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A Citizen's Guide to County Government

Last Update: 1/31/2014 Next Update: 1/31/2015

Other Elected Offices

County-governed Special Districts by Type:

Self-governed Special Districts by Type:

Special Districts

Special districts provide services to areas outside incorporated cities. There are 60 special districts in Humboldt County: 13 governed by the county, and 47 having publicly elected governing boards. In practice, many elected board members are appointed by the board of supervisors because of a lack of candidates. Meeting dates can be obtained from the secretary of each board. For information about special district boundaries and officers, call the county elections office at 445-7481.

Special districts can be financed by property taxes, bonds, or fees for services. Many receive homeowner´s exemption tax loss reimbursement from the state. Some districts receive state and federal grants and private donations.

Three examples of large self-governed districts follow:

Harbor Commissioners By Division
Serve 4-year terms
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District
5 Commissioners
601 Startare Dr., Eureka 95502 443-0801
Meets: 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 7 P.M.
1st & 3rd Thursdays in December

Charged with the oversight and development of the harbors and ports of Humboldt County and the development and the protection of the county’s natural resources for "multiple purpose use and for the benefit of the people."  The HBHRCD is a countywide agency empowered to grant permits, franchises and leases over all tide, submerged and other lands granted to the district, including all of Humboldt Bay. The commission divisions share the same boundary lines as the supervisorial districts.

Funded by a small portion of Humboldt County property taxes; tideland leases from dock operators and mariculture operations; rents and leases from sources such as Woodley Island Marina, Woodley Island commercial spaces, the Fields Landing boat yard; and the Harbor Improvement Surcharge, a general charge levied on cargo and deep draft vessels. In addition, the district utilizes grant funding from various sources.

Access Humboldt has made a video archive of HBHRCD meetings available on the Web.

Water District Board Members By Division
Serve 4-year terms
Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District 5 members
828 7th St., Eureka 95501 443-5018
Meets: 2nd Thursday, 9 A.M.

Makes decisions on the wholesale distribution of industrial and drinking water, power generation and recreation from Mad River and the Ruth Lake Reservoir; protects the long-term water supply and water quality interests of the district. A map of water district divisions is available at their Web site.

McKinleyville Community Services District
1656 Sutter Rd., McKinleyville 95519 839-3251
Meets: 1st Wednesday, 7 P.M.
One of two posted locations:
MCSD Office or Azalea Hall
Meeting Information

Responsible for the district’s water and sewer systems, streetlights, recreational facilities and library.  To place an item on the agenda, call 839-3251 at least 4 days before the next meeting.

City Councils

City councils oversee, set policy and provide direction in the consideration of ordinances and resolutions pertinent to the city.  By law, citizens have the right to speak during any public hearing that was noticed or advertised to the public.  The public is allotted time to speak at city council meetings in two different places:

Public comment
Time is specifically set aside for public input on items not found on the agenda.

Speaking to an item on the agenda
Normally, the chair of the council will ask for public input on an agenda item either before or after discussion by the council, but before a vote.

These segments are identified on the meeting agenda, which may be viewed prior to the meetings at the posted locations.  The time allowed for public input varies from 2 minutes to no limit. The chair will normally tell the audience what the limit is and stop you if you have gone over that limit.

Council Members
Mayor: Mark Wheetley
  • Shane Brinton
  • Susan Ornelas
  • Alex Stillman
  • Michael Winkler
Arcata City Council
736 F St., Arcata 95521 822-5953
Meets: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 6 P.M.

Agendas are posted in the City Manager’s Office at Arcata City Hall the Friday before each council meeting.  To place an item on the agenda contact the city manager’s office at 822-5953 at least 15 days prior to the meeting. Citizens are allowed three minutes per person to address a non-agenda item during the public comment section of the meeting by approaching the podium to be recognized. Citizens are also allowed three minutes per person to speak on agenda items, before discussion by city council members, by approaching the podium to be recognized. Live streaming of meetings as well as an audio and video archive is available at the Arcata City Council Web site. Meetings are televised live, and also rebroadcast, on the local access channel: Suddenlink channel 10. Access Humboldt has also made a video archive of past and current city government meetings available on the Web.

To aid in public participation, the city council has developed this guide to participation: A Public Speaker's Guide to Addressing City Council

Council Members
Mayor:
Sherman Schapiro
  • Kevin Benjamin
  • Stephen Kullman
  • Lana Manzanita
  • Greg Sawatzky
Blue Lake City Council
111 Greenwood St. 668-5655
P.O. Box 458, Blue Lake 95525
Meets: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 7 P.M.

Agendas are posted at the Blue Lake City Hall and the post office.  To place an item on the agenda call by noon the Wednesday before the next meeting.  Public comments are limited to three minutes per person.  Citizens may address an agenda or non-agenda item by raising their hand to be recognized.

Council Members
Mayor: Frank Jäger
Ward 1: Marian Brady
Ward 2: Linda Atkins
Ward 3: Mike Newman
Ward 4: Melinda Ciarabellini
Ward 5: Chet Albin
Eureka City Council
531 K St., Eureka 95501 441-4144
Meets: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 6 P.M.

Agendas are posted at Eureka City Hall the Friday before each council meeting.  To place an item on the agenda call by 5 P.M. the Wednesday before the next meeting. Citizens are allowed three minutes per person to address agenda and non-agenda items during the public comment section of the meeting by approaching the podium to speak. Meetings are televised live, and also rebroadcast, on the local access channel: Suddenlink channel 10. Access Humboldt has also made a video archive of past and current city government meetings available on the Web.

