Our mailboxes are starting to fill up with campaign flyers with just under a month left before the June 5 election.
In the Marin County District 4 Board of Supervisors race, incumbent Steve Kinsey and challenger Diane Furst, the Vice-Mayor of Corte Madera, are stepping up their push for office.
"One of the distinguishing differences between us is whether you believe change is needed because of experience. I feel (my experience) has been useful especially in finding funding for projects like the Greenbrae Interchange," Kinsey said. "I'm looking out for Corte Madera and Larkspur. I want to make sure the Twin Cities … keep moving forward."
District 4 is certainly the most far-reaching territory as it includes Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Stinson Beach, West Marin and parts of Novato.
Kinsey cites his focus on local commitment District 4 for the past 16 years. Furst isn't exactly a newcomer to politics either. She cites on her resume her past work on U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's election campaign in 1994.
"People in general are very open to what I have to say," said Furst, who is battling to reach voters in West Marin who might be skeptical of politicians. "There is a general frustration with the Board of Supervisors and with Steve Kinsey in particular. There's a certain element of the public that wants change.
"People know we're ready for a change."
Although Kinsey and Furst sit near each other at meetings for the Transportation Authority of Marin Executive Board, they can be miles apart in their opinions.
Furst, along with Corte Madera Town Councilwoman Carla Condon, is trying to rally support for a new Marin-based coalition that could replace the often-criticized Association of Bay Area Governments and give more control to local governments.
Furst joined the charge against ABAG when the Corte Madera Town Council voted in March to leave the group in a split over housing requirement numbers in its 30-year projection and the methodology used to arrive at those numbers.
"I'm against the total mandates by ABAG, but I'm not against affordable housing," Furst said. "Corte Madera is a tiny community. We have the MacFarlane Property, but there's just no place to put more housing after that."
Kinsey might be more inclined to work with regional authorities such as ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
"Although there's an effort to make this (campaign) about ABAG, people seem to understand the value of regional planning as long as there's local control," Kinsey said.
More recently, there's been some backlash against the Bay Area Headquarters Authority's purchase in October 2011 of an office building at 390 Main Street in San Francisco using bridge toll funds. The BAHA is a joint powers authority that includes the MTC and the Bay Area Toll Authority.
Kinsey reportedly supported the MTC's move to use $180 million in bridge toll funds to purchase and renovate the old U.S. Postal Service building. The MTC's plan is to move its headquarters from Oakland to San Francisco, where it would share space with three other agencies.
The State's Legislative Counsel Bureau released its ruling Friday that the purchase was "improper."
Kinsey points to his work with MTC to bring the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit route through downtown San Rafael and into Larkspur.
"I did a lot of hard to work to find funds to allow the SMART plan to be fully funded. I was part of a driving force to bring the train to downtown San Rafael in the first place. … (SMART has) good leadership now. The job now is for everyone to get behind it.
"The County took the leadership role of opening the CalPark Tunnel. Through my work on MTC we were able to find the funds to bring $16 million to the Greenbrae area. We allowed SMART to upgrade the CalPark Tunnel to make it work for them as well."
Furst is supported by the Sierra Club, Marin Democratic Party and the Marin Women's Political Action Committee.
Kinsey has picked up endoresements from the Marin Independent Journal and the Marin County Farm Bureau.
The two Democratic candidates recently held a televised debate sponsored by the Marin League of Women Voters. A video if the debate is available at www.marinlwv.org.