City elections are coming up and I misunderstood something when I reported about it last week.


Brett Barker, in running for mayor this year, will not give up his council seat to do so. My mistake in thinking that was the case.


Barker, who has one of the two at-large seats on the Nevada City Council, has announced that he will run for mayor this year, as current mayor Lynn Lathrop is not seeking another term. If Barker is elected mayor, his currently held at-large seat on the council would become vacant on Jan. 1, 2018, according to City Administrator Matt Mardesen. Mardesen said at that time, the council would make a decision to either appoint a person to fill that seat for the remainder of that term until the next election or to hold a special election to fill the seat.


If Barker is not successful in his bid for mayor, then he will remain in his at-large seat on the council until his term expires on Dec. 31, 2019.


As stated last week, the terms of Andrew Kelly, Ward 2; Ray Schwichtenberg, Ward 4; and Brian Hanson, at-large, all expire this year and are up for election this fall.


In talking with each of these people following Monday’s council meeting this week, I found out that Kelly and Schwichtenberg will not seek re-election.


Hanson is going to seek re-election for his seat. While not all consecutive years, Hanson has served on the Nevada City Council for nearly 10 years.


The filing period for persons who seek to run for any of these positions begins Monday, Aug. 28 and ends Thursday, Sept. 21. In Nevada, a person wanting to run for any elected position must have at least 25 signatures to file. For ward positions, the signatures must come from within that ward.


It was a pretty short meeting for the Nevada City Council on Monday. A few things I learned during the 33-minute meeting included the following:


• The Nevada City Council is supportive of the Nevada Fire Department’s work to establish a 28E Agreement with the city of Colo and the Colo Fire Department for mutual aid on structural fires. Fire Chief Ray Reynolds said the two departments work together now when mutual aid is needed. The only thing that would change if the agreement was established, is that dispatch would be automatic for both departments right away, rather than one calling the other in.


Reynolds said there is a very positive benefit that the mutual aid agreement would have for property owners in Nevada. In establishing this agreement, there is a big possibility that Nevada’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating could go from 5 down to a better 4 rating. If that happens, according to Melissa Johnson, who works with the city on all of its insurance and is a commercial specialist with Midwest Insurance in Nevada, it would mean better insurance coverage premiums for property owners within the city limits, including residential and business property owners. The same could be true for Colo, if their rating were to improve.


There are other things that go into the rating, but certainly a mutual aid agreement is an important factor, Reynolds explained to the council.


• Another important matter at the council meeting was the swearing in of Ryan Sills as Nevada’s newest police officer. Ryan’s parents, Jim and Linda Sills, of Kelley, were on hand to witness the event. Ryan is a 2013 graduate of Ballard High School. He started work Monday and will be heading to the police academy this fall.


Public Safety Director Ricardo Martinez said he hopes to have another police officer hired in the next two to two-and-a-half weeks, so that they, too, can attend the police academy, if needed, this fall. I plan to have upcoming stories featuring some of Nevada’s newest officers.


Before leaving the meeting, I spoke to City Administrator Matt Mardesen for a few minutes. He and I plan to sit down in the near future to talk about nuisance abatement issues and why it is important for communities to stay on top of residential matters like that. This will become an in depth story for me in the coming month. Watch for it!


Marlys Barker is editor of the Nevada Journal. She can be reached by email at: mbarker@nevadaiowajournal.com.