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Jake Ours won't seek re-election to Santa Rosa City Council

  • Jake Ours (PD FILE)

Santa Rosa City Councilman Jake Ours announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election in November.

The first-term councilman is the second member of the council to bow out of the upcoming race in as many weeks.

Vice Mayor Robin Swinth, who was appointed last year to fill 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin's vacant council seat, said Jan. 14 that she would not seek election to a full term, citing family obligations.

Ours, 73, said he has enjoyed his service on the council but “there's too many things and not enough time to get it all done.”

“This has been an awful lot of fun, but I have a lot of other things that I want to do,” Ours said.

The former director of economic development for the city of San Rafael ran for council in 2010 on a platform of economic revitalization. He has consistently pushed the city to take more aggressive steps to create jobs. He supported the expansion of the BoDean asphalt plant and a variety of measures to streamline city permit processes.

He also has shown a willingness to break with council allies on matters of conscience, such as when he supported Occupy protesters' right to camp on City Hall property.

Swinth said it had been “a pleasure” to work with Ours.

“Your thinking and your ability to consolidate big subjects into very concise and meaningful words has been invaluable for me,” Swinth said.

Like Swinth did earlier this month, Ours said he planned to immediately step down from the board of Sonoma Clean Power. He noted that he has plenty of work ahead of him as a member of the joint city-county committee on the annexation of Roseland. He said he hoped the council could appoint a replacement by the Feb. 6. meeting.

The decision means at least two of the three seats up for election in November won't be defended by an incumbent. Mayor Scott Bartley hasn't said whether he intends to run again. Fewer incumbents could induce more candidates to enter the race.

So far only two people, former Press Democrat columnist Chris Coursey and Planning Commissioner Curtis Byrd, have announced plans to run for one of the three seats opening on the seven-member council.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater.

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