HUMBOLDT — After two terms in office, Sandy Weyland announced she will not run for re-election to Humboldt City Council in the November 2020 election.
With her husband soon retiring, Weyland said they hope to travel together and enjoy their joint retirement. This will include travelling and spending time with their grandchildren, including one recent addition to the family.
Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, has been on council with Weyland since her election in 2012. She has always voiced her opinions and always brings up issues on behalf of the citizens of Humboldt, he said.
“That's one of her strong traits and we're going to miss it around the council table.”
As the only woman on council, Weyland’s departure also means a lack of representation for women unless more women run for a seat at the council table.
As representatives of the Humboldt population, diversity at the council table means opinions and perspectives to make informed decisions, she said.
“With a diverse council you get a better perspective on different ideas.”
Weyland was elected during the 2012 election with herself and Linda Mattock the only women in the running for a possible six seats. Running in 2016, once again Weyland was only one of two women who ran.
While Weyland has always been interested in politics, she worked as a LPN for almost 35 years before running in her first election. She continued that job two years after she was first elected.
This past term especially, Weyland said the current city council has made strides with the development of Centennial Park and has combined the four core committees into one executive council. This has meant a well-informed council on all the issues the city is dealing with, Weyland said.
Making these important decisions does take balancing needs and priorities while working within the confines of budgets and revenues. While there will always be city infrastructure needs, working within fiscal restraints is a fine line to walk, Weyland said.
“You're trying to balance their budget with not a high tax increase and yet trying to do lots of work to get that work done. It’s a fine line. I feel for people because I know every time you have a tax increase, it creates a lot of hardship on many citizens.”
In the 12 years that Muench has been on council, only three women have served on the Humboldt council, he said.
“Half the population is female. There should be more than just one or zero on council. That’s one of things we need to work towards and encourage people to run and that perspective is definitely an asset to her to any council.”
For anyone interested in being a part of this process, Weyland said there are plenty of people, including young women, with leadership skills who would make a good addition to the city council.
What council needs are “people that have lots of enthusiasm and interest for their community and will speak their mind, be prepared to say what they think and, and stand behind what they think and vote,” she said. And if people are interested, they should not be afraid to give it a try. People need to start their political careers somewhere, Weyland said.
While there is a steep learning curve, there is also training and learning experiences that will prepare people for their time at council.
For women who are interested in running, Weyland encouraged them to give it a shot, saying she is just a phone call away.