Morro Bay City Councilman Matt Makowetski told The Tribune on Friday that he will not seek another term in office, guaranteeing that there will be two new council members after November’s election.
Makowetski said his decision came after “a 50-50 thought process in the last four or five months.”
Makowetski, a teacher and fourth-generation Morro Bay resident, entered into office in 2014; during his term, the City Council grappled with updating its general and coastal plans and — most notably — replacing the city’s aging sewage treatment plant.
“I can leave now and feel that we’ve made significant progress to protect our city going into the future,” Makowetski said in an email to The Tribune.
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That includes “taking care to strike a balance of fiscal responsibility in the current period, as well as ensuring a fiscal responsibility for the coming decades,” he wrote.
Makowetski said he felt the timing was right for him to step aside and allow others to run, and he offered a full-throated endorsement of Women’s March San Luis Obispo co-founder and teacher Dawn Addis, who as of Friday afternoon is one of five candidates or potential candidates for the two open four-year council seats.
“Dawn will be an absolutely great addition to the council,” Makowetski said, adding that the council benefits when it has a variety of perspectives — including both retirees and younger working professionals.
The other open council seat is occupied by John Headding, the owner of Morro Bay Drug and Gift, who is running for a two-year term as Morro Bay mayor.
Makowetski said he hopes to see more candidates step forward, and said besides the city’s water reclamation facility project, “our vacation rental policy and the protection of affordable housing are key concerns moving forward.”
Makowetski said he hasn’t ruled out future runs for City Council.
Because neither City Council incumbent is seeking re-election, the deadline for candidates to file will be extended to Wednesday.
City Clerk Dana Swanson said that, as of 5 p.m. Friday, the only candidates to finish their filing paperwork are Headding, Addis and council candidates Jeff Heller, a critic of the city’s water reclamation facility, and Jan Goldman, a visitor center associate for the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Swanson said that Coast Electronics owner John Weiss has “pulled papers” to run for mayor but has not yet finished filing. Former council member Betty Winholtz and Planning Commission member Jesse Barron have also signaled their intent to run but not yet filed.