Two candidates commit, interest likely to be high

Sebastopol Mayor Guy Wilson will not be seeking re-election to a second term in November, opening up a seat on the City Council that is expected to draw a lot of attention.

Robert Jacob, a city planning commissioner and owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, and Kathy Austin, a former mayor and an architect, have filed papers with the Sebastopol City Clerk indicating their intention to run.

Councilwoman Kathleen Shaffer also has filed for re-election.

The two seats are the only ones on the five-member council that expire this year. Both Wilson and Shaffer were elected to their first terms in 2008.

Wilson said he was giving up the council position to spend more time on his Santa Rosa law practice.

"I cannot afford to put in the time and give up the income required to do the council job," Wilson said. "The council job, whether being mayor or a council member or vice mayor, is a full-time position, or should be."

Sebastopol council members receive $300 a month, plus health care, vision and dental benefits.

Shaffer, 65, has focused much of her council work on creating the Sebastopol Entrepreneur Project to help small businesses and on economic issues.

Shaffer is a former teacher and also ran a business with her husband in Florida manufacturing field equipment for Major League Baseball.

"We just need some common-sense solutions to shore up the economy here, we need reasonably managed growth to increase revenue," Shaffer said.

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