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City Council

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About the City Council 

The Novato City Council comprises five elected officials who make policy decisions for the City of Novato. The City Council sets priorities, approves the budget, and addresses citywide issues affecting the Novato community. They are elected by district to overlapping, four-year terms. The Councilmembers annually select the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem (Vice Mayor).

Additionally, the Council appoints the City ManagerCity Attorney, and City Commissions. The Mayor, also a member of the Council, signs official documents, chairs the Council meetings, and acts as the official head of the City at public and ceremonial occasions. View Council Policy Manual  (Note: Appendices Sections 6.01 - 6.08 are not posted. To request, please contact the City Clerk.)

Compensation
An ordinance sets Council member salaries (currently $400  per month). Council members also receive medical, dental and life insurance benefits, and may qualify for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) benefits.

Statements of Economic Interests
The City Council Members are elected officers identified in Government Code Section 87200 and file statements of economic interests with the City Clerk's office. Copies of the statements of economic interests filed by the elected officers may be obtained by visiting the offices of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) at 428 J Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, California 95814 OR the Novato City Clerk' office at 922 Machin Avenue, Novato, CA 94945. The statements of economic interests for some state and local government agency elected officers may be available in electronic format on the FPPC's website.


Meet the City Council

Photo of Denise Athas

Mayor Denise Athas

Term Information:  Served as Mayor in 2012 and 2017; curently serves as Mayor; Term expires November 2022
Email: dathas@novato.org
Phone: (415) 246-2959 - cell

Biography: Denise is 26-year Novato resident, is married to husband, George, and has two adult sons, Matthew and Joe. Raised in the East Bay, Denise has been a realtor for 31 years, is a broker, and for the last 12 years, operates her own boutique real estate company located in Downtown Novato—Athas & Associates Real Estate--with her husband.

Recognition: Certificate of Recognition—CA State Assembly (2003), Resolution/Commendation—Marin County Board of Supervisors (2003), Proclamation—City of Novato (2003), Novato Woman of the Year (2009).

Community Involvement: Novato Chamber of Commerce President (2002), Novato Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (1999-2005), Novato Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee member, Novato Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for 5 years, Novato Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee member, Novato Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee co-chair, Real Estate Business Development/Image/Marketing Committee member, County of Marin Congestion Management Citizen Advisory Group member, City of Novato Birthday Party Chair, Co-Host of “Grant Avenue…the Future” cable TV show, Novato Community Strategic Plan Oversight Committee member, City of Novato Public Art Selection Committee member, Downtown Novato Business Association Vice President (2006, 2007), Downtown Novato Business Association President (2008, 2009), Novato City Council (2009-present), Novato Mayor (2012, 2017, 2020), Novato Community Strategic Planning Commission, Novato Leadership Program—2000 graduate, Novato Business Improvement District Marketing Committee, Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth (2009).

Boards/Committees: State League of California Cities Board Director – current, League of CA Cities Policy Committee Member for the State – Housing, Community & Economic Development Committee since 2015 to current, President of the North Bay League of California Cities (2016-2017), Community CDBG Committee member, current MCE Board member (since 2011), current MCE Executive Board member (since 2011), served on the Analysis of Impediment Ad Hoc Committee for the County of Marin, president of MCCMC (Marin Mayors and Council Members Committee) in 2016.

Professional: Licensed Real Estate Broker since 1989, Certified Residential Specialist, Certified e-Pro 500 Internet Professional, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Residential Construction Certified, Accredited Home Staging Specialist, Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource, National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Marin Association of Realtors, Residential Sales Council, Northern California CRS Chapter, Sellers Representative Specialist.  


Photo of Pat Eklund

Mayor Pro Tem Pat Eklund

Term Information: Served as Mayor in 1996-7, 1999-2000, 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2013 and 2015-2016; currently serves as Mayor Pro Tem; Term Expires: November 2022
Email: peklund@novato.org
Phone: (415) 883-9116

Biography: Raised in Terra Linda, Pat is a 39-year Novato resident who lives in Ignacio.

Education: Undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University of California;
MS, Public Administration, Golden Gate University; MS, Environmental Management,
University of San Francisco

Community Involvement/Boards and Committees: Currently, Pat serves on the Board for the Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership - a joint effort between the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and California School Boards Association where she served as President twice. Pat also serves on the Environmental Quality Policy Committee for the League of California Cities, Executive Board for the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) where she represents the 11 cities throughout Marin County; she also serves on ABAG’s Regional Planning Committee and Administrative Committee. 

Pat also serves on the Major Crimes Task Force for Marin representing the 10 member cities; Board Member of the Hamilton Restoration Advisory Board; Rotarian; neighborhood leader and active community volunteer for local activities such as Career Days in local schools, Native Sons of the Golden West 4th grade essay contest, and Read Across America at Olive Elementary School. Pat also serves as the alternate to the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM). Pat is also a member of the Novato Historical Guild, Sierra Club, Marin Conservation League, and an honorary member of the Indian Valley Artists. 

Pat has previously served on the Novato Planning Commission, Board Member for the Novato Community Hospital and the Marin County Flood Control Board, President of the League of California Cities, Novato Representative on TAM, and Board Member of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART), Public Safety and Revenue and Taxation Policy Committees for the League of California Cities; and, President of the Cities, Counties, and Schools Partnership.

Professional: Pat recently retired after serving over 43 years with the federal government where she served 7 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and 36 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an Environmental Manager overseeing environmental-protection programs including the Underground Storage Tanks, Ground Water, Ocean Dumping, Wetlands Protection (Section 404) of the Clean Water Act, San Francisco Bay, and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System programs.

