Atherton Council Candidates Forum at Menlo College

With over 500 students in residence halls as well as faculty and staff in on-campus housing, Menlo College represents Atherton’s largest voting block and could be decisive in the election for the Atherton City Council, according to Professor of Political Science Melissa R. Michelson. “Several town elections have been decided by very narrow margins, and a strong turnout by the Menlo College community could mean the difference between victory and defeat for the Council,” said Professor Michelson.

She was discussing the candidate forum for the city council of the Town of Atherton City Council that will be hosted by Menlo College on Wednesday, October 29. All four candidates for the city council will participate in the forum at 7 PM in the college’s Russell Center Great Room, at 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton.

Four candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three open seats on the five-member council. Thus, the election is for a majority of seats on the body, and represents a major and unusual opportunity to shape the future of town politics.

Incumbent candidates include Rick DeGolia, who won a special election last year to fill a partial term, and Bill Widmer, first elected in 2010. Also running are Mike Lempres and Rose Hau. All four candidates have long histories of residency and political activism in the town of Atherton.

The forum is hosted by Menlo College, and will be emceed by Kennedy Tanaka, a student at the college. A large audience of students, faculty and staff is anticipated, including recently inaugurated Menlo College President Dr. Richard Moran. 

Among the topics likely to be discussed is the proposed Cartan Field project. Cartan Field is used by both Menlo School and Menlo College; the project plan is the subject of ongoing discussions between the two institutions and the town. More information about the Cartan Field project can be found at

“My political science students are active in this election,” added Professor Michelson. “Many are volunteering with one of the city council candidates, and everyone is talking to their peers about the importance of registering and voting on November 4. They’re seeing the link between city politics and their everyday lives here at Menlo. I’m anticipating a strong turnout.”

The forum will include a mix of questions prepared by Ms. Tanaka with input from her fellow students, and will also allow for written questions to be submitted from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Darcy Blake at or 650.543.3901.