CHICO — After Tuesday’s City Council interviews, the final nominees have been decided for the two empty seats formerly held by Scott Huber and Kami Denlay.
The nominations for the at-large seat include Jeffrey Glatz who is serving as the chair of the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission; Bryce Goldstein, who is serving as a member of the city planning commission; and Mike O’Brien, who as of yesterday’s announcement is commander of Butte County’s Inter-Agency Narcotics Task Force. O’Brien formerly served as Chico’s chief of police before stepping down in 2020.
District 3 nominees are Dale Bennett, an asset manager who has lived in Chico for 70 years; Amber Howard-Brown, who is an in-home caregiver; and Sandra Husband, who is a licensing program analyst and application specialist.
For the at-large position, 14 Chico residents applied for the open position that was vacated by Huber following what he described as persistent harassment of him and his family after his announcement he had taken a summer job in Wyoming. In District 3, seven Chico residents that live within the district applied for the seat left empty by Kami Denlay amidst allegations she had moved to Red Bluff in December.
Nominations were selected by the current five-member council of Mayor Andrew Coolidge, Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds, and councilors Alex Brown, Sean Morgan and Deepika Tandon.
Councilors had to submit up to two nominations apiece to the city clerk by 5 p.m. Thursday night.
As a business owner and chair of the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, Glatz identified homelessness, public safety, and division in the community as the largest concerns he has for the city. Glatz received a vote from Tandon.
“The City of Chico’s mission is to protect and enhance our community’s quality of life for present and future generations. The City finds itself battling multiple crisis’ all at the same time,” Glatz wrote. “Our downtown and parks are no longer safe havens and the environmental damage is catastrophic, our students are always on guard and their parents concerned, our local economy needs more stimulus so that our citizens can thrive and prosper. Crime is rampant and our city is at risk.”
Bryce Goldstein applied citing that her largest concerns for the city are housing and climate change. Goldstein was voted for by Brown.
“I am applying for a seat on the Chico City Council because we need innovative, informed, and compassionate leadership to guide our community,” Goldstein wrote. “I have five years of experience working for local and state government in addition to my service as a City of Chico Planning Commissioner and other volunteer work. My career and community service have provided me with an in-depth understanding of how the City of Chico functions, and the ways in which it can be improved.”
Mike O’Brien ran for the at-large seat with an interest in disaster recovery, homelessness, and public safety. O’Brien received votes from Coolidge, Morgan, Reynolds, and Tandon.
“I am acutely aware of the challenges confronting our city. I served as the chief of police through what may have been the most challenging period in our City’s history,” O’Brien wrote. “I understand these issues well and have learned important lessons in crisis leadership that will benefit me in this new endeavor.”
District 3 nominees
Bennett applied for the District 3 seat with concerns for a resolution to the preliminary injunction and the cleanliness and safety of the city. Bennett received votes from Coolidge, Morgan, Reynolds, and Tandon.
“My centrist and non-polarizing attitude and perspective on current and additional challenges facing our community should be helpful in moving issues forward in a timely manner and in a direction toward solutions, as fair as possible and as beneficial as possible to the majority of the Chico community,” Bennett wrote in his application.
Howard-Brown took a similar stance citing concerns safety and homeless as well as COVID-19 recovery. Howard-Brown received a vote from Tandon.
She wrote in her application: “I live in District Three and believe that I am uniquely qualified for the position due to my community involvement, family dynamics, and current and prior work experience. I grew up in a small town which ingrained in me a strong sense of community through volunteer work and extracurricular activities.”
Husband wrote in her application she applied for the seat of District 3 councilor because she felt additional funding is needed for the police, she has concerns the needle exchange program will return, and doesn’t want additional COVID-19 precautions affecting the local economy. Husband’s vote came from Reynolds.
“While I have never served on a City Council before, I have spent my entire adult life advocating, working and volunteering for the safety, protection, and well-being of all children. This is the main motivating factor for desiring to become a City Council member,” Husband wrote. “My reason for desiring to become a member of the City Council is to support our children and leave a legacy for them to eventually pour back into this community and onto the next generations.”
Nominees will have to receive three or more votes to be declared appointed.
Voting will take place at a special meeting held next Tuesday at Chico City Council chambers at 6 p.m. at 421 Main Street in Chico.
The two new members will be sworn into office at the Aug. 3 council meeting.