NEWS UPDATE: Olmsted looks to enter race for Cotati City Council seat
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By Dave Williams  October 5, 2012 12:00 am

Alden Olmsted's name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, but the Cotati resident is in the process of filing paperwork to be a write-in candidate for one of the three city council seats up for grabs.

Olmsted, according to deputy city clerk Tami Taylor, has yet to garner enough signatures to qualify as a write-in candidate. He had originally turned in the requisite 20 signatures, but some of those proved invalid. Taylor said she doesn't doubt he'll gather enough signatures in time.

Hel'll jump into the mix with Mayor Susan Harvey, councilman John Dell'Osso, first-time candidate Wendy Skillman and former councilman George Barich. Councilwoman Janet Orchard has opted not to run for reelection.

Olmsted is a seven-year Cotati resident and the son of conservationist John Olmsted.

He also is a distant cousin to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. He was born and raised in Sonoma.

The 41-year-old filmmaker and photographer said he decided to run for two reasons - concern for the Downtown Specific Plan and the current makeup of the council.

"I looked at who was on the council, and it was the same faces," Olmsted said. "Maybe they need some young blood. I think there's a disconnect between the current city council and the people of Cotati."

He said he wants to help Cotati maintain its Cotati-ness.

"I want to help Cotati grow in a way that keeps Cotati Cotati...that maintains the small-town feel," Olmsted said. "It's my desire for Cotati not to become a city no one wants to live in."

It seems the most pressing issue in Cotati is roundabouts on Old Redwood Highway. Olmsted said he's against roundabouts and is a supporter of Measure U, which if approved by voters, will ban roundabouts, traffic circles or "any similar traffic feature."

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