By Mari Erin Roth
Mike Miller, also known as Chef Mike, was inspired to continue work on a project Tristan McMichael started in 2019-20 as his Quincy High School graduation project. Young musician McMichael had a vision to create an outdoor theater in Quincy. Miller’s plan to bring the financial fire back into the project draws on a joker he’s seen succeed elsewhere.
Chef Mike’s take on the tradition of presenting an honorary major with the “Key to the City” on Groundhog Day will double fund the outdoor theater. The idea is to buy options! That’s right, people who would like to support the Outdoor Theater at Dame Shirley Plaza would have donations for their campaigns.
Groups might choose to sponsor a single representative, while another group might inspire half a dozen members to compete for honor in a runoff. Every dollar raised for an honorary mayoral candidate counts as a vote. Like many political campaigns, events can range from the extremely simple to the very complex, from small dollars to extremely expensive. The difference is that all funds raised are used to support the creation of the outdoor venue. Citizens probably wouldn’t see $5,000-a-plate dinners cooked by Emeril Lagasse (bam!) or $10,000 concert tickets for Barbra Streisand, but there’s no proposed limit on how much one person can contribute.
“So is anyone allowed to put their name in the arena as honorary mayor?” Miller was asked. “Sure,” said Mueller. “Anyone can buy this election if they wish. The idea is to raise funds to build an outdoor theater for Quincy and it would be an added bonus if the community had fun doing it.”
McMichael’s original attempt to build an outdoor theater in Quincy began with a spaghetti dinner that grossed over $4,000. Activity slowed with the COVID pandemic and then the Dixie Fire contributed to further delays. However, McMichael still sees the project as a reality and has vowed to keep working on it until it is completed. crucial work has been done and some important steps have already been completed. Architectural plans were prepared by Ken Roper, and the District Superintendent approved preliminary vision and voted unanimously to move the project into the permitting phase. Funds raised through the Honorary Mayor’s campaigns will help with building permits and construction. Funds previously raised for the Quincy Outdoor Theater Project are held under the umbrella of Plumas Performing Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all donations and accounting are handled in accordance with state regulations. Plumas Arts will be the “election researcher” able to give an account of the money (which equals votes) raised every two weeks. The goal is to collect $10,000.
“Boss” Mike Miller will serve as the project’s chair and sees his role as a facilitator, encouraging businesses, service clubs, fraternal organizations, schools, churches and individuals to participate. All candidates, committees, sponsors and individuals are encouraged to raise funds through dinners, raffles, dances, concerts, bake sales, individual monetary donations and athletic competitions. “Any legal idea is accepted,” Miller said.
The schedule runs from now to the announcement of the honorary mayor at the Groundhog Fever Festival, when the final election results will be dramatically released onstage. Donations should be received by midnight on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. “Campaign checks” may be made out to Plumas Performing Arts with the endorsement of the Quincy Outdoor Theater Project and the nominee’s name. Plumas Performing Arts Treasurer Cathie Lundergard will manage the fund. Deposit slips containing information on 501(c)3 requirements will be provided to candidates.
McMichael plans to keep his fingers on the pulse of the project to support the effort with a highly visible task of posting updates and totals on social media. For more information, to make a donation or to announce your candidacy, contact Chef Mike Miller, (916) 595-2433, or Plumas Performing Arts at plumasperformingarts.org.
This is an example of what an application for Quincy’s honorary major might look like:
Application for honorary mayor of Quincy
Sponsoring Group (if applicable):___________________________________
$25 application fee issued to Plumas Performing Arts
Each proposed candidate, sponsor group and representative is responsible for completing Pluma’s Performing Arts Deposit Forms and arranging for the collection of funds by contacting Mike Miller: 916-595-2433. You will receive a receipt upon collection.
Plumas Performing Arts deposit slips will be used and funds will be deposited at Plumas Bank at 331 Main St. in Quincy, CA.
The Treasurer of Plumas Performing Art prepares monthly financial reports and vote counts for promotional purposes, including Plumas News and Social Media.
All proceeds benefit the planning, construction and completion of the Quincy Outdoor Theater Project.
I certify that I have read and understand the rules and requirements of the Quincy Honorary Mayor’s Contest.