WILLITS, 8/23/18 -- The registration period is over, and the list of candidates for the four city councils in Mendocino County, along with four local measures that will appear on the November ballot, has been released. The general election will be held nation wide on Tuesday November 6, 2018, and campaigning for seats on the Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits and Point Arena city councils, along with myriad local district board positions and countywide offices, has already begun. (To jump to the list scroll down)
We've collated the list of candidates and ballot measures, and are presenting them here, grouped by location. The Mendocino Voice is also planning to do a series of video interviews of city council candidates, similar to the series we did for the supervisorial primary -- however, with a total of 16 candidates between three competitive elections, and only 11 weeks before the election, we will have to do shorter interviews, and may not get to all the candidates. We will do our best.
We have included the measures that will be on the November ballot, with the description of each provided by the elections office. This is not the text of the actual laws, which of course can be lengthy and include legalistic boilerplate. The full text of these measures will be posted on the county's election website in the near future.
In the city council races it should be noted that council seat races are staggered, such that only a portion of the council seats are up for election every two years, and there is never a total turn-over in the council, much like in the federal Senate.
There are also a number of candidates running positions on a variety of boards around the county; a list of these candidates will be published in an upcoming article.
Shall the measure to enact a three-eights (3/8th) of a cent general purpose transactions and use tax to provide the City with an estimated $623,000 per year for a limited period of fifteen years be adopted?
Fort Bragg City Council Candidates
There are three seats up for grabs in on the Fort Bragg City Council, an seven candidates, one of whom is an incumbent.
Candidate -- listed occupation
Tess Albin-Smith -- Forester, musician and bookkeeper
Ruben Alcala -- Retail Manager
Bobby Burns -- Handyman and Appliance Repair
Dana Jess -- General Contractor
Mary Rose Kaczorowski -- Journalist and artist
Jessica Morsell-Haye -- Business Owner and parent
Lindy Peters -- Incumbent and mayor
Incumbents Mike Cimolino and Dave Turner are not running for re-election.
City Council Candidates
There are three seats up for grabs on the Ukiah City Council and six candidates, two of whom are incumbents.
Candidate -- listed occupation
Jim Brown -- Incumbent
Matt Froneberger -- District General Manager
Edward Haynes -- Veterinarian
Maureen Mulheren -- Incumbent
Juan Orozco -- Educator
Chon Travis -- Musician and entrepreneur
Incumbent Kevin Doble, who is currently serving as mayor, is not running again for his seat.
To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads and recreation, shall the City of Willits tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $250,000 to $400,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council?
Measure J applies to the entirety of the Little Lake Fire Protection District, which extends well beyond Willits city limits and into neighboring areas, but does not include Brooktrails.
Shall the Little Lake Fire Protection District, by ordinance, create a Special Tax not to exceed $39.00 per unit to be used to construct a new replacement Fire Station at 74 East Commercial Street, Willits, CA; providing improved operating spaces and quarters in order to safeguard lives and shall said Special Tax sunset upon payoff of construction costs and be removed from future tax bills?
This Special Tax is estimated to raise $409,500.00 annually.
Willits City Council Candidates
There are two seats up for grabs on the Ukiah City Council and three candidates, one of whom is an incumbent.
Candidate -- listed occupation
Jeremy Hershman -- Teaching Assistant
Greta Kanne -- Small Business Owner
Larry Stranske -- Incumbent
Incumbent Ron Orenstein is not running.
Measure K is a school bond measure, which will be voted on by anyone in the school district, and if passed will allow the district to float a bond. The bond will eventually have to be paid back by the district which gets its money mostly from property taxes.
To improve the quality of education; construct a gymnasium for school and community use that meets health, safety, and handicapped accessibility requirements; shall Round Valley Unified School District issue $4,500,000 of bonds at legal interest rates, generating on average $272,000 annually as long as bonds are outstanding
There is no competitive race in Point Arena. Incumbent city council member, Barbara Burkey, is running uncontested, while the other incumbent, Anna Dobbins, is not running, meaning that this seat will have to be filled by appointment.
In District 3 John Haschak and John Pinches will be on the ballot in the general election in November, having carried the largest portion of votes in the June primary. Here's the full results of the June primary election. Haschak is a school teacher, and has been the head of the Willits teachers union for most of the last 20 years. Pinches is a rancher has served multiple terms as District 3 supervisor in the past.
The situation in District 5 is substantial more complicated. Ted Williams and Chris Skyhawk won first and second place in the June primary and as such moved on to the general election. (Results here). However, Skyhawk subsequently suffered a major and debilitating stroke, and withdrew his candidacy from the race.
But the Mendocino County elections office's interpretation of state election law is that the Skyhawk cannot be removed from the ballot while still living. But an additional wrinkle provides for the possibility of write-in candidates, and here the specifics get a bit more complicated and murky.
So what we know at this time is that Ted Williams and Chris Skyhawk remain on the ballot, Williams is the only active candidate, but a write-in candidate may surface in the next month or so.
You can read our full coverage of the 2018 elections here.