For the first time in 20 years, Janice Peters will not serve officially in a public capacity in Morro Bay.
She is not running for re-election in the city’s June 8 primary election, and a key reason is simply her long tenure — first as planning commissioner in 1991, then councilwoman in 1996, then mayor for the city since 2004.
“It’s time for me to have fun walking on the beach and enjoying Morro Bay,” Peters said, “instead of worrying about it all the time.”
She also cited the difficulty of mounting a campaign during the second year of a two-year mayoral term.
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She will remain involved in the community by coordinating the Winter Bird Festival, Morro Bay Photo Expo and two annual events she started in 2008: the Mermaid & Pirate Parade for children and the Fundraiser Follies to benefit nonprofit events in the city.
Incumbent council members Rick Grantham and Betty Winholtz are running for mayor, as well as former three-term mayor Bill Yates and Neil Farrell, managing editor for The Bay News. Peters said she is endorsing Grantham for mayor because of his dedication to the city.
Four people have filed to run for two City Council positions, which Grantham and Winholtz will leave to run for mayor as their four-year terms end in December. There are no term limits for Morro Bay elected officials.
City Council candidates include: D’Onna Kennedy, a retired schoolteacher and member of the National Guard who has taught military skills classes at Camp San Luis; George Leage, who ran for mayor in 2008 and owns restaurants including the Harbor Hut and Great American Fish Co.; Jack Smith, marketing director for VS Athletics of San Luis Obispo and volunteer athletic coach at Morro Bay High School; and Nancy Johnson, chairwoman of the Morro Bay Planning Commission and master gardener who organizes the Dahlia Days celebration in August.