Council Members
Mayor: Stuart Titus
  • Dan Brown
  • John Maxwell
  • Ken Mierzwa
  • Michael Sweeney
Ferndale City Council
834 Main St. 786-4224
P.O. Box 1095, Ferndale 95536
Meets: 1st Thursday, 7 P.M.

Agendas are posted at Ferndale City Hall.  To place an item on the agenda, call at least one week before the meeting.  Citizens are allowed to address a non-agenda or agenda item during the public comment time of the meeting by raising their hand to be recognized and standing to speak.  A person addressing the council will be limited to five minutes unless the mayor grants more time.  The council appreciates speakers stating their name and address, but it is not required.

Council Members
Mayor: Douglas Strehl
  • Dean Glaser
  • Sue Long
  • Mike Losey
  • Tami Trent
Fortuna City Council
621 11th St., Fortuna 95540 725-1409
Meets: 1st & 3rd Mondays, 6 P.M.

Agendas are posted at Fortuna City Hall.  To place an item on the agenda, call at least ten days before the next scheduled meeting. Citizens are allowed to address a non-agenda item during the public comment time of the meeting. Citizens are also allotted time to speak on an agenda item during discussion of the item by raising their hand to be recognized. Meetings are televised live, and also rebroadcast, on the local access channel: Suddenlink channel 10. Access Humboldt has also made a video archive of past and current city government meetings available on the Web.

Council Members
Mayor:
Jack R. Thompson
  • Gordon Johnson
  • Melissa Marks
  • Frank Wilson
  • Julie Woodall
Rio Dell City Council
675 Wildwood Ave., Rio Dell 95562 764-3532
Meets: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 6:30 P.M.

Agendas are posted at Rio Dell City Hall, the post office and the chamber of commerce.  To place an item on the agenda, send a request in writing to the city clerk, at least one week before the next meeting. Citizens are allowed to address a non-agenda item during the public comment time of the meeting. Citizens are also allotted time to speak on an agenda item during discussion of the item by raising their hand to be recognized. Access Humboldt has also made a video archive of city government meetings available on the Web.

Council Members
Mayor: Julie Fulkerson
  • Jim Baker
  • Tom Davies
  • Dwight Miller
  • Michael Morgan
  • Jack West
Trinidad City Council
409 Trinity St., Trinidad 95570 677-0223
Meets: 2nd Wednesdays, 7 P.M.

Agendas are posted at Trinidad Town Hall, the post office and Murphy´s Market. Anyone wishing to place an item on the agenda should call 677-0223 at least one week before the meeting. Citizens are allowed to address a non-agenda or agenda item during the public comment time of the meeting, either by signing in or raising their hand and standing to be recognized. May meet on 4th Wednesdays also, if necessary.

School District Boards

The role of each local district board is to establish a vision for the district, set policies for how the district is run, oversee district operations, and hire the district superintendent.

Meeting agendas are posted at each school site. Discussion is limited to school business. Confidential matters regarding individual students and personnel will not be discussed during public meetings. School board meetings may vary slightly, but each will allow public comment and time to address an agenda item. You may do so by signing in at the beginning of the meeting, or by raising your hand to be recognized. It´s always a good idea to call and verify that a meeting has not been cancelled or changed.


School District Phone Meets
Arcata 822-0351 2nd Monday, 7 P.M.
Big Lagoon Union 677-3688 2nd Thursday, 6 P.M.
Blue Lake Union 668-5674 2nd Thursday, 6 P.M.
Bridgeville Elementary 777-3311 1st Monday, 5:30 P.M.
College of the Redwoods 476-4170 1st Tuesday, Time and locale vary, see their Web site for a schedule
Cuddeback Union 768-3372 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 P.M.
Cutten 441-3900 2nd Monday, 7 P.M.
Eureka City Schools 441-2400 1st & 4th Thursdays,
7 P.M.
Meeting dates
Ferndale Unified 786-5900 2nd Wednesday, 7 P.M.
Fieldbrook 839-3201 3rd Tuesday, 5:30 P.M.
Fortuna Elementary 725-2293 3rd Tuesday, 7 P.M.
Fortuna Union High 725-4461 2nd Tuesday, 7 P.M.
Freshwater 442-2969 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 P.M.
Garfield 442-5471 2nd Thursday, 4 P.M.
Green Point 668-5921 2nd Tuesday, 6 P.M.
Humboldt County Office of Education 445-7030 2nd Wednesday, 3 P.M.
Meeting dates
Hydesville 768-3610 2nd Thursday, 5 P.M.
Jacoby Creek Charter 822-4896 2nd Thursday, 6 P.M.
Klamath Trinity Joint Unified 530-625-5600 2nd Tuesday, 6 P.M.
Kneeland 442-5472 2nd Thursday, 4 P.M.
Loleta Union 733-5705 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 P.M.
Maple Creek 668-5596 3rd Wednesday, 3 P.M.
Mattole Unified 629-3311 2nd Thursday, 6 P.M.
McKinleyville Union 839-1549 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 P.M.
Northern Humboldt Union High 839-6470 2nd Tuesday, 7 P.M.
Orick 488-2821 3rd Thursday, 4 P.M.
Pacific Union 822-4619 2nd Thursday, 6 P.M.
Peninsula Union 443-2731 2nd Tuesday, 4:30 P.M.
Rio Dell 764-5694 2nd Monday, 5 P.M.
Scotia Union 764-2212 2nd Thursday, 6:30 P.M.
South Bay Union 476-8549 2nd Thursday, 7 P.M.
Southern Humboldt Unified 943-1789 2nd Thursday, 4:30 P.M.
Trinidad Union 677-3631 2nd Thursday, 6:30 P.M.