Nevada City to elect new council member in November |

Nevada City to elect new council member in November

John Orona
Staff Writer

This November Nevada City residents will elect a new City Council member to replace former Mayor Reinette Senum, who stepped down from the council at Wednesday’s meeting.

Senum’s term as mayor was up Wednesday, though she still had four more years on the council after being one of three winners in the March election.

“While I was voted in by majority last February I will kindly decline my position on the council for the 2024 term,” Senum said at the meeting. “And while I am not stepping down I am actually, interestingly enough, stepping up. I feel I can be of best service to humanity by focusing my energy on extending my reach to a broader audience, individuals who are equally concerned by these same issues and questions around the world.”

The council could appoint an interim council member until the election, but it is not required by the municipal code.

According to council member Erin Minett, who was voted in as mayor at the meeting, it’s too soon to determine whether any action will be taken on a replacement.

“There are a number of directions we could take at the moment,” she said Thursday.

The council was able to place the election of a new member on the November presidential election by amending a resolution already on the agenda that placed two local measures on the ballot. Those measures are to extend a tax funding infrastructure and make the positions of city clerk and treasurer appointed rather than elected.

Senum’s resignation comes after hundreds of public commenters called for her to step down or be censured at the last two council meetings following posts on her personal Facebook page that opposed the state’s mask mandate. According to Senum, the city also received a letter from the governor warning noncompliance with the mandate would jeopardize its eligibility for state funding.

However, Senum said neither of those considerations were what led to her decision.

“I have bigger opportunities that will be far more impactful,” she said in an email. “I will also have a regular weekly radio podcast beginning Wed., July 15, at noon, called The Fairness Doctrine; to allow for fair and balanced reporting by bringing in national experts to address our local concerns. Will finally finish my documentary that has been in the can for the last 5 years. And am teaming up with global players to legally address global concerns that are effecting us at a local level.”

At the meeting Senum reaffirmed her stance against the mandate and other restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, despite having voted at the previous meeting to encourage the public to follow the mandate.

“The economic, physiological, psychological and emotional damage we’re enduring completely outweighs any benefits we’re seeing,” she said at the meeting. “I’m deeply disturbed that our governor continues to hold us all over a barrel.”

Senum also warned the county and city could expect “massive legal backlash” for enforcing the mandate.

“I’m glad we can really move on to the business of the city right now and put some of this stuff behind us,” said Doug Fleming, a newly seated council member. “I think it was smart and gracious of the former mayor to resign so we can do that. I think she’s allowed space for us to do the job that we were elected to do and serve the people.”

Council members Daniela Fernandez and Fleming, the other winners in the March race, were seated at the Wednesday meeting.

Council member Duane Strawser was named vice mayor at the meeting.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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