NEVADA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) — Hundreds of letters calling for Mayor Reinette Senum’s resignation have poured into the Nevada City Council in recent weeks and, Wednesday night, she answered those calls and announced her resignation.
“I think that I need to take a different direction,” she told FOX40.
Her term as mayor is up but she was supposed to be sworn in for a third term on the city council.
Senum has been a vocal opponent of statewide mask requirements and other coronavirus restrictions, sparking outrage from some members of the community.
“These lockdowns and what I would call ‘house arrests’ of a healthy public are draconian and are doing massive destruction upon our local economy and the overall well-being of our community. And when I would say that as an elected official, I got the wrath of God,” Senum said. “So, I’m going to say it as a private and free citizen.”
Vice Mayor Duane Strawser sees her resignation as what’s best for Nevada City.
“We had people staging anti-mask protests. Walking into local grocery stores that require masks and them basically refusing and saying, ‘Well, the mayor says we don’t have to.’ That was what we need to avoid,” he said.
Senum’s comments have sparked controversy in the past. In 2016, hours after five Dallas police officers were attacked and killed, she wrote in a Facebook post that, “This was completely incited by America’s police force. They have obviously been given directives to go out and kill.”
In December of 2019, the City Council discussed removing or sanctioning her over comments she made criticizing Pacific Gas and Electric.
Senum said she has an obligation to speak out for what she believes in and feels the best way she can do that is if she is out of public office.
“We are seeing more, more harm being done than good and our elected officials will not address these issues at all,” Senum said. “So, that means I have to step out of this ring and go about it in a different way.”
The city council will be meeting with the city attorney Friday morning to decide how to proceed with the now open council seat.
Strawser said they plan to put it up to a vote on the November ballot.