Arcata Mayor axed amidst cloud of hazy accusations and recent DUI

Brett Watson was released from his duty as mayor last Wednesday following a unanimous vote of no confidence from the Arcata City Council
Translate

The Arcata City Council gave a unanimous vote to remove Brett Watson as mayor and replace him with former Vice Mayor Stacy Atkins-Salazar in a meeting on October 20. Council Member Emily Grace Goldstein was elected Vice Mayor.

Watson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in September. He was pulled over by Arcata police officers August 1 after driving recklessly on Highway 101. It was later revealed that he was in possession of cocaine and was charged with a fine, court ordered counseling, and a rehabilitation program. However, it’s not clear that this situation is related to him being removed as mayor.

Vice Mayor Goldstein explained the situation, choosing to keep the former mayor’s alleged wrongdoings confidential.

“This last week, information came to light regarding alleged behaviors of Councilmember Watson that negatively affected the city and some of its staff members,” said Goldstein.

Since Watson’s DUI case was over two months ago, it appears that Watson’s removal was due to unrelated actions. Watson was not present at the council meeting because of personal reasons.

In a statement to the public last Friday, Watson announced that he will be entering a rehabilitation program.

“On Monday October 11th, I informed the City Council and staff I would be stepping down as Mayor and entering a 30 day residential rehabilitation program to focus on depression and personal issues,” said Watson.

The remaining city council would like to remove Watson from the city council as well, but have no legal authority to do so. It is not yet clear whether Watson will resign from the city council on his own accord.

“We have no legal ability to remove him from the city council,” Goldstein said. “However, I believe we owe it to the people of Arcata to make it clear we do not align ourselves with the actions of council-member Watson.”

Watson attributed his actions to a family tragedy that severely impacted him.

“Last week was the one year anniversary of my father’s death,” Watson said in a press release after his arrest in August. “He was severely depressed and took his own life. I’ve really been struggling with the loss this last week.”

Mayor Atkins-Salazar wants to keep the city’s focus on the future despite the drama surrounding the former mayor.

“We’ve been elected to help run and guide the city of Arcata and that’s exactly what we want to do and are trying to do,” Atkins-Salazar said. “So it’s important that we move forward. To reiterate, this was not taken lightly.”

Mayor Atkins-Salazar and Vice Mayor Goldstein will serve their positions until December 22, 2022 when a new mayor and vice mayor will be decided by the city council.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply