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City Saves $51,000, Incumbents to Serve a Second Term

Campbell City Council voted to cancel its November election and appointed Councilman Jason Baker and Mayor Mike Kotowski to a second term.

Campbell will be saving more than $51,000 after Campbell Councilman Jeff Cristina made the motion and the council unanimously approved the cancellation of the November elections and appointment of Mayor Mike Kotowski and Councilman Jason Baker at the special council meeting Aug. 21.

Because there were only two filings for two open seats, the council had to decide to either appoint the two incumbents or spend approximately $51,000 to hold an election, Campbell City Clerk Anne Bybee said.

Three other cities in Silicon Valley are also in the same predicament: Los Gatos, Los Altos and Saratoga, Bybee said.

Besides saving the direct cost of the election ($51,000), there are other costs that will be saved, Campbell Finance Director Jesse Takahashi said.

"There is probably some savings in staff time that would have been necessary be it in holding candidate forums, preparing for and conducting a candidates orientation meeting and responding to and/or meeting with various candidates that wish to learn more about the City and its operations," Takahashi said.

The money budgeted for the November election came out of the General Fund and because the election was cancelled, would go back into the General Fund, he said.

"Council could re-appropriate it for any operating or capital purpose it sees fit," Takahashi said. "This may include adding it back to reserves."

As for the two members of the city council that will serve another four years, both expressed satisfaction with the decision made.

Mayor Mike Kotowski has run for council in the past but says this is the first time he has run unopposed.

"I'm looking forward to finishing up a couple of things I ran on four years ago, including youth engagement," Kotowski said. "That's the big thing. We have a lot of high schoolers in Campbell and we want to give them a voice."

He hopes to put together some form of youth commission where local high school students can serve and give their input to the council on issues important to them and their peers.

As for Baker, he said continuing his focus on day-to-day public safety and countywide emergency preparedness are priorities but recognizes that there will also be challenges in the next four years.

"Challenges we will face include making sure Campbell doesn't grow too much, too fast and diversifying our city's income stream to make our local economy even more resilient," he said.

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