The following is a press release from Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman:
Just last week, I started counting my old campaign signs and resources for re-election, meeting with my campaign manager and securing endorsements. While my position at the City has provided me with plenty of ups and downs, I never entertained the thought of not running again. So, in a way, I’m as surprised as many of you to announce that I am not seeking a second term as Mayor of Eureka.
As a reminder, the position of Mayor is a part-time job. I also work full-time as the Program Director for the Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). In this position, I work regionally on issues around economic development. My love for this work ultimately led to running for Mayor in the first place. At AEDC, I can collaborate with others to work on systemic problems around our community needs. I can also develop programs that serve the needs in the workforce, housing, health care, childcare and climate change as well as support and celebrate our small businesses and young entrepreneurs.
With the pandemic affecting the economy in so many ways, organizations like AEDC have become a way to get funding directly into communities. For AEDC, and me specifically, that meant one nearly $5M allocation of ARPA funds from Humboldt County to distribute to the childcare industry through a variety of programs. We’re well positioned to receive two more $5M grants for regional economic development work in the next several months. Clearly, this influx of capital is going to take a considerable amount of my time and focus.
When I started serving as Mayor, my work at AEDC was easily manageable. Now, it is much more consuming, but impactful in ways I have always dreamed it could be. Given the growing workload, I had to honestly ask myself if running for another term was the best option. I realized it would not be the best for me, and – more importantly – I don’t think it would be best for the City of Eureka.
I really love being Mayor. I have been privileged to have such a supportive council to work with. I have always been impressed that each member has had a variety of perspectives, but a similar vision for the future of Eureka. We have had times when we didn’t agree on policies or practices, but everyone remained respectful, even behind the scenes. I have also been honored to work with the staff at the City of Eureka. I have never known a more hard-working group of public servants. I have not met anyone on staff who isn’t doing an incredible, sometimes inconceivable, amount of work with a genuine desire to serve the City of Eureka.
I love Eureka and the exciting opportunities I see in the near future. Without a doubt, I will stay engaged after the election, but in a different way. I may be working regionally, but Eureka is my home of choice, the coolest town on the North Coast, and I will continue to be an advocate for our prosperous future.