Editor’s note: As part of election coverage of the June primary, The Times-Standard is hosting a Q&A with the candidates. These are the responses of four of the six candidates running for the Arcata City Council.
Why are you the best choice for the town hall of Arcata?
Chase Marcum: I believe that I am the best candidate for the city council of Arcata because I am honest, I believe in this community and I believe in collaboration, transparency and leadership through inspiration and public involvement in all our important decision-making. process. Am I going to shake things up in local politics if I am elected? Yes.
I have no inner or outer influence affecting my decision making and I am firmly rooted in unwavering fundamentals and would never allow them to be. I have no material or real estate investment of any kind, so I will not be biased when it comes to ruling on big items facing Arcata executives such as the Gateway project. I don’t have a vehicle and I’m walking all over the place so I can’t wait to see everyone around town and would love to get the vote from the people of this great little town we call Arcata.
Edith Rosen: I am the best choice for Arcata City Council because of my genuine goodwill, business acumen and holistic view. With an MBA from Humboldt State (now Cal Poly Humboldt), extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and a strong commitment to improving our community, I am uniquely positioned to serve on the city council of Arcata. I’ve worked in finance and management at local businesses, owned a consulting business, and overseen the CCAP program for the town of Arcata. A common thread running through these experiences is my innate service mentality; helping others, while creating lasting and meaningful connections. In combination, these attributes are what will make the best member of Arcata City Council successful in their service to our community. It is an honor to take this walk with you.
Alexandra Stillman: When board member Emily Goldstein resigned from the board, I considered serving the remainder of her two-year term. I served on council at two different times, once in the 1970s and once in 2006. My knowledge, experience and history will benefit the city. I have been involved in economic development, from revitalizing old structures in Arcata to create additional housing, to filling vacant land in the square due to a fire in 1978, to creating the Phillips House Museum, to bring the Main Street program to California, to continue to promote and work on the Godwit Days Migratory Bird Festival, to own two Arcata retail businesses, to be a guide for Friends of Arcata Swamp, to support the Marsh Institute as they work on alternatives to sewage or support the Arcata House partnership. I have worked hard on the viability of Arcata, creating a sense of belonging and I will continue to do so.
Kimberley White: I can get to work. I have demonstrated my commitment to municipal administration as a Planning Commissioner over the past three years. I’m ready to take the next step. I attend all city council meetings and also keep up to date with what the city committees are doing. My passion for housing is the reason why I became a planning commissioner. We are in the middle of the Gateway Area Plan Project that will shape the future of Arcata and have no conflict of interest.
What would you do to work with Cal Poly Humboldt so that both entities can achieve their housing and growth goals?
Marcum: Since I not only have a lot of experience in housing, not only as a student but also as an advisor within the department and at the same time I am very familiar with navigating all the components and elements of the university and I am very familiar with the components that can get things done and who are true champions and advocates for the people of this great city and those who call it home. I would work closely with them and the students to address and resolve many of the big issues we face with the university’s accelerated expansion plan regarding housing and the growing population on and off campus.
Rosen: I will work closely with both entities, as well as our community, in a concerted effort to achieve the housing and growth goals of the City of Arcata and Cal Poly Humboldt. Working together in layered stages of growth and expansion will put more checks and balances in place to ensure we are aligned with set goals, benchmarks and our overall vision for Arcata. As we plan for substantial infrastructure improvements, I will also ensure that we have strong support systems for our student body, staff and incoming faculty.
Stillman: Cal Poly Humboldt knows that Arcata alone cannot provide the housing needed for their expansion. They are looking for sites outside of Arcata and I will support their efforts and new housing efforts in Arcata. Humboldt provides our city and the wider community with solutions to environmental and social issues, provides us with professionals in many fields, and not least, provides us with wonderful entertainment in student productions and Arts Center productions. I graduated from Humboldt and know the value of having the university in our community. They are the economic engine of Humboldt County and without them, would we be here?
White: The conversation between the city and Cal Poly Humboldt should have started a while ago. That being said, as Planning Commissioner, I have been instrumental in providing information/coordinating with Cal Poly’s VP of Operations who is involved in infrastructure planning physics for Cal Poly’s housing development plans.
What would you do to help Arcata plan for sea level rise?
Marcum: Well, after a lot of time and experience in the Philippines dealing with such problems, not just typhoons and floods along with rising sea levels. We should think outside the box and develop new infrastructure , use different construction methods, raise all new construction from the ground to lower elevations and/or build on higher ground.
Rosen: Thinking about the impacts of sea level rise, I realize the urgency required for appropriate action. To help Arcata plan for the effects of sea level rise, I will ensure that preparedness and policies are prioritized under our sustainable growth initiative. Starting now with a future orientation and a realistic multi-level approach gives us ample time for critical infrastructure relocation and the safeguarding of our community.
Stillman: The city has taken action to combat sea level rise and continues to do so. Do you remember when the swamp was closed to pedestrians because the army corps of engineers facilitated the possibility of raising the height of the levies? McDaniel’s Slough is another effort to migrate sea level rise. I believe the city has taken climate change very seriously with its efforts for denser housing, attention to alternative transportation such as: bike lanes , bus service and better sidewalks and curbs, and increasing the size of the Arcata Community Forest. We need to develop a food waste management system such as a digester, so that food does not go to landfill. It is one more way to reduce greenhouse gases and to migrate sea level rise. Sea level rise requires interagency cooperation within the county. I support Arcata’s efforts and will seek new avenues of cooperation in the region.
White: As Planning Commissioner, I helped develop and plan the local coastal component that deals with sea level rise and helped make recommendations to the council regarding the local coastal plan that has just been submitted to the Coastal Commission. The city’s strategy for coping with sea level rise is based on the philosophy of managed retirement. I have unresolved concerns regarding construction of residential developments in the area most affected by sea level rise.
Mario Cortez can be reached at 77-441-0526.