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Eureka City Council Candidates split on Measure R

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EUREKA - Measure R is a highly debated topic and it will appear before voters in November.

Eureka City Council Candidates for the 3 and 5 ward weighed in on the topic Monday at a community forum. Their stances on the issue are split right down the middle.

In the 3 ward, incumbent Mike Newman opposes Measure R saying the issue needs to be addressed at a higher level, while challenger Kim Bergel is for the measure saying it’s a human rights issue.

“I feel it is better served if we raised minimum wage in a larger sense, meaning the State of California or the Federal Government,” Mike Newman, Eureka City Councilman, said.

“I really believe that people should not work full-time and live in poverty. It's just wrong,” Kim Bergel, a Eureka City Council Candidate, said.

And in the 5 ward, incumbent Chet Albin is against the measure, saying higher wages will push businesses out of Eureka, while challenger Natalie Arroyo is for it, saying a raise would help the economy.

“I think it's a very difficult measure. The City of Eureka is going to get hit very hard financially. We are already told that many businesses are going to leave Eureka,” Chet Albin, Eureka City Councilman, said.

“Low wage earners are often the first to spend their money in a local community so that could really help stimulate the economy in the short term and help people stabilize their lives in the long term,” Natalie Arroyo, a Eureka City Council Candidate, said.