Ramona Town Hall trustees chose the 115th anniversary of the opening of the 6,727-square-foot community building to kick off the 2009 Honorary Mayor Contest.
On Feb. 22, 1894, Augustus and Martha Barnett donated the adobe structure to Ramona. Since then, it has served as everything from a high school to an undertaker’s office.
On Feb. 22, 2009, visitors were invited to tour the two-story historic building, leaf through articles and photos of the past 115 years, buy a souvenir town hall brick to help fund a new floor, enjoy popcorn and other snacks and, for $1, nominate someone for honorary mayor. Nominations for the two-year post continue until April Fools’ Day, April 1.
By the end of the four-hour affair, seven names were on the candidates’ list. An eighth was added later. “Now the fun begins,” one of the candidates said.
The fun of the Ramona Honorary Mayor Contest is the voting. It’s a $1-a-vote election and the person with the most “votes” when “balloting” ends is the winner.
All proceeds go to Ramona Town Hall preservation and restoration.
Candidates as of Tuesday are Sharon Davis, John Gassoway, Charlotte Jensen, Susan Rizzie, Paul Tarr, Charles Teichert Jr. and Mindy Waldhauser.
Candidates must be “living, breathing, upright” human beings, at least 21 years old, Ramona residents and able to serve a two-year term that will start July 4. “Votes” will be accepted through June 30.
Candidates are mapping their campaign strategies, and some already have fundraising parties planned. Campaign donations may be given to the candidates or mailed to: Ramona Town Hall, P.O. Box 1954, Ramona, CA 92065.