 


Photo of Eric Lucan

Councilmember Eric Lucan

Term information: elected November 2011and re-elected November 2015 & 2019; served as Mayor in 2014 & 2019; Term expires November 2024

Email: elucan@novato.org
Phone: (415) 272-3265

Biography: Eric is a Novato native, a graduate of Novato schools, and a  life-long resident of Novato. He started volunteering and giving back to his hometown by working with and mentoring young people. As a youth director, Eric worked with middle school and high school students. He also was a volunteer soccer and volleyball coach. After grad school, Eric returned to Novato and served as a volunteer chaplain with the Novato Police Department and, prior to his election to City Council, was appointed as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Eric and wife Kiley and son Noah are proud to call Novato home.

Education: Bachelor's Degree in Ministerial Studies, Christian Life International; Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Georgia State University.

Community Involvement/Affiliations: City of Novato Recreation, Cultural, and Community Services Commissioner (2007-2011); Board Member, Novato Financing Authority (2010-2011); Board Member, Marin School of the Arts (2009-2011); 2012 ‘Top 40 Under 40’ - North Bay Business Journal; 2007 Leadership Novato Graduate and Ed Stark Award winner. Board Member, MarinKids (2017-Present).

Boards/Committees: Sonoma/Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), Marin Transit (Alternate), State Route 37 Policy Committee, Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers Homeless Committee.

Professional:  Eric is the Chief Marketing Officer for Mike's Bikes headquartered in Novato, where he is focused on "getting more people on bikes." Eric manages a talented team and oversees branding, community engagement, e-commerce, and visual merchandizing. Prior to that role, Eric spent 4 years in marketing at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. He has also worked as a youth director for both middle and high school students, served as a small-business consultant, and as a marketing manager for a quick-service restaurant franchise with more than $1 billion in sales.


Photo of Amy Peele

Councilmember Amy Peele

Term information: elected November 2019; Term expires November 2024

Email: apeele@novato.org

Biography: Amy S. Peele RN never had any ambitions in politics so it may seem ironic that she now sits on the Novato City Council. Rather than political aspirations, she sought her seat on the Council because she figured that her fellow citizens wanted what she does: to live in a city that supports families, youth, and elders for a safe and healthy life at every stage of life. 

Professional: Amy enjoyed a 35-year career in organ transplantation and retired from UCSF in 2014. As Director of Organ Transplantation she worked with a staff that successfully completed more than 600 transplants per year.  She’s witnessed miraculous outcomes that could only occur through collaboration, creativity, and the willingness to respect and work through different perspectives, and with a fearless commitment to positive solutions. In her professional life, Amy served as president of the North American Transplant Coordinator’s Organization and Chair of the National Transplant Administrator’s Council.   

Amy is an award-winning author who infuses her passion for organ transplantation into her murder mysteries and brings a fresh, knowledgeable, and humorous new voice into the world of mystery novels. She is a certified yoga instructor and a graduate of Second City’s Improv Players’ Workshop. She brings values of humor, health, and growth to all of her endeavors. 

Community Involvement: When her children were growing up in Novato, Amy served as President of the North Marin PTA Council, and was Chair for the Measure “A” Campaign, which yielded $107M for our local school infrastructure.  Her service continued when she was president of the Novato Human Needs Center. She is an alumnus of the Novato Leadership Training program. 

As a community member, author, yoga instructor, and parent, Amy has remained locally engaged throughout her 30 years in this community. Now retired from her career in organ transplantation, she has decided to bring her skills and experience to the benefit the citizens in the community she loves.  


Photo of Susan Wernick

Councilmember Susan Wernick

Term information: elected November 2019; Term expires November 2024

Email: swernick@novato.org

Biography: Susan was raised in Mill Valley by civically minded parents who both served on their local city council.

She is a 37 year resident of Novato and the mother of two adult sons, Stacy and Ben. Throughout their childhood, Susan was an active volunteer in several organizations including the Novato North Little League and the Cub Scouts. She also spent many years volunteering in various roles at San Ramon Elementary and Sinaloa Middle School. Susan enjoys personal fitness, hiking, and has recently discovered mountain bike riding on the local trails of Novato.

Education: Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, College of Marin

Boards/Committees: Susan was appointed to the Novato Planning Commission in 2014, and served as chair in 2017. She recently vacated her seat upon election to the Novato City Council in 2019.

Community Involvement: Susan participated and graduated from the Novato Chamber Leadership Program in 2017, a program that encourages community engagement at the local level.

Susan was a board-member on her neighborhood San Marin Improvement Association which sponsors several annual community events and keeps residents apprised of local concerns.

During the update of the Novato Housing Element in 2010, Susan was invited to serve on the City Manager’s Housing Working Group. The process lasted 9 months and spurred her interest in local government.

Susan is a founding member of two local groups, the San Marin Compatible Housing Coalition and Novato Forward.

The mother of an Army Captain, Susan is also proud to be a Blue Star Mom. 

Professional: Prior to raising a family, Susan was employed by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Companies in San Rafael. While raising her children, Susan assisted her husband Rick in his Novato insurance agency.

With a lifelong passion for interior design, Susan also completed several design courses through the UC Berkeley Extension and the College of Marin. Leveraging her skills in drafting, space planning, and color theory, Susan went on to successfully work as an assistant manager at a local home furnishing business until the store closed in 2010.

Susan then went on to work as an assistant store manager at a national window covering business also located in Novato.

In 2017, Susan accepted an offer to assist in the re-opening of the home furnishing business in a different Novato location. Again working as an assistant store manager, Susan collaborated with the rest of the management team on all aspects of the business including the selection and purchasing of store merchandise. She also managed the respective inventory in an ERP based point of sale system, and provided helpful and personal customer service.