qualified for the ballot. In the race for Council District A, three candidates—including incumbent Larry Carr—will appear on the ballot. Gino Borgioli, a former MHUSD trustee, and Julie Raia will vie against Carr for the District A seat.

Carr was first elected to the Morgan Hill City Council in 2000.

Council District A covers the southwest portion of Morgan Hill. City council members serve four-year terms between elections.

In Council District C, incumbent Rene Spring and challenger Juan Miguel Munoz Morris have qualified for the Nov. 3 ballot, according to the city’s website. Spring was first elected to the council in the 2016 election.

Council District C represents the northwest portion of the City of Morgan Hill.

To find out what council district you live in, visit the city’s website.

Council members Yvonne Martinez Beltran of District B and John McKay of District D have two more years to serve on their current four-year terms, and will not be up for reelection until 2022.

In the Nov. 3 election for city treasurer, incumbent David Clink did not qualify for the ballot, according to the city’s website. The only candidate running for that office is Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz, a local attorney and former appointed city council member.

Also on the Nov. 3 local ballot are three seats on the seven-seat MHUSD Board of Trustees.

In Trustee Area 5, incumbent Jeanne Gilliard will not run to keep her seat. Instead, two challengers will vie for that seat. Educator Ivan Rosales Montes and Pam G. Torrisi, a retired para-educator who has run for MHUSD school board before, are the only two candidates qualified for the Trustee Area 5 ballot, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters website.

In Trustee Areas 6 and 7, only the incumbents—Mary Patterson and Adam Escoto, respectively—will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, according to the county’s unofficial list of candidates.

To find out which MHUSD Trustee Area you live in, visit the school district’s website.

Also on the Nov. 3 ballot are races for U.S. president, as well as a host of national, state, regional and county races. To see the full list of unofficial candidates, visit the Registrar of Voters’ website.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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