Honorary Mayor Rima Runtzel was gracious enough to share some reflections on her term, and do a little Question and Answer with us. She won the title last year, raising money for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst.
Q: What will you do with all of your free time now that your term as Honorary Mayor is over?
A: For me the time spent on Mayoral duties isn’t much different than the time I spend on community events otherwise. In my position as Sierra Tel’s Marketing Coordinator and President of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, I have always represented both organizations at Chamber events throughout the year. I don’t see that changing.
Q: What do you think was your greatest achievement during your term?
A: During my term, the Club received a grant from the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians to build permanent restroom facilities at our site. This is a project that we have been working on for years, so while I doubt my political position had any impact on it, it was definitely the highlight of my term.
Q: You really seemed to continue your fundraising efforts for Boys & Girls Club throughout the year. Will you continue those efforts.
A: I have been actively involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst since 2006 and have served as President since 2009. The long-term viability of the Club and the ability to fulfill our mission of inspiring and assisting those young people who need us most will continue to be of great importance to me.
The Club provides more than a safe, fun alternative to being home alone – we offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth, and that is truly special.
Q: What was your biggest challenge?
A: In this race, the biggest challenges come before your term begins. A ton of time and energy is put into raising as much money as you can in a short period of time. Once that was over, the rest was smooth sailing and I was able to have fun with the title and take advantage of ongoing recognition for the Club.
Q: What do you think will be the greatest challenges for Mayor John K. Burton.
A: Representing Oakhurst, the Chamber and the SPCA at so many different events throughout the year could become challenging for John, but I know he is up for it. As a former Honorary Mayor, he knows what to expect.
Q: Would you consider running again in the future?
A: I was disappointed that we (Boys & Girl’s Club) did not have a candidate participating in this year’s race, but it is understandable. The campaign takes a great deal of time and commitment and, especially in the current economy, we all have to allocate those wisely.
I would like to see the Race return to its roots when there were many candidates representing various charities and fundraising efforts were event driven and fun. I would consider running again if some modifications were made to the process.