School board candidate says she has license and blames superintendent for ‘gossip’

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

McKINLEYVILLE/ARCATA – School board candidate Janelle Jones says that a Union news article about her running a fitness gym without a business license or county-approved COVID-19 reopening plan is false and dishonest. She compared the story to a gossip column and falsely accused Northern Humboldt Union High School District Superintendent Roger Macdonald of feeding “gossip” to the Union.

Janelle Jones

Jones, who is one of three candidates running for two open seats on the NHUHSD Board of Trustees, sent an email to the Union this morning, Oct. 9, disputing the reporting about Guns & Buns Fitness Training at 2512 Dragonfly Place, located in a residential-zoned neighborhood in McKinleyville.

“You are incorrect that I do not have a business license,” Jones wrote. “I have had one for many years at my previous address and had yet to transfer it to my new address. This does not mean I do not have a license. If you had done your research you would have known that.”

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Michale Hale of the Humboldt County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office said that Jones applied for a business license on Oct. 8, the day the Guns & Buns article was posted on the Union’s website. Hale said her office does not have any previous applications from Guns & Buns, and that there is no previous license for the business.

READ "SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE HAS BEEN OPERATING UNLICENSED FITNESS BUSINESS WITH NO COVID REOPENING PLAN"

Jones also questioned why the Union did not ask her about her income taxes.

“Furthermore,  I have been in business for over 7 years and file and pay income tax. I suppose you didn’t look into that either. Perhaps you should have asked me that as well,” Jones wrote.

The Union did not ask Jones about her income tax or mention the topic in the news article. Income tax returns are generally confidential and are not a matter of public record.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are required to submit reopening plans that must be certified and approved by the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center. The approved businesses are listed on the county’s website. Guns & Buns does not appear on the website.

“We can find no plan submission in the name of either the business or the business owner,” stated Heather Muller, lead public information officer for the Emergency Operations Center, in an email sent on the morning of Oct. 8.

UPDATE 1:17 P.M.: Muller confirmed today, Oct. 9 that Jones submitted a reopening plan sometime after yesterday morning.

“My clients who attend my gym can attest to the safe and sanitary facility I provide. My reopening plan has been applied for but all of this could have been answered if you had only asked,” Jones wrote.

“It is unfortunate that you have targeted me and my family – but I guess that fits the narrative you want to sensationalize.  Because of your type of one-sided reporting – or perhaps I should call your writing purely a ‘gossip column’ – people in our community are really fed up with this misinformation type of reporting but one thing I know – is that I am one vote for students to be back in school safely and immediately and this is something the Superintendent of the NHUHSD is opposed to, which is why he fed you this gossip this week,” Jones states.

She is referring to NHUHSD Superintendent Roger Macdonald, who has not communicated with the Union regarding Jones or her business.

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