Colusa City Council candidate: Landreth
Pat Landreth is facing the voters for the first time after being appointed to the council in 2010, but the political turmoil during his year as mayor has made any campaign bumps a cakewalk.
Landreth, 54, retired from the CHP, has been at the center of the biggest issues the council faced in the last year.
His early stance on economic development and the past city manager created a majority in one direction, and when he changed his positions, shifted the power in a different direction.
"Is it a fact that I voted for Mark Mayuga? Yes it is. Can I get away from it? No I can't," said Landreth. "But I came to an understanding that we were doing something wrong."
He said the process that ultimately led to his change of position regarding Mayuga's controversial economic development contract, had nothing to do with the pending election and is not a ploy to gain voter support.
Landreth said the trigger was when Mayuga failed to address the council at an April meeting regarding his contract and the economic polices of the city, and then City Manager Jan McClintock steered the meeting away from the contract.
And while he reaffirmed his support for Mayuga and the city policies at that time, he ultimately came to the realization that the city was not getting its money's worth, and probably never would.
As for his support of the city manager, Landreth is less apologetic. He believes McClintock did a lot of good things for the city, mostly cleaning up administrative messes she did not create.
In the end, though, he had to concede she was not the right fit for the city, and the public relations damage that had been done was not going to be fixed.
To that end, Landreth is still a supporter of having a strong city manager in place.
He supports the direction the city is taking to find a replacement, but said he will definitely be looking for someone who is willing to be part of the community.
Landreth said the city cannot force a candidate to live in Colusa, but that does not necessarily mean being involved in the community.
Moreover, he sees a value in filling two needs at the same time. For example, the new city manager could also be the finance director that the city has been looking for.
It would allow the city to offer a little bit more pay for the one position, while saving the city overall by not filling two separate positions.
He said economic development, and more precisely job creation, is still his top goal, but he has amended his position on that as well.
Landreth once believed it was critical to get bigger industry with more and higher paying jobs in the city.
He still thinks that should be part of the plan, but now sees that smaller steps — such as new restaurants and other small shops that have already opened in recent months — can still get the city where it is going.
However, he also believes the council needs to take the lead in contacting those business interests brought to the city by Mayuga and other associations.
Landreth is concerned about what he views as voting block being developed by a group of candidates during the campaign, although all candidates deny any such strategy exists.
He said it is critical the new council be comprised of independent members willing to work with each other, but to consider the issues on his or her own.