Retired US Forest Service District Ranger Kathy Morter looks forward to a possible "next step" in her community service as a Mount Shasta City Council member.
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of profiles on the three candidates on the June 2 special election ballot for one seat on the Mount Shasta City Council. All three articles will be posted at: www.mtshastanews.com
Former US Forest Service District Ranger Kathy Morter said she is running for Mount Shasta City Council because she “thinks of it as just the next step of community service.”
Morter has been busy volunteering since retiring from the US Forest Service three years ago. She has been a member of the Rotary Club for 12 years and was Rotarian of the Year in 2007-08.
She volunteers at the Sisson Museum and is a member of the Mount Shasta Trails Association and Siskiyou Land Trust. “Outdoor recreation and trails is something I really value,” she said, “not just for economic reasons but for fun reasons. People are entitled to get places by foot as well as by vehicle.”
Morter is active in the Weed fire recovery efforts and local food movement, serving on the board that runs the Mount Shasta Grub Club.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Morter said she had the upbringing of a military brat, moving every three years and living in 14 different communities. “It gave me an appreciation for the diversity in the way people live,” she said.
She graduated with highest honor from Humboldt State University with a degree in natural resources management and worked for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for 25 years.
Morter moved to Mount Shasta in 1992 and served as District Ranger for the Forest Service for six years.
Her campaign letter states, “This community’s citizen engagement and magnificent beauty are why... I returned three years ago after retiring.”
Morter completed Masters coursework (minus thesis) in leadership and human systems at the Leadership Institute of Seattle in 2000. She has education and experience in conflict resolution, controversy, budgets, supervision, and facilitation. With this background, Morter hopes to encourage proactive conversation among the community outside of city council meetings similar to the facilitated public forum held recently in Dunsmuir.
“I really want to see if I can help encourage the really intelligent minds and passionate hearts here to partner on solutions,” Morter said in response to the question of what motivated her to run for city council. “And I think a woman’s perspective would be great,” she added.
Asked for her thoughts on Crystal Geyser’s water bottling plan, Morter provided a quote from an email she had written: “The best way to mitigate any fears people have about [Crystal Geyser’s] impact on us is to keep our conversations open – our needs and requests stated clearly while listening to theirs – to set the stage for my hope that CG will find a way to support water monitoring in the greater Mt. Shasta area.”
Morter said she is just beginning to study the possibilities for development at The Landing property at the south end of town. She likes the idea of a world class visitor’s center and thinks the land would be best utilized for many different purposes. “It could serve as a discovery or a learning center for our own residents,” she said. “One thought that I have is a small business incubator center. I think that small business here has a greater chance of thriving, and it would fit in with our culture. I’ve heard that the city is considering putting in an RV park that would bring the city some income... if it were landscaped beautifully, I think that could be a good addition there,” she said.
On the topic of water meter installation, Morter thinks that the issue has been solved. She commended mayor pro tem Jeffrey Collings for putting together presentations addressing the concerns of citizens and said, “the opt-out option speaks to the power of respect for the diverse opinions of the community. Choice is important.”
“Politics is simply about values,” Morter said, “and I am so curious about people. I love finding out what motivates them, what charges their battery. I think, because of that curiosity and that commitment to really respecting everybody’s perspective, I can help bridge differences.”