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Change is coming to our political landscape

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — They say nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. Somebody needs to add change to that list, especially when it comes to the political landscape here in Susanville and Lassen County.

A number of elected officials have decided they will not seek elective office in the city and the county, making room for new candidates with new ideas. To many of our neighbors, that’s a good thing.

Voters in the city of Susanville will elect at least one new member to the city council. Councilmember Cheryl McDonald has decided not to seek re-election. Residents have an opportunity to select two councilmembers from seven candidates seeking office, including incumbent Mayor Rod De Boer. Two councilmembers will be elected in the June Primary Election and seated before July 1.

But don’t stop there — change comes to many county offices as well.

Incumbent Lassen County Assessor Ken Bunch announced his retirement. Daniel F. Schlueter, a veteran member of Bunch’s staff, runs unopposed for that office.

Incumbent Lassen County Auditor Karen Fouch did not seek re-election, and Diana Wemple and Lassen County District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman seek that office. Of course, Chapman would have to give up his seat on the board of supervisors should he be elected auditor, creating another vacancy there.

Incumbent Lassen County District Attorney Robert Burns also announced he will not seek re-election. David B. Evans and Stacey L. Montgomery seek the county’s top prosecutor job.

Lassen County Sheriff/Coroner Dean Growdon will run unopposed.

Incumbent Lassen County Treasurer/Tax Collector Richard Egan will not seek re-election. He has accepted a position as Lassen County’s executive officer. Four candidates seek that seat, including Nancy Cardenas, Brian Wilson, Richard Stovall and John Mallery.

Incumbent Lassen County District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick will not seek re-election, and five candidates want that job — Jesse D. Claypool, Jeff Hemphill, K. “Max” Tinnin, Joseph A. Turner and Chuck Downs.

Incumbent Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Tom Hammond is unopposed.

And Lassen County Counsel Rhetta Vander Ploeg, although not an elected official, also will be leaving — creating another vacancy.

The decisions as to who will be elected to serve in these positions will be made by the people, the voters, the residents of the city and county. That’s the American way.

We thank all those who are leaving office for their service to the electorate, and we wish them well in their future endeavors.

While only one candidate for each office will ultimately be elected, we acknowledge all those who seek elected office and thrust themselves onto the public stage for their commitment to our community and their desire to make a contribution to our body politic. Without them, our political system would not work well.

We also embrace the many changes that are coming and trust the wisdom of the voters will elect the best candidates to office to represent them.

No one stays in office forever, and changes in our elected officials are as inevitable as the sunrise.

Now we know who the candidates are, and in the weeks and months ahead they will share their vision of the future with the voters.

Change will soon be upon us. Let the campaigns begin.


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