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Robin Swinth will not seek election to Santa Rosa council

  • 8/2/2013: B1:

    4/1/2013: B1:

    2/6/2013: B1:

    PC: Robin Swinth, right, was sworn in to the Santa Rosa City Council by city clerk Terri Griffin at Santa Rosa City Hall, Tuesday, February 5, 2013. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Robin Swinth announced Tuesday she will not be seeking election to a full term in November.

The 46-year-old engineer and mother of two was appointed early last year to fill the seat vacated by now First District Supervisor Susan Gorin.

While she called it a privilege to serve on the council and is looking forward to the important work through November, Swinth said she, like many others, "struggles with the balance between work and family."

"The best choice for my family right now is not to run for the upcoming term," she said.

The former member of the Board of Public Utilities has been widely praised for her work ethic and thoughtful approach to complex issues such as Sonoma Clean Power and the budget.

She worked as an electrical engineer and manager at Agilent Technologies for 14 years, and her family also owns a small business.

She noted, choking up at times, that her two daughters will be 14 and 15 at the end of the upcoming four-year term "right in the middle of the teenage years."

She said she was announcing her decision early to make sure people know the seat would be open, "hopefully creating a better opportunity for more participation in our political process."

Swinth announced last week she was stepping down from being one of the city's two representatives on the board of Sonoma Clean Power, citing her additional duties as vice mayor and appointment to the city-county ad hoc committee on the annexation of Roseland.

She was replaced Tuesday on Sonoma Clean Power by Councilwoman Julie Combs. Three of the seven council seats are open in 2014. Mayor Scott Bartley and Jake Ours are also up for reelection. Neither has announced whether they intend to run. Two people, Planning Commissioner Curtis Byrd and former Press Democrat columnist Chris Coursey have announced plans to run.

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


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