The deadline to file for candidacy in one of four Fort Bragg City Council seats was extended to Aug. 17 after incumbent Vice Mayor Jessica Morsell-Haye said she would not seek reelection.
It’s the only city that has extended its council election filing deadline since it opened July 18, and the one with the most seats up for grabs in Mendocino County. Out of four open seats, only one incumbent has filed completed paperwork with the city clerk.
Fort Bragg Councilman Lindy Peters’ paperwork was certified by the county elections office, qualifying him for a two-year term on the November ballot. Nomination papers have been issued to eight other potential candidates in the race to fill four vacancies in the Fort Bragg City Council, city clerk June Lemos said.
Three people have pulled paperwork to file for city council in Ukiah, including incumbent Juan Orozco. Orozco’s filing means the deadline to file for the city council election in Ukiah remains Aug. 12, Ukiah City Clerk Kristine Lawler said. There are three seats up for reelection in Ukiah, all of which are four-year terms.
Two Point Arena City Council incumbents filed for reelection, Point Arena City Clerk Paul Anderson said. Vice Mayor Barbara Burkey and Councilmember Anna Dobbins both applied for reelection.
But in a town of about 450 residents, it may be hard to find enough candidates to run for the three open seats on the city council, Anderson said. If a third person does not file to run for city council in Point Arena, the two who have applied will be appointed in lieu of an election and the city will request applications to fill the third empty seat. If no one applies, the council will appoint a council member, Anderson said.
No one has filed for the two open seats in the Willits City Council election, City Clerk Delores Pedersen said. If no one files by Aug. 12, the deadline will automatically extend to Aug. 17.
City clerks in Mendocino County’s incorporated cities urged anyone who is interested in working for their communities to run for city council.
“It’s an opportunity for members of the community to have a role in what the city laws are,” Lemos said. “And it’s kind of an exciting thing. It’s a lot of work, but I think it’s very rewarding.”
City council members meet one to two times a month depending on the council. Council members also receive benefits from their respective cities for serving on the council. In Ukiah, council members receive a $490 stipend monthly and are eligible for city health, dental and vision insurance plans.
Fort Bragg council members receive a $300 stipend monthly and another $100 per month for participation on the Municipal Improvement District Board. Members also receive city health benefits.
Willits council members receive a $200 monthly stipend and are eligible for city medical benefits for both the council member and their spouse.
Anderson did not respond to questions regarding Point Arena City Council compensation by time of publication.
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