Home Financial responsibility Shasta Lake Council’s 3rd seat heads to special election after mistake

Shasta Lake Council’s 3rd seat heads to special election after mistake

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A third open seat on Shasta Lake City Council likely heads to a special election next year.

What hasn’t been determined is who will pay for this, the city, Shasta County, or a combination of the two?

To top off a confusing few weeks, Shasta Lake City Council could decide next Tuesday to call a special election. One date that has been discussed is March 7.

“I have to admit it’s very complex and very confusing,” Mayor Rich Kern said at the Oct. 18 council meeting after hearing from Shasta County Clerk/Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen and Clerk of Shasta Lake City, Toni Coates.

Matt Doyle

The special election will determine who fills the remaining two-year term of former Vice Mayor Matt Doyle, who has left town and cannot run.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 8, voters in Shasta Lake will decide a six-party race for two four-year open seats on the council. The seats are held by Kern, who is not running, and Pamelyn Morgan, who is seeking re-election.

Tena Eisenbeisz, Julia Screechfield, Jim Mark, Dolores Lucero and Justin C. Jones complete the list of candidates vying for the two seats.

Initially, the city council was told they could appoint someone to complete Doyle’s term. This appointee would be the third to vote in the Nov. 8 election.

“Well, I think council had the right information until Cathy Darling Allen came to our meeting last Tuesday,” councilor Janice Powell told Record Searchlight. “There was some confusion as to whether the mandate could be appointed, depending on the electoral code.”

It is not possible.

Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen addresses the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Taking full responsibility for removing Doyle’s seat from the ballot, Darling Allen told the council on October 18 that the seat should be awarded by special election.

“My office has absolute culpability here – we made a mistake for sure. We didn’t include that separate contest (on the ballot) that lasted two years,” Darling Allen said at the meeting.

Janice Powell

“So it is not possible for us to reprint the ballots and send them to everyone. … It’s not the cure, it’s not the mistake,” she added.

Powell was candid about the potential cost of the special election and the hardship for the city if it had to take on that financial liability for something that was not its fault.

“For a small town our size, that seems like too much when the city hadn’t planned it that way. We had thought that all open seats would be on the general election ballot,” Powell said.

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Darling Allen gave the board a rough estimate of $82,000 for the special election. She noted that the cost could come down if done with strictly mail-in ballots with a polling place at the County Elections Office in downtown Redding.

“I understand that someone from the county has made an offer to share the costs and I would certainly support that,” Darling Allen told the council, although she stressed that she did not have the authority to make this commitment. .

Jessaca Lugo

This would likely be the Shasta County Board of Supervisors via a recommendation from Acting County Chief Executive Patrick Minturn.

Shasta Lake City Manager Jessaca Lugo told Record Searchlight that the city submitted a letter to Minturn asking that the county pay the cost of the entire special election.

Lugo said District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones, whose district includes Shasta Lake, has requested that the cost agreement be placed on the supervisors’ agenda next Tuesday.

“I don’t know how it’s going to be put on the (supervisors’) agenda. The town of Shasta Lake asked the county to cover the cost of the election,” Lugo said.

David Benda covers business, development and all things happening for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He is part of a dedicated team of reporters who investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Join him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-338-8323. To support and sustain this work, please register today.