Councilors say they're ready to let others take the reins

Three of Mount Shasta's five city councilors will see their terms end in November. Current mayor Russ Porterfield and councilor Ned Boss say they won't be running for reelection, and Michael Murray said he hopes other members of the community will step forward.

Candidates have until Aug. 10 to file paperwork with County Clerk Colleen Setzer.

As of Tuesday afternoon no one had filed nomination paperwork for any of the available council positions, or to fill the roles of city clerk and city treasurer, which will also appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Those elected as city councilors will face several pressing issues over the next few years, including how to pay for the potentially costly upgrades required at the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant and how to best lead the Mount Shasta out of the economic downturn, said Boss.

New councilors will work with incumbents Tim Stearns and Tom Moore, who were elected in 2010.

Boss said over the years, he's served three terms on the council, and feels that's enough.

He served once in the 1980s and then again in the 1990s before being reelected during a special election in May, 2009, to replace councilor Katrina Howard, who resigned after being arrested for possession of marijuana for sale.

"It's been a very interesting experience," Boss said, noting the differences between his last two stints on the council compared to the one that will soon come to an end.

The most significant difference, he said, is the lack of funding due to the recession.

Though many of his personal goals couldn't be accomplished due to the lack of funding, Boss said he's proud the city has been able to maintain most of its services and infrastructure.

Porterfield, who has spent more than 20 years serving on the city council and, before that, the planning commission, confirmed last week that he won't run for reelection.

"I can't imagine what would get me to run again," Porterfield said. "I've been here long enough... it's someone else's turn."

Porterfield said being a city councilor is a good experience, and said he'd like to see at least four or five candidates run for the three open positions so citizens have a choice.

Murray echoed the sentiment of both Porterfield and Boss; he's spent five years on the planning commission and five years on the city council. He, too, hopes someone new will step forward "to do their part."

Advice for candidates

To those looking to run for the council, Boss suggests they come to a few meetings to see how things work.

"I'll be glad someone's throwing in their hat," said Boss, adding that, in his opinion, common sense is the most important trait a council person can have.

"They should also be aware of the Brown Act," Boss said, and be willing to research before meetings by reading through their agenda packets.

Boss called the role of a council person "very gratifying, especially when you see things getting done, and you know you were a part of it."

Murray said a councilor must be able to make tough decisions and balance choices with shrinking resources.

Stipend

City councilors receive a stipend of $137.50 a month. The councilor selected as mayor receives an additional $68.75 per month, said deputy city clerk Sandy Studer.

City clerk, city treasurer

Current city clerk John Kennedy, Sr. said he doesn't plan to run for reelection. He was elected to the post a year ago when his sister, longtime city clerk Prudence Kennedy, retired.

The official duties of the city clerk include being "responsible for the city seal" and keeping and maintaining all the records of the city. Studer takes care of the day to day duties, said City Manager Ted Marconi.

The city clerk receives a stipend of $50 per month.

Karen Dettman, who has served as treasurer for at least 12 years, said she won't run again because she's so busy with all the other things going on in her life. She volunteers at the Mt. Shasta Elks Lodge and at her church, among other things.

"It was easier for me when I was working at city hall as the city records clerk," Dettman said. "Now, I just get called in to sign checks."

Dettman said the position isn't demanding, and only requires a willingness to be on call when checks need to be signed.

The treasurer receives a stipend of $30 per month, and the city clerk receives $50 per month.

How to run

To be eligible for any of the positions, potential candidates must live within Mount Shasta City limits, be 18 years of age or older, and be a registered voter, said Studer.

Council meetings are held twice a month on the second and fourth Monday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. All meetings are subject to Brown Act regulations and are open to the public.

Nomination papers are available at Mount Shasta City Hall during normal business hours. Completed paperwork must be filed in Setzer's office no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.

For more information, call Setzer at 842-8084 or email colleen@sisqvotes.org