Thursday at 8:00 a.m. the Arcata City Council chose Sofia Pereira as Arcata’s new Mayor and Brett Watson as Vice-Mayor.
Susan Ornelas, Arcata’s current Mayor and Pereira literally switched seats–Ornelas will still serve on the city council although she is no longer mayor.
As established in Arcata’s municipal code, each city council member is required to campaign to be elected to the city council. Council seats are held four years and every December the council selects a new mayor and vice-mayor to serve one year terms.
Below is a brief bio of Pereira from the City of Arcata’s website:
“I have served the community in numerous capacities since moving to Arcata in 2005 to attend Humboldt State University. My vision is for Arcata to become the 1st Zero Waste City in Humboldt County; to strengthen connections between the city and community partners like Humboldt State University, and to increase the city’s use of technology to improve resident engagement and to make vital information easily accessible.”
Watson was appointed by the city council to fulfill the rest of councilman Mark Wheetley’s term April 13, 2017.
While a council member in 2016, Wheetley was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence which derailed his candidacy for the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. In 2017 while the City Manager of Fortuna, Wheetley was arrested again for DUI.
Below is Watson’s bio from the city of Arcata’s website:
“I moved to Humboldt County in 2006 to attend HSU. I immediately fell in love with Arcata and was blessed enough to relocate here in 2010 after graduating with a BS in Forestry, and an Environmental Ethics Minor. Two years in a row, I managed Zero Waste Humboldt’s collection efforts in the North Country Fair, donating my time, resources, and staff to help make the event a Zero Waste success. I take pride in having owned and operated my small business in Arcata for over five years. I’m mainly interested in helping seniors and students, continuing progress on Zero Waste goals, and diversifying Arcata’s economy. I believe it’s important to balance embracing HSU, environmental tourism, and other sectors of the economy, while keeping sustainability at the forefront of Arcata’s economic goals. I believe Arcata has taken meaningful action on safety concerns, and I’d like to help continue progress in that regard.”
A few students and myself were present holding ‘Justice For Josiah’ signs.
Although the mouthpiece of Arcata has changed, the issues surrounding unsolved student murders should still be a top concern for the city.
Dec. 15 marked eight months since Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson was stabbed to death at an off-campus party. Currently, no one is in custody for his death.