Jessica Cejnar / Monday, Aug. 3 @ 1:26 p.m. / Community, Elections, Local Government

Pending Vacancies on Library Board Highlights Overall Dearth of Local Candidates For November Election

The local library district will have three seats on the ballot in November and is currently looking to fill a vacancy that will be up for election in 2022.

No one has filed to run for the three vacancies that are on the Del Norte County Library District Board of Directors, said County Clerk-Recorder Alissia Northrup. She said two of the three incumbents have told her they don’t plan to seek re-election, which means the deadline for candidates to file papers with the Del Norte County Elections Office is Aug. 12.

The library district board of directors sets the budget and makes policies for the main branch, the Smith River branch and the Del Norte Reads literacy program.

Candidates seeking the seat that’s currently vacant are asked to submit a letter of interest and resume. There is currently no deadline for doing so, said Library District Manager Beth Austen.

“The board wishes for it to be open until filled,” Austen told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Monday.

For the seats up for election this year, the deadline to declare candidacy is Friday if the incumbent files. If the incumbent for any open seat doesn’t file by the Friday deadline, it’s extended for five calendar days.

But, according to Northrup, hardly anyone has declared their intention to run so far.

The Crescent City Council, for example, has three seats up for election in November. Alex Fallman, Jason Greenough and Heidi Kime currently hold them. Only two other people have taken out papers to run in the City Council race, but so far, Northrup said, they haven’t returned them to her office.

“If nobody files, ultimately it comes back to the governing body to assign,” she said. “I know it’s a crazy time right now and a lot of people are worried and scared, but I want to make sure they realize that by doing nothing, you’re handing this back to the boards to make those decisions.”

In the library board’s case, its directors hope to appoint someone who is “committed to serving the community through open and equal access to cultural, intellectual and informational resources,” Austen said via email.

According to Austen, a candidate for the open library board position must have experience on a board of directors or have had an executive leadership role in the corporate, nonprofit or government sector; leadership or involvement in community, school organizations or community outreach; expertise in philanthropy, fundraising or marketing; expertise in board governance; passion and skill for general education and literacy; expertise in accounting with familiarity in non-profit financial management; or expertise in law with familiarity in non-profit legality and contracts.

Those interested should submit a letter of interest and resume to

On Monday, Austen told the Outpost that if a candidate had applied for the vacant position — which is up for election in 2022 — and wasn’t appointed, he or she could apply in November for any of the three vacancies incumbents John Roberts, Colleen Luttrell and Sierra Smith will leave vacant if they don’t file for re-election by Friday.

“Right now we have one person who’s already applied,” Austen said referring to the open position. “So, let’s say, for example, you applied also and the other person got it, what I would do is encourage you to reapply again during November because we’ll have more vacancies available.”

Other positions up for election in November include three seats on the Crescent City Harbor District filled by Brian Stone, James Ramsey and Wes White.

Two positions on the Del Norte Healthcare District board held by Kevin Caldwell and Gregory Duncan are up for election in November.

The Del Norte County Unified School District also has two positions up for election in November. They’re currently held by Frank Magarino and Charlaine Mazzei, who represent districts 3 and 4 respectively.

As it stands, Magarino’s seat is currently the only one being contested, according to Northrup.

There are also a plethora of local water districts, fire protection districts and community services districts with seats up for election this year, according to Northrup.

Those hoping to run for any open position this year are encouraged to call Northrup’s office at (707) 464-7216.

“I’ve been setting up appointments, so they don’t have to come in — we’re only allowing two people at a time,” she said, referring to safety measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “If there’s three seats and three people apply, it doesn’t have to go to ballot. But by not doing anything, then you’re putting it in the hands of the governing boards, whoever they (appoint).”

For more information about the Nov. 3, 2020 general election and how to file election papers, click here.


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