Just Four Candidates Left for AC Transit Board Seat

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday February 18, 2009 - 06:48:00 PM

The AC Transit Board of Directors has pared down the list of candidates to four finalists of the original 17 who sought to fill the remaining two years of the term of former AC Transit at-large board member Rebecca Kaplan. 

Kaplan resigned from the AC Transit board after she was elected last November to the Oakland City Council. 

The four candidates still in the running to replace Kaplan are:  

• Retired City of Vallejo General Manager of Public Transit Pamela Belchamber, a Berkeley resident, who received six board votes. 

• Obama-Biden presidential transition team member and former Google executive Elizabeth Echols of Oakland, who received five board votes. 

• State Senator Loni Hancock campaign field director Joel B. Young, with four votes. 

• Oakland Assistant United States attorney and former environmental attorney Drew Caputo, also with four board votes. 

No other candidate received more than two board votes and retired Oakland architect and transportation activist Joyce Roy, who ran unsuccessfully against AC Transit Board President Chris Peeples in last November’s election, received no board votes. 

The AC Transit board plans public interviews of the four candidates for the morning of Feb. 25 at the AC Transit headquarters on Franklin Street in Oakland, with Peeples saying that the board will “probably make a decision that day” on their final choice.  

The AC Transit board has until March 6 to choose a replacement for Kaplan. If they do not, the power to make the appointment falls to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors as the county with the largest number of voters represented in AC Transit’s two-county district and, if the supervisors make no decision, to a special election.