Steve Chappell calls himself a “true conservative thinker” who wants less government in people’s lives

With his wife, Marina, standing beside him, Chappell is sworn in as he presented his nomination to the city clerk.

By Robert Airoldi

Morgan Hill has a surprise last-minute competitor for the top spot on the city council in the November 3 election. Longtime resident Steve Chappell, 58, met the qualifications to be a write-in candidate for mayor, going against incumbent Rich Constantine.

The technology consultant has grown a reputation among certain segments of the community for his activities on online social media questioning the city’s governance over the years. He submitted a petition with the signatures of 30 registered voters to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, which notified him Oct. 19 he could campaign as a write-in candidate. Because only Constantine’s name is on the ballot, voters will have to pen Chappell’s name on a blank area in that section of the ballot.

“I’ve had a lot of residents ask me to Run for Mayor, and also a lot of questions about my position,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

He wrote that he has a record as a civically-minded resident, attending council meetings for more than 20 years and speaking as a petitioner for local issues.

“I’ve also worked on Recreational Land Use issues at the County, State and Federal level as an OHV enthusiast,” he said. “I’ve also raised concerns and participated in Open Space within the City and worked with other residents to preserve that.

His Facebook post describes his three reasons he decided to enter the race a candidate for mayor:

  • “First, because as a Citizen and Resident I still believe in Citizen Led Governance. I believe that Government is truly by the people and for the people. I also believe in true conservative Governance. Being a conservative has nothing to do with Political Party. In part; It’s a method of smaller Government that is accountable and fiscally responsible. Do “more good” with “less”. It also means that Government shouldn’t be invading people’s rights or lives.

  • “Second, I’ve grown exhausted with the extreme lack of prudence or lack of conservative governance we have today. There are literally zero conservatives (Democrat or Republican) on the elected Council now. I watch hour after hour these City Council meetings spiral into overtime due to topic creep and extreme lack of focus staying on task with what is needed to keep our City running efficiently and fiscally prudent. It’s just embarrassing!

  • “Third, I cannot stand career politicians. People need to be a part of their own governance without influence of special interest groups, campaign money, political donations or back room deal making. It needs to end. I am running as a “write-in” candidate only, no campaign money, no donations, no back room promises, no advertising and no signs peppered throughout our City. I am the only candidate that is a $0 Campaign. No money has influenced me to run and I owe no promises or anything to anybody except my fellow neighbors and residents to be a good Mayor.”

If elected to the mayor seat, here are goals Chappell wrote on Facebook that he hopes to  achieve:

  • “City Council meetings that are succinct, focused and on track with the severe issues our city faces in a budget crisis.

  • Making the hard decisions nobody wants to make to get this city solvent and secure financially.

  • Significantly more “greenbelts and open space” then what the city council has given you so far, which is almost nothing.

  • Bringing in “real” stakeholders that will assist on rebuilding and protecting our City infrastructure for all Residents instead of false promises and plans we have heard the last 20 years that NEVER Materialize.

  • Ending the career politician cycle by instituting term limits.

Chappell describes himself as a “true conservative thinker” who wants less government in people’s lives.

“I believe in democracy of the people, in that ‘we are the custodians of our own governance’ and not outside influences,” he said in his Facebook post. “And last, I believe we need to reign in out of control government, apply simpler yet smarter methods of managing our city and using best practices always to achieve good sound results in the end. And that means making tough decisions for the betterment of all and to preserve what we love about our City.”


Robert Airoldi