With her short term on the Dunsmuir City Council scheduled to end in November, Cherie DuPertuis feels there is more work to be done. She filed her candidacy forms on July 26 and hit the campaign trail in an effort to continue her council service for the next four years.
“So much good has been accomplished by the core of this council over the last two years, and I’m proud to have been part of that,” said DuPertuis. “I would like an opportunity to continue down this road.”
DuPertuis has been a Dunsmuir resident for more than eight years, during which she has been active in community projects and events. She is on the Dunsmuir Garden Club board of directors, and she helps plan and execute many of the club’s events.
 She has also assisted with organizing the Palo Alto Orchestra concerts over the years, and she volunteers for Rotary Club fundraising efforts.
After being appointed to serve on the city council eight months ago, DuPertuis was immediately thrust to the forefront of controversy as the council waded through its procedures for implementing multi-year rate increases to address Dunsmuir’s aging water and sewer systems.
“It became clear early on in the discussions regarding the proposed water and wastewater capital improvement projects that a primary concern, voiced over and over again, was the sheer number of people who might face real hardship in the face of the necessary rate increases,” said DuPertuis.
In response to this concern, DuPertuis got to work by looking into utility assistance programs for low-income Dunsmuir residents. She conducted research on the city of San Luis Obispo, which has successfully implemented a rate-payer assistance program, and she is currently attempting to establish a similar program in Dunsmuir.
Ensuring continued transparency in city spending has been another of DuPertuis’s objectives during her service on the council. She pointed out the necessity of upgrading the city’s website. In September, Dunsmuir’s official website will detail all the city’s revenues and expenditures in a reader-friendly format.
As part of her efforts to provide citizens with clarity in city spending, DuPertuis has taken an active role in overseeing city finances. Soon after her appointment, she joined the budget committee.
“I chose this committee as a route to the deepest understanding of the workings of the city in the quickest way,” DuPertuis said.
Regarding the budget, DuPertuis stated that the council has successfully instituted several changes for the better: the council passed a balanced budget in June, all the Enterprise Funds are being used as intended and the council re-prioritized airport projects and put a stop to the $500 monthly retainer for the former Mott Airport grant writer.
Through her work on the budget committee, DuPertuis, who also serves as liaison to the Chamber of Commerce, helped the chamber obtain some city funding for the first time since 2003.
A member of the council’s economic development committee and the chamber’s revitalization team, DuPertuis said that she is exploring possibilities to reach the goals of both the chamber and the city.
“I have helped establish a much closer working relationship between the city and the chamber, which I hope to continue to build upon in my next term. I really believe that the city and the chamber can partner effectively to achieve a brighter future for all the citizens and business people of this community,” DuPertuis stated.
The goal, she said, is to continue striving to attract tourism, new residents and new businesses to Dunsmuir. She suggests capitalizing on the abundance of the area’s natural resources and devising a comprehensive and targeted marketing plan while creating sound civic and physical infrastructure.
DuPertuis said that the city also must continue to press historic district building owners who fail to comply with district preservation codes to make needed improvements on their properties.
“I believe it is time to start building bridges instead of walls,” said DuPertuis. “I am solution oriented and capable of thinking out of the box, which is what is needed if we are to keep this lovely community intact while moving into the future.”