The Ottumwa Courier

Columns

September 17, 2013

Big votes coming up

Ottumwans planning to vote in the upcoming city primary and general elections have a couple times left to watch or attend a City Council session.

You should, especially if you haven't been keeping up with city issues.

Prior to the next council meeting, find out the agenda and tune in to what council members will discuss.

Lately, there have been a variety of street issues. Some issues haven't made the newspaper, but they are out there. Find them out from people you know who frequent City Hall and know what's going on.

On an overall scale, now is the time to gather information to make an informed decision come the primary vote in October, followed by the general election in early November.

Like the recent school election, the upcoming city election is filled with several candidates wanting a spot on the five-member city council. Three seats — a majority — are up for election. Two of the council members, Brian Morgan and Jeremy Weller, are not running again. So at least two new council members will be elected. Incumbent Bob Meyers is running for another term, as is the mayor, Frank Flanders.

We hope that voters have made themselves aware of council's actions and activities since the last election two years ago. That's how you know who you will vote for — their past record, if an incumbent.

For the two new seats, attend the Ottumwa League of Women Voters forum coming up, either in person at City Hall or on GO-TV. It will be a great opportunity to ask the candidates their positions on areas of interest to you, from street repair plans to nuisance ordinances, to the status of trees in the city's ongoing sewer separation project.

Street improvements could be a big issue. Next year, widening of Pennsylvania Avenue is planned, which will once again disrupt traffic to our local hospital.

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