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4 contenders plan run for Healdsburg council

By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Four people have taken out papers to run for Healdsburg City Council, including incumbents Gary Plass and Tom Chambers.

Two others who plan to be on the Nov. 6 ballot are Shaun McCaffery, a mechanical engineer, and Vernon Simmons, a former Healdsburg planning commissioner.

Councilman Steve Babb has decided not to seek re-election. A retired Healdsburg fire captain, he was elected two years ago to fill the unexpired term of Mike McGuire, who was elected county supervisor.

“The biggest reason, is it’s time-consuming,” Babb said of his decision to not see re-election. His business, teaching driver’s education, has “blossomed, or exploded more than I thought,” he said.

In all, three of the five seats on the council will be up for grabs.

Plass, 59, a real estate agent and former Healdsburg police sergeant, has served two terms and as many times as mayor, the post he now occupies.

“I still enjoy the job and feel I have a lot to offer,” he said. “I have a strong sense of where we are and where we need to be. I’d like to do another four years and continue to serve the community.”

Chambers, 61, was on the City Council from 1992 to 1996 before taking a break. He re-entered local politics in 2008, winning a four-year term.

He works as an executive with Deposition Sciences, a Santa Rosa optical coating company.

“I’ve invested a bunch of time to get to this point to understand the issues and the situation. It seems I’d be bailing out if I decided not to run,” Chambers said.

McCaffery, 37, is a self-employed mechanical engineer and former house manager for the Raven Theater. He is known for leading the team that constructed the 11-foot-tall, motor-powered swan featured in the revived Healdsburg Water Carnival on the Russian River.

He said he is running for office “to get someone in there with new ideas and new energy to make Healdsburg a better place.”

Simmons, 72, served on the planning commission from 2006 to 2010. He is a retired Navy commander with a doctorate in physical oceanography.

“I’ve been writing letters to the editor complaining for quite a few years. I might as well try to do something to change things,” he said.

Incumbents have until Aug. 10 to file papers for the election. If an incumbent chooses not to seek re-election, as in Babb’s case, the filing period is extended for non-incumbents until Aug. 15.

Council members are paid a stipend of $150 per month and also are provided medical health coverage while in office.





5 Responses to “4 contenders plan run for Healdsburg council”

  1. phil wright says:

    Shaun has the energy youth and drive, this guy has to be the best vote
    what you put in you get out
    Shaun is 110%

  2. Vinyl Rules says:

    @Missy
    Are you even aware that Marxism and Leninism are completely distinct ideologies? That would be like saying “Jewish-Catholic heathen.” Better luck next time. And as a sidenote, Mr. Plass is registered as a Republican. You probably consider that too Marxist-Leninist though.

  3. steve humphrey says:

    Not sure about your statement Missy. Are you looking for a “marxist-leninist hippie” to vote for?
    Not to sure about Mr. Simmons and Mr. McCaffery’s ideological background, but I’m pretty certain Gary Plass and Tom Chambers don’t fall into that category.

  4. Clay Mitchell says:

    I would describe both Gary Plass and Tom Chambers as a moderates. I don’t know that much about Shaun McCaffery, other than he has no stated party affiliation.

    I was looking around for background on Vernon Simmons- he has written some comments on line that reflect common sense, fiscal responsibility and reasonably limited government.

    http://healdsburg.patch.com/users/vernon-simmons

  5. Missy says:

    Is there one in that bunch that isn’t a Marxist-Leninist hippie? Let us know if there is, otherwise BIG YAWN.