Critics of city government help candidate gain fundraising lead

Scott Spielman, Los Altos City Council candidate

Daily Post Staff Writer

Los Altos City Council candidate and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Scott Spielman has out-raised his competitors by a long shot with $19,058 in donations, according to state finance forms. He received large sums from several residents who have been critical of the current city government.

Freddie Wheeler gave Spielman $1,708. Earlier this year Wheeler filed a state complaint against Mayor Jan Pepper. She said Pepper should recuse herself from the city’s gas ban because Pepper is the CEO of Peninsula Clean Energy. Peninsula Clean buys electric power from wind and solar generating farms, puts that energy into the grid, and then charges its customers in San Mateo County. for the power

Roberta Phillips donated $500 to Spielman. She speaks at many council meetings and has complained that the sitting council held meetings in the city’s Youth Center rather than City Hall for most of the past year. All city meetings are done by video.

James Jolly donated $7,500. In 2018, Jolly was part of a group of residents who pushed for a ballot measure to stop the city from selling more than 7,500 square feet of public land without voter approval.

Verizon Chief of Staff John Corrigan donated $1,000 to Spielman. Verizon has been in conflict with the city because the city blocked the company from placing small cellular nodes in town.

Stanford political science professor Stephen Haber donated $200 to Spielman. Public Arts Commissioner Nancy Ellickson gave him $500.

Lee Eng’s donations

Incumbent Lynette Lee Eng has the next highest amount of cash with $12,648. Lee Eng, who is frequently in the 2-3 minority on council, most recently spoke against the city’s ban of natural gas.

She also got $500 from Phillips, $2,000 from Jolly and $200 from Haber. Lee Eng and her husband gave her campaign $5,000.

Candidate and Planning Commissioner Sally Meadows has $3,089. She got $2,000 from Mountain View resident Lyubov Kipnis.

Candidate and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jonathan Weinberg has received $1,675 in contributions. He got $250 from Former Mayor King Lear, who has been involved in a controversial plan to build bocce ball courts on city parkland.

Candidate and Finance Commissioner Kuljeet Kalkat has $3,529 including $250 from former Mayor Jean Mordo.

Realtor Terri Couture has $1,100 with donations from several other real estate agents. She got $50 from Compass Realtor Dottie Monroe, $100 from Caldwell Banker Realtor Kathryn Tomato, $100 from Compass Realtor Kiersten Ligheti and $500 from Compass Realtor Kathy Bridgman.

Alex Rubashevsky did not spend more than $2,000 meaning he didn’t have to file a 460 finance form.


  1. Absolutely scary that a single resident would personally donate $7500 to the campaign of a candidate for Los Altos City Council. This same donor backed an expensive ballot measure the city had to pay for 2 years go. It would have required the city to get voter approval before leasing or selling any city owned property. In reality, the city had been acquiring property. It this recently to settle a lawsuit about unfair zoning. The city council needs the freedom to make strategic exchanges of city property. This was a waste of taxpayer money to have such a ballot measure. Is it also wasteful to have a candidate be bankrolled $7500 by one resident? Probably. Let’s elect some considered reasonable city council members that represent ALL of us not just a few wealthy conservatives.

  2. We need campaign finance laws at the local level that limits the amount each individual can donate to a candidate. It’s bad enough that our state and federal elections are been bought by those flushed with money.

  3. Why did you not report the truth – Sally Meadows has raised $25,318 as of 09-19-2020 – which makes her the biggest fund raiser!

    Moreover this includes $2,000 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee from Los Angeles and numerous donations from the in crowd that controls her including former mayors and council members. Jim Jolly is a friend who believes that residents need a voice- no string attached. For the record I am a supporter, donor, and friend of Scott Spielman for the same reason.

    If elected Sally will force the takeover of shared open space at Grant Park for dedicated space for King Lear’s unwanted and unnecessary Bocce Ball. Let alone allow developers to remake our downtown with 5-7 story buildings. Enough is enough!

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