Right now, we know two of the three incumbent council members will not seek re-election. And the incumbent mayor has at least one challenger this fall.
Ottumwans who are interested in growing our community, keeping watch over taxpayer dollars and helping craft ordinances that will better our town should seek public office.
Admittedly, elected office is not for the faint of heart. Oftentimes a thankless job, being a council member means dealing with criticism from your neighbors and listening to concerns about everything from trash collection, noise ordinances to spending millions on street and sewer repairs.
The mayor’s post, of course, is the symbolic face of Ottumwa and it’s important to find someone who will positively represent the community at local, state and even national functions and events.
In Ottumwa, the filing period for council member and mayoral candidates is Aug. 12-29. In other communities, the filing period is from Aug. 26 through Sept. 19. City elections are slated for Nov. 5
We know that serving on a council or school board is a time commitment, and you’ve got to do your homework when it comes to the issues at hand.
But in Ottumwa, as well as other southeast Iowa towns, there are residents who are dedicated to their communities and want to see real change.
And we also know there are those who are certainly up to the task of making a real difference — let’s just hope they will consider giving voters a choice at the ballot box this fall.