Union Staff Report
CITY HALL – In a brief announcement at the start of tonight's Arcata City Council meeting, City Councilmember Shane Brinton announced that he will resign his seat effective Friday.
Brinton has been caring for his mother, Susan, who is gravely ill.
"It's the best decision I can make for my family and my mother," he said.
Brinton thanked his fellow councilmembers, city staff and the public for their assistance and cooperation during his time on the council.
First elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, Brinton's term was to run until 2016.
Deputy City Clerk Bridget Dory told the council tonight that the council may fill the vacancy via an appointment, or authorize a special election for a candidate who would serve two years, That candidate would appear on the November ballot alongside any candidates running for the two seats already available.
The council will decide the issue at its July 2 meeting so as to meet noticing requirements for the November election rather than delay an election for the seat until March of next year.
Mayor Mark Wheetley has said he will run for re-election. Councilmember Alex Stillman will not.
Wheetley thanked Brinton for timing his resignation so as to save the city the expense of a special election.
"I don't want to be the guy that cost the city $30,000 or $40,000 for a special election," Brinton said. He urged his colleagues to allow citizens to select his replacement via an election rather than by their making an appointment.
"More democracy is better," he said.
Update: Deputy City Clerk Bridget Dory explains the council's options: "The City Council has 60 days to decide if it wants to appoint someone to fill the vacancy or hold a special election to fill the vacancy. If they decide to hold a special election, it would have to take place at the next regularly scheduled election no sooner than 114 days after they decide to do so. If they make that decision before July 13, the special election could be held in conjunction with the general municipal election on November 4, 2014. If they make that decision after July 13, the special election would have to be held in March 2015. The Council needs to discuss this and decide if they want to appoint or elect."