OTTUMWA — The upcoming city election is heating up with nomination papers already pouring into City Hall and several more still floating around the community.
Twelve have already taken out papers to run for the three City Council seats and mayoral seat this fall, though only four have filed so far.
Dave Gordy, Bob Meyers, Robert LaPoint, Gordon Riley, Belinda Smith-Cicarella, Shannon Addison, Skip Stevens and Matt Dalbey have all taken out nomination papers to run for the three council seats on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Tom Lazio, Brian Morgan, Mitch Niner and Frank Flanders have taken out papers to run for mayor.
Monday marked the first day candidates could file nomination papers for the upcoming election, with two weeks remaining until the filing deadline. As of Wednesday, four had filed: Meyers, Stevens and LaPoint for council and Lazio for mayor.
While Flanders, Ottumwa's current mayor, hasn't filed yet, on Tuesday he officially announced that he would seek re-election.
"Throughout the time I've been mayor, I've been the people's go-to mayor," he said. "They know that if they have a grievance, they can come to me with that grievance. If I find that they're not being treated fairly ... I'll go to bat with them, whether it's with staff or council. If I find their cause to be just, I'll stick up for them. It's something I'm very proud of, that I can be the people's go-to mayor in a time when they need someone to stand with them."
He said this was evidenced by his work with Chester Avenue residents angered by the city cutting down their trees last summer and with North Court Street residents protesting the rezoning of the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic in June.