Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – As the clock crept toward 5 p.m. in the City Manager’s Office Wednesday, Aug. 13, one last Arcata City Council aspirants was submitting his candidacy paperwork before the deadline.
Jason Carr’s nominating petition was found sufficient by elections officials this morning, so he will join candidates Juan Fernandez, Patrick Hyland, Sofia Pereira and Mark Wheetley in running for the two available four-year terms on the Arcata City Council.
Candidates for the single two-year term are Ryan Kaplan and Paul Pitino.
Citizens Jolian Kangas and David Mouton also took out candidacy packets, but did not turn anything in, according to City Clerk Bridget Dory.
Carr, a self-employed IT specialist, said he is running out of love for Arcata. “I’m trying to improve the community,” he said. “I really love this place. It’s in my heart and soul.”
In collecting signatures for his nomination petition, he said voters told him they wanted to see improvements in Arcata’s bike infrastructure, solutions for the transient community and creation of a dog park.
Juan Fernandez is the customer service department manager at Ray’s Food Place in McKinleyville. Trained as a journalist, Fernandez said his emphasis is on local issues, and that he would use his fact-finding skills to ascertain the community’s needs.
“I’d like to reach out and ask folks what they want me to focus on,” he said. “I’m not a politician, I’m a facilitator. I want to help bring the community together with solutions we can agree on.”
Patrick Hyland is coordinator for Humboldt State’s Human Performance Lab and an assistant coach for the women’s crew team. He wants the council to concentrate on basic services like roads, infrastructure and basic maintenance – “all of the basic things,” he said. “I’ll leave the flowery designs to someone else.”
Ryan Kaplan, an environmental resources engineering senior at Humboldt State, said his emphases include economic development via more business startup incubators and optimizing water resources with better use of graywater. Another idea is hyperlocal occupancy taxes on Air B&Bs to fund the immediate neighborhood’s street repairs and public safety. “I like the idea of citizens having more influence on how tax money is spent,” he said.
In a press release, Pereira, a former Humboldt State Associated Students president and former field representative for Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro explained her council goals.
“Arcata has a rich history of innovation and collaboration,” said Pereira. “I want to bring a new generation of leadership to the City Council so we can continue Arcata’s legacy of being an environmental and economic leader. I’m running to make Arcata the first zero-waste city in Humboldt County, improve our relationship with our community partners like Humboldt State University, and increase our use of technology so that residents can engage with the city and access information easily.”
Former Councilmember Pitino, a retired teacher, has remained active in Arcata civic affairs with advocacy for improved parks and transportation. “I’ve had real good practice with bringing people together,” he said. “I’m better, kinder and more informed. I’m really interested in dog parks, neighborhood parks and things that everyone’s concerned about.”
Mayor Mark Wheetley, looking at a third term on the council, said that after recent years marked by reversals such as the recession and the takeaway of redevelopment, he wants to see Arcata through to better times. “We’ve been through a lot over the last several years, and I feel that we’re back on track."
With the Arcata Ridge Trail and McDaniel Slough projects now mature, Wheetley hopes to see implementation of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, funding for which will require “new fiscal strategies,” and to deepen relationships with Humboldt State, the Chamber of Commerce and the business community.
“I love community service,” Wheetley said.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Thursday the results of a randomized alphabet drawing that determines the order in which candidates’ names will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Arcata City Council candidates will appear on the ballot in this order:
City Council Candidate Forum
The Mad River Union, Arcata Chamber of Commerce, KHSU 90.5 FM and the City of Arcata will host a City Council Candidate Forum Thursday, Sept. 18 beginning at 7 p.m. at the D Street Neighborhood Center.
The forum will be broadcast live on KHSU 90.5 FM’s Thursday Night Talk.