While the presidential campaign is in full swing, and candidates across the state are fighting for chances to be mayors, congressmen, or county sheriffs, nobody has yet to file with the city clerk for any of the three City Council positions up for grabs.
Two of the current incumbents — Tiffany Ren? and Mike Healy — are reluctant to say whether they will run for office.
But one, Gabe Kearney, has said he will run for a four-year term.
Kearney, who ran unsuccessfully for the post two years ago, was appointed to a two-year term in early 2011 following David Glass's election as mayor in 2010.
Councilmember Healy, who is completing his third four-year term, said this week, "I haven't even thought about it. I haven't formed a campaign committee and all I'm focused on right now is my council duties."
Council candidates can file "Intention to Run" statements now, though Petaluma City Clerk Claire Cooper said the filing period for running does not officially open until July.
"They have until August 10 to file. If an incumbent council member decides not to seek reelection, then that seat's filing period is extended until August 15," said Cooper.
Ren?, who is currently running in the June primary for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by long-time incumbent Lynn Woolsey, gave a strong indication that she would not seek re-election to the council should she fail to win enough votes in the June primary to advance to the Congressional election in November.
"I'm not ruling it out, but it has become financially stressful for me to continue on the city council. I need to think of the economic stability of my family," said Ren?.
A web designer who has two daughters in college, Ren? noted that City Council members are only paid $5 per meeting. The mayor of Petaluma receives $10 per meeting.
Council members do receive health care benefits, however. According to Healy, all the current council members reject that benefit since they have their own health coverage, so that entitles them to half the value of the benefit paid to them in cash each month. "It works out to about $800 per month for me," said Healy.
(Contact E.A. Barrera at firstname.lastname@example.org)