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Healdsburg City Councilman Jim Wood won't seek third term

  • In his final term as Healdsburg mayor, Jim Wood announced he's giving up his City Council seat even if he's not elected to State Assembly. (Alvin Jornada/ For The Press Democrat

Jim Wood's term as mayor of Healdsburg will also be his final year on the City Council.

Wood, who takes over the mayor's gavel in January, is running for State Assembly. But even if he isn't elected to higher office, he won't be trying for a third, four-year term on the council.

“Whether I'm elected to the Assembly or not, my plan is not to run for City Council,” he said.

“I've enjoyed every minute. For me to be effective, I'd need a year away to freshen up my brain,” he said.

It was Wood who this year urged his fellow council members to launch a community self-analysis to ascertain Healdsburg's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The council agreed to hire a consultant for $25,000 to help probe those topics in a series of workshops with citizens and city officials.

“We're engaging the public and trying to understand what their concerns are for the city,” he said. “I hope in the end we have a strategic plan that future councils can use as a framework and go forward.”

The consultant was hired before a debate grew about the role of tourism and whether the city needs to put restrictions on the size of new hotels to try and protect its small-town ambience.

The topic came front and center last summer after a 75-room, five-story hotel was proposed just south of Healdsburg Plaza.

The overriding reaction from many people was that it was too big, and the developers ended up withdrawing their application.

“I think tourism has done incredible wonderful things for our community,” said Wood, reflecting the prevailing sentiment of fellow council members, who say the bed taxes and other revenues it brings help bolster city recreation programs and other services.

Healdsburg is considered by some to be in an enviable position for its reputation as a chic Wine Country destination and for top restaurants in an attractive setting.

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