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Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Feb. 20 on Shasta Scout. We thank Annelise Pierce for sharing her work with us here today on A News Cafe. This article is published verbatim, with the exception of photos posted by A News Cafe.
Two individuals with ties to militia groups in the North State have expressed interest in being appointed to the City of Shasta Lake Council.
Individuals are beginning to apply to fill a vacancy on the City of Shasta Lake Council created by the death of Council member Larry Farr only a few months into his term.
Remaining Council members voted on February 2nd to fill the vacancy by appointment rather than special election. The decision to appoint the next Council member rather than elect them was primarily based on the cost of such an election, estimated by the City Attorney at that meeting to be between $70,000 and $80,000.
Jim Mark, who lost to Farr and other Council incumbents in the 2020 election, voiced his interest in applying for the vacant seat during the February 2nd Council meeting.
Mark, who runs a website called Jefferson State Militia, reminded the Council that he received over 1200 votes in the last election, approximately 14% of all votes cast for Council seats. Speaking to the Council, Mark emphasized that he would represent diversity of views.
Speaking about his priorities for the City of Shasta Lake Council Mr. Mark said, “I’d just like to throw a bowling ball through the window and shake some shit up!” He also mentioned concerns about new low income housing plans in the City of Shasta Lake and plans to push body cameras for local law enforcement. His candidate statement for the 2020 election can be found here. He declined to comment on the size of the Jefferson State Militia, whose website he runs, but said the group is organized in units of 5-6 individuals who don’t publicize their membership.
Another candidate, Jesse Lane, a local activist who helped start the group Stake in NorCal, announced on Facebook his intention to apply for the City of Shasta Lake Council vacancy.
Lane appeared recently in a video with California State Militia leader Woody Clendenen and local “patriot” activist Carlos Zapata. The video includes a recruitment effort for the local Cottonwood branch of the California State Militia. Lane declined a request to comment on his priorities for the City of Shasta Lake for this article.
Janice Powell, a sitting Council member of the City of Shasta Lake, says the Council has already received 6 applications for the position. But, she says, she’s still concerned about attracting diverse candidates.
“Usually only retired, financially stable, empty nesters run for office. And that means that the people who represent the community are out of touch with the needs of working families. Of course age/family status is just one of the attributes needed for a diverse council.”
A notice, and application form, has been posted on the City of Shasta Lake’s website, inviting candidates to apply for the vacant Council seat. According to the notice, applicants must submit their application before February 25th and attend the March 2nd 6 pm Council meeting to be considered. The City Council will interview applicants during the public meeting and public comment is welcomed, but masks and physical distancing are required.
City of Shasta Lake Clerk Toni Coates told Shasta Scout that the notice for the Council vacancy and application process has also been posted at the City of Shasta Lake Post Office, the Summit City Post Office, at City Hall and on the City of Shasta Lake’s Facebook page.
Annelise Pierce has written numerous articles for A News Cafe. Under the mentorship of the Google News Initiative Startup Lab, she has recently launched Shasta Scout, a hyperlocal news group focused on increasing access to diverse and inclusive news in the North State. Visit her site at www.shastascout.org to sign up for free news or pledge support.