Arcata, Meet Your New Mayor and Vice Mayor

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Sofia Pereira and Brett Watson. - COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ARCATA
  • Courtesy of the city of Arcata
  • Sofia Pereira and Brett Watson.
The Arcata City Council today selected Sofia Pereira to serve as mayor for the next year and Brett Watson, who was appointed to his seat in April, to serve as vice mayor.

The council rotates the honorary positions on an annual basis.

Pereira, a Humboldt State graduate and the community manager for She Should Run, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership roles, was the top vote getter in a four-way race for two council seats when she was elected in 2014. Her term ends next December.

“I am excited to continue working with our community partners on issues surrounding the Plaza, housing, public safety and ensuring this is a livable community for all our residents. I am looking forward to supporting the city’s goals while at the same time being responsive to the needs of our community,” Pereira said in a city press release. “We live in a great and engaged community — I’m proud to step up and serve in this role.”

Watson was selected by his fellow councilmembers to replace Mark Wheetley after he stepped down to take the job of Fortuna city manager. A small business owner, Watson also graduated from HSU.

Pereira will preside over her first meeting as mayor on Dec. 20.
Read the full release from the city of Arcata below:
(Arcata, CA) – The Arcata City Council elected Sofia Pereira mayor and Brett Watson vice mayor at a special 8:00 am meeting today.
The City’s Municipal Code requires that the Council select the mayor and vice mayor at a special meeting held each December. Both mayor and vice mayor serve for one year. The mayor presides at Council meetings, represents the Council at community events and performs other ministerial duties. The vice mayor presides in the mayor’s absence.
“It was a challenging year, but it is always an honor to serve as Mayor of Arcata,” says outgoing Mayor Susan Ornelas. “Thank you to the community for the opportunity, as I continue to serve as a councilmember.”

“I’m honored that my colleagues on the council have entrusted me with this responsibility,” says newly elected Mayor Sofia Pereira. “I am excited to continue working with our community partners on issues surrounding the Plaza, housing, public safety and ensuring this is a livable community for all our residents. I am looking forward to supporting the city’s goals while at the same time being responsive to the needs of our community. We live in a great and engaged community—I’m proud to step up and serve in this role.”
Mayor Pereira will preside over her first regular Arcata City Council meeting on Wednesday, December 20.
 Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Pereira's profession.

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