Incredible Shrinking Council



But this is no circus trick, not even a political implosion  -- though the small City of Trinidad has been known to generate some excitement in recent times and years past).

It's just life, intervening.

Simply: The five-member Trinidad City Council is down to three members now -- Mayor Julie Fulkerson, Mayor Pro-Tem Dwight Miller and Councilmember Tom Davies.

Councilmember Kathy Bhardwaj is out on sick leave, possibly for as long as three months. And Councilmember Maria Bauman, elected just last November, resigned in February, citing a family emergency.

The city's trying to re-fill Bauman's position -- there are three years and nine months left to her four-year term. If you think you're the one for the volunteer job, you've got until tomorrow -- Tuesday, March 5 -- to apply. You must live in the city limits to be eligible.

Why would a person want to be on the Trinidad City Council? To lord it over the city's 300-some residents, of course. And to make some decisions in their best interest, it is assumed. There's some work involved: meetings on the second Wednesday of the month in the evening for about three hours; reading the staff material handed out the Friday before -- which sometimes might mean a fair bit of homework. Says City Manager Karen Suiker:

"We are amazingly busy and involved for such a small community. We have all the issues of a large community (and more!), but we just don't have the corresponding staff or resources."

Candidates can expect decent teammates, however, says City Clerk Gabe Adams. He describes the temperament of the board these days as harmonious:

"Their opinions vary slightly, but for the most part, there's no one that stands out or tips the scale in an opposite direction. They are all thoughful in their deliberations and provide useful input during discussions. Tom Davies is a teacher, Dwight is a retired math professor, Julie is a seasoned politician/businesswoman/motivational speaker, and Kathy was into speech therapy. No loggers, fisherman, or corporate tycoons to shake things up."

To apply, call Adams at 677-0223 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., or email him at Or drop your resume and letter of interest off at Trinidad City Hall, 409 Trinity Street.

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