EDITOR'S NOTE: Updated with information about an eighth potential candidate.
Because her husband's health, Councilwoman Laura Freese has decided she will not run for re-election this year, she announced Thursday.
"My decision is based primarily on a newly diagnosed health condition of my husband. It is time to focus on the family," Freese said. She did not elaborate.
Freese was elected in 2008. Her focus has been on economic development and counts the and a in town.
Meanwhile, an eighth potential candidate for the two seats, the other one held by Councilman Sam Allevato, came forward today. Joe Love, whom The Capistrano Dispatch identified as a retired serviceman and current student, pulled nominating papers.
He joins Allevato, Tom Marantz, Melissa Abbott, Roy Byrnes, Kim McCarthy, Robert Williams and Ginny Kerr in the potential candidate pool. So far, Allevato, Marantz, Abbott and Byrnes have filed their papers.
Here is Freese's letter she wrote to the community in its entirity.
To the residents of San Juan Capistrano:
After considerable thought, I have decided not to run for re-election as a City Council member at this time. My decision is based primarily on a newly diagnosed health condition of my husband. It is time to focus on the family.
It has been my honor to serve on your City Council these past four years. Together we have accomplished a tremendous amount to benefit the city. We have laid the framework for economic growth, especially of our downtown, established a plan to put our fiscal house in order, expanded communication with the residents, increased safety and improved our open space, while continuing to protect our city’s charm and historical assets. It is with great satisfaction that I now turn over the City Council role to others.
A special thank you goes to the engaged, knowledgeable people who have supported me for the past four years. An educated electorate is the basis of our constitution. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your representative.