Two candidates will be selected to serve on the Dunsmuir City Council by voters Nov. 5. Here are profiles about the four candidates on the ballot: Linda Gnesa, Mark Juarez, Tim Padula and Scott Welch, which have appeared individually in the Dunsmuir News over the past month.

• Editor’s note: These are four articles about each of the Dunsmuir City Council candidates which have appeared individually in the Dunsmuir News over the past month. Candidates are Linda Gnesa, Mark Juarez, Tim Padula and Scott Welch and the election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Linda Gnesa

Former Red Cross first responder Linda Gnesa said she’s running for City Council “to be a voice for the citizens of Dunsmuir” and bring new ideas to the town.

Gnesa is one of four candidates for two short-term council positions. She is on the ballot with Mark Juarez, a product developer who owns the California Theatre and the Hotel California; Scott Welch, a paralegal; and Tim Padula, an employee of Union Pacific Railroad and current member of the Dunsmuir Planning Commission.

The election will be held on Nov. 5. The terms of both positions will expire a year later, in November 2014.

“As a residing citizen of Dunsmuir I am very business oriented, and very much a people person,” said Gnesa, who moved to the city a year ago. “I want to see and be a part of Dunsmuir’s future.”

Gnesa said compromise and cooperation are very important to her.

She is a retired member of the American Red Cross Federal Emergency Response Team and a retired chairperson of the International AIDS/Hepatitis C Foundation.

Over the course of her 28 year career, Gnesa responded to international emergencies as well as domestic incidents including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Rodney King riots and 9/11.

She was born in Salinas and visited Dunsmuir for the first time to help with the 1994 floods as a first responder.

Gnesa said the most pressing issues facing Dunsmuir today are public safety, finding a better way to regulate water prices and the availability of water, removing the “negative impression nearby cities have of Dunsmuir” and bringing in outside tourists.

Gnesa’s focus is on seniors, the disadvantaged and children. She believes working as a team and compromise are important parts of being a city councilor.

Gnesa believes those with a legitimate need for medical marijuana who have valid Proposition 215 cards and grow within the legal specifications should have no issue with a two-year pilot program with the sheriffs enforcing rules, as long as it’s done “without bias or prejudice.” She believes crystal meth and growing for cartels can “hide behind the 215 law.”

“With this we can protect the California State 215 law and educate the value of medical marijuana and help provide a safer place to be without, or with less, crystal meth and the lifestyle of violence/child abuse that comes with it,” she said.

Gnesa said she is supportive of medical marijuana but she does not agree with having a dispensary near the railroad, which she points out is both a federal land site and a historic place.

She feels information should be gathered from other nearby communities to find a better way to regulate water prices and that the airport could be used as an emergency staging area or as a training area.

She said her favorite things about Dunsmuir are the “rivers, lakes, mountains and people.”

Gnesa said she is not fond of electronic communication and would rather speak to people face to face.

If you are interested in learning more about her campaign, she encourages you to begin a conversation with her while she’s out and about.

Mark Juarez

Entrepreneur and California Theater owner Mark Juarez is one of four people running for two seats on the Dunsmuir City Council.

Juarez is on the Nov. 5 ballot with paralegal and current planning commissioner Scott Welch, former Red Cross first responder Linda Gnesa, and Union Pacific Railroad employee and current planning commissioner Tim Padula.

The terms of both positions will expire a year later, in November 2014.

Juarez, who also owns the Dunsmuir Hotel and other properties, describes himself as an entrepreneur, CEO, and inventor; a published writer, designer, teacher and certified masseur. He established The Happy Company in 1992.

Juarez believes it is possible to “achieve the ultimate balance between profitable business management and social responsibility” and that “there is no such thing as an impossible dream.”

Juarez said he overcame dyslexia and a disadvantaged upbringing “with a strong belief that work is love made visible, and integrity comes before profits.”

The following are Juarez’s answers to several questions posed by reporter Skye Kinkade via email.

Q: What specific qualifications or skill sets do you have that will help you as a Dunsmuir City Councilor?

I have over 35 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. Over 30 years’ experience as an inventor. I hope this will benefit the city. I look forward to working in collaboration with the other city council members to continue to move the city forward in a positive direction.

Q: How long have you lived in Dunsmuir?

I have been living between San Francisco, Shanghai and Dunsmuir for 12 plus years. I have made Dunsmuir my main residence for two years.

Q: What prompted you to run for Dunsmuir City Council?

I love Dunsmuir and wanted to help with some of the challenges that face the city.

Q: What are your goals as a councilor?

I hope I can improve commerce and supporting our local business so they can better support our community; That I can find practical solutions to parking challenge and other future growth issues and doing adequate planning for the future on Dunsmuir; I also think it is very important to preserving our rich history, community and the best water on earth.

Q: What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Dunsmuir today?

1) Improving commerce and supporting our local business so they can better support our community; Parking and planning for the future on Dunsmuir; Preserving our rich history, community and the best water on earth.

Q: In what ways do you believe the community can promote itself to encourage tourism?

By offering special events on the weekends such as: 1920s, 1930s, murder mysteries, fairs, themed or special film festivals, and more that can involve the community and attract tourists. During the week corporate retreats.

Q: What are your views on current issues citizens are concerned about, such as the airport, water rates, transparency of government and marijuana cultivation?

I understand these concerns but I think solving bigger issues such as: Improving commerce and supporting our local business so they can better support our community and doing adequate planning for the future on Dunsmuir will solve the other issues.

Q: In your opinion, what is the role of a city councilor?

To serve the people and act in the best interest of the majority.

Q: How can our readers find out more about you and/or your campaign?

Google Mark Juarez – The Happy Company; thehappycompany.com or thinkingcheese.com

Tim Padula

Tim Padula, an employee of Union Pacific Railroad, current Dunsmuir Planning Commissioner and former city councilor is one of four people running for two seats on the Dunsmuir City Council.

Padula is on the Nov. 5 ballot alongside former Red Cross first responder Linda Gnesa, product developer Mark Juarez and current planning commissioner and paralegal Scott Welch.

The terms of both positions will expire a year later, in November 2014.

Following is some information about Padula, submitted via email.

Why he’s running

I’m running for city council because I believe I know my community and can assist and serve, being well familiar with the local issues and versed in historical perspective into the make-up of Dunsmuir. I feel there are too many special, self-interest groups. Being on council is about serving the city not representing personal interests. I have no agenda except bettering our town and I have a decade long battle and the financial and emotional bruises to prove it.

Giving them a reason to stay

I’ve worked for the railroad for over 36 years. I am from a large family with long-standing local ties, most having arrived right after the turn of the last century, many of which have had to go away because of the lack of jobs in our community. I feel this is our most pressing issue. The loss of working class families has been detrimental to our way of life. There should be focus on how we can assist our children and youth to have better lives and families to stay. Financial security strengthens the family structure.

Infrastructure improvements

I feel the City should focus on creating sustainable and varied employment which would create security and well-being for the citizens. This, in turn, will pull in revenue for the required infrastructure improvements sought. I also think we should look into what other communities are doing because we are not alone. This is a nationwide timing out, reflecting maintenance and improvements put off for generations. Rates have been raised many times in the past yet no improvements or replacements with the money evaporating into thin air. I do not feel the City should be run off the backs of ratepayers but think instead water and sewer should be as free as the air, a birthright. There are many hardships faced living where we are. There should be payoffs for the effort, clean water and pure air should not be taxed.

Interstate 5

The city should see the land at Mott developed into something similar as the South Weed complex. Interstate 5 can assist our town in being a success. The city should sell off ownership of excess lands and properties held in competition with private ownership, sitting bare with no tax money coming in. Instead these parcels could be developed by home owning or business taxpayers contributing to the coffers and helping in covering the costs for water and sewer replacements, aiding ourselves and future citizens in having successful lives not hindered by past debt and neglect.

Power lines

I’d like to explore and be assured of protection of our water rights, see about the undergrounding of power lines to be completed from one end of town to the other, enabling tree growth, creating beauty and filtering pollutants from the freeway and perhaps performing a small part in deflecting global warming.

Council relations/focus

I feel the local marijuana wars and bickering within the city and the council can be eliminated by adhering to the laws written and implemented by the State of California. No more. No less. No self-interests allowed and no more unnecessary, time wasting committees.

Scott Welch

Dunsmuir planning commissioner Scott Welch is one of four people running for two short-term seats on the Dunsmuir City Council.

Welch is on the Nov. 5 ballot with entrepreneur Mark Juarez, former Red Cross first responder Linda Gnesa, and Union Pacific Railroad employee Tim Padula.

The terms of both positions will expire in November 2014.

Welch, a 15 year resident of Dunsmuir, is working to obtain an MBA in healthcare management from Western Governors University with a projected graduation date of May 2014. He is the treasurer of the Dunsmuir Railroad Days Committee and a library board member.

Welch previously worked as a paralegal. He served in the National Guard and US Army Reserve, holds a BA in psychology from Chico State and a Juris Doctor from CAL Northern School of Law.

Following are Welch's answers to a series of interview questions posed via email:

Q: What specific qualifications or skill sets do you have that will help you as a Dunsmuir City Councilor?

In recent years, and very specifically as a planning commissioner, I’ve experienced the spirit of camaraderie in our city under attack. There is a blockade formed of partisanship and special interest that has surrounded us and it is choking the very life out of our community. I want to do what I can to quell that force and work to ensure Dunsmuir survives, character intact.

As a planning commissioner, I have experienced tremendous frustrations over citizens’ concerns that seemed to fall through the cracks or otherwise go unanswered.

Being acutely aware of the process of city government, I am the candidate most able to cause the concerns of these citizens to be effected and to truly bite into these issues.

Q: What are your goals as a councilor?

To serve in a manner that is indifferent to personal or party interest and in so doing to gain the trust and respect of my fellow citizens as one who is able to reflect their voices with confidence, soundness of mind, and reasonableness to be expected of a city councilman.

Q: What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing Dunsmuir today?

Citizen anger, citizen apathy and a tendency to not look far enough ahead and consider financial outcomes when making decisions. In that order.

Dunsmuir is in an economic crisis; while at the same time it has the opportunity to take hold of new economic opportunities and cause them to flourish exponentially.

Q: In what ways do you believe the community can promote itself to encourage tourism?

Providing framework for an extensive marketing campaign focused on our colorful history while highlighting the natural beauty and year-round outdoor activities would draw tourism and make Dunsmuir the popular tourist destination it once was.

Q: What are your views on current issues citizens are concerned about, such as the airport, water rates, transparency of government and marijuana cultivation?

I see that most citizens of Dunsmuir are up in arms because they realize, as I have, that while they have been distracted by the antics and non-essential priorities of their trusted leaders the city has been placed under siege.

Airport: Likely a huge expense with little or no return. In need of an economically viable plan and not abandonment;

Water rates: I know I struggle to pay my city bill. The water issue likely seeks, in part, to distract from more pressing matters such as the economic development and very survival of the city.

Marijuana: Keep it to yourself and for yourself.

Q: In your opinion, what is the role of a city councilor?

The role of a councilor is not to be the mouthpiece and promoter of a particular interest or individual and most certainly not the role of a councilor to bring frivolous matters to the agenda for that purpose.

An effective leader does not necessarily have the loudest voice, but a voice that represents the most prudent and appropriate course for the city.

Q: How can our readers find out more about you and/or your campaign?

Contact me anytime at 5335 Dunsmuir Avenue or at 235-6767, or email escottwelch@hotmail.com.