Goloff’s options

She must either convince Chicoans she can fulfill her commitment or resign

Last August, Mary Goloff surprised just about everybody by announcing, during a City Council meeting, that she was stepping down as mayor of Chico. As the CN&R reported (“Musical chairs: Mayoral switch tops contentious meeting,” Aug. 8), she explained that she had “a health condition” that would render her unable to handle the mayor’s busy schedule.

Since then she’s been absent from council meetings five times, including the last three meetings, and is expected to be absent from the April 15 meeting, as well. (She has said she will return for the May 6 meeting.)

This is the third time Goloff has taken an extended medical leave from her position. She missed four consecutive meetings in March, April and May of 2012 and two in November and December of 2013. According to our count, by the end of this month she will have missed 11 meetings since March 2012.

We don’t fault her for this. There is no blame in needing extended medical care, and Goloff has been a valuable member of the council during her two terms. But her health problems have made her unable not only to serve as mayor, but also to be an effective council member.

The city is at a critical stage in the process of solving its financial problems, and the upcoming budget sessions are sure to be difficult and exhausting. When Goloff returns for the May 6 meeting, she will need to convince her constituents that her health condition is under control and that she is fully capable of continuing in office until her term ends, on Dec. 2.

If she cannot do that, she should step down and let the rest of the council members appoint a replacement. The community that has entrusted her with its most important elected position deserves no less.