The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

July 16, 2013

Finding candidates for elected office an uphill battle

OTTUMWA — Finding people to run for elected office in Ottumwa has always been a struggle, and with recent controversies, filling open seats