'Candidates Night' forum set for Sept. 5

The Writers Guild of America West’s nominating committee has tapped 17 candidates — including four incumbents — for the eight open slots on its board of directors.

The panel selected incumbents Katherine Fugate, David A. Goodman, Kathy Kiernan and David Shore, who were voted in by members in the 2010 election. Other candidates are John Aboud, Scott Alexander, Alexander Cary, Zoanne Clack, Terrence Coli, Marjorie David, Chip Johannessen, Meg LaFauve, Jordan Mechner, Michael Oates Palmer, Eric Small, Patrick Sean Smith and Barbara Turner.

Three other current board members who were voted in during the 2010 election will not be running again. Robin Schiff and Mark Gunn deciding against seeking re-election while board member Aaron Mendelsohn is prevented by term limits from seeking another term.

Additionally, current board member John Brancato — named last year to fill out the remaining year of Christopher Keyser’s term after Keyser was elected president — has opted against running.

Aboud was a strike captain during the 2007-08 WGA strike. Johannessen is a former board member.

WGA members can also be nominated by petition with 25 member signatures. Deadline for submitting petitions is July 23.

The WGA West will host its annual “Candidates Night” town hall forum at guild headquarters in Los Angeles on Sept. 5. Ballots will be counted on Sept. 21.

WGA West board seats are held for two years.

In last year’s election, members moved toward moderation by electing Christopher Keyser to a two-year term as president by a three-to-two margin over former president Patric Verrone.

Keyser succeeded John Wells, who opted not to run again and endorsed Keyser after a term that offered a marked low-key contrast with Verrone’s confrontational style between 2005 and 2009 — highlighted by the drama of the 100-day strike that ended on Feb. 12, 2008.

Last year’s election also saw Howard Rodman win as VP over Aboud.

The WGA West has about 8,000 members and a participation rate of about 20 percent in elections.

The WGA East has about 4,000 members and will also hold its council election in September.

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