Blue Lake Notes: Progress and political possibilities in the peaceable hamlet

Oh, Blue Lake. Who would have thought that we would be in this particular situation five months ago? 

I know I, for on,e am both excited and frustrated at the re-opening of so many places during this time. It has been a journey of resilience, and I see Blue Lake succeeding in so many ways. 

Obviously, our new food options at a time when so many places throughout the county are unable to stay open, has been a welcome surprise. 

Business at the city seems to continue to be going smoothly, with monthly meetings continuing to take place via Zoom. We are continuing to be given opportunities to expand and explore during a time of so much uncertainty.

Have you had a chance to see the work getting done on South Railroad? The Annie & Mary Trail along the old railroad right-of-way is under construction. 

This project has been something residents and city officials/staff have been eager to complete for some time! It looks like the project will take a total of six weeks to complete, and when it is all said and done, there will be a lovely trail that spans from Chartin to  Hatchery as well as a shift in traffic flow. 

South Railroad, which incidentally was never meant to be a full-sized road when it was subsequently created, will becoming a one-way road going west starting at Broderick near the Park and going to Chartin. 

That’s not all going on in the city. Baseball season has been on indefinite hold, which gives the city a perfect opportunity to do long overdue maintenance projects. The baseball fields are getting new bleachers. Actually, they may already be fully installed. Plus, work is moving forward on the Town Center to be located across from the post office! 

I want to end this little summary of goings on with a reminder that there are three seats available this year on the City Council. Want to have an impact on our town? Want to help cultivate change and vibrancy in the community? Want to continue all these great things that are happening inside our town? 

Become a candidate for council! The process is simple. First, you will need to be a registered voter within the city limits of Blue Lake. Not a registered voter, or registered elsewhere, but living in Blue Lake, you need to remedy that before you can even take out nomination papers.

The city will need to have this verified before papers can be taken out, so suggest that you call with your intent to give them time to verify. Next, go to City Hall during open hours (9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m.) to pick up nomination papers. 

You will then need to get a minimum of 20 valid signatures and can get up to 30 signatures to become a candidate. A valid signature is by someone who is a registered Blue Lake citizen.

 They must also be signed using the name that is on their registration. Example: name on registration is Jonathon Smith, but they sign it “Jon Smith” it will not be counted. 

After signature pages are completed, the next step is to take the signatures back to the city for verification. This can sometimes take two to three days to complete, so get your papers in early. 

The Elections Office will verify the signatures and let the city know if you have enough or not. If you do not have enough, you will need to go back out for more signatures. Once 20 signatures are verified, you are an official candidate!

Papers are due in no later than Aug. 7  at 4 p.m. This is very important because the city closes at 4 p.m. and they will not be able to accept late papers per the Caljfornia election code. If an incumbent does not file nomination papers, the period will be extended five days to Aug. 12.

There are other ways to get involved in Blue Lake too. The city has several commissions, some with open seats on them. 

There are also a couple of seats available on both the Blue Lake Fire Protection District Board and the Blue Lake School Board. The process for becoming candidates for a special district like these is different than city government.

Contact the Humboldt County Elections Office at (707) 445-7481 to obtain the proper information and candidate papers. And speaking of the Blue Lake Fire Protection District, there may also be room for you as a volunteer fire fighter! Contact the district at (707) 668-5765.

Remember, the best way to change things globally is to act locally, and Blue Lake is full of ways to be involved and act locally. Take a leap and find your niche today.



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