Candidates emerging for vacant Healdsburg seats

  • Jeff Civian, Healdsburg City Council candidate, 2014

Two Healdsburg City Council members are not running for re-election, but candidates are emerging to fill their seats.

Both council members Jim Wood and Susan Jones say they will not seek re-election in November, providing an opening for hopefuls vying to succeed them.

Healdsburg Planning Commissioner Jeff Civian and winery owner Tim Meinken have announced their intent to run.

There's still plenty of time for other candidates to emerge, since the official filing period begins July 14 and closes Aug. 13.

The two candidates offer voters a distinct choice, expressing divergent views on growth and the direction of the city.

"I think the City Council has done a great job of trying to balance the needs of locals and visitors," said Civian, a retired civil engineer. "I think the current council is going in the right direction."

In contrast, Meinken, a former pension and benefits consultant who lost a bid for council in 2012, says a "new sense of leadership is needed on the council."

Meinken has been outspoken on the topic of overhauling pensions, accusing the City Council of taking "a bit of a head-in-the-sand approach" when it comes to the "massively underfunded" city employee pensions.

But he said the "number one issue is slowing down the growth."

"It may be time for the city to take a breather on its breakneck pace of growth," he said in his candidacy kick off statement.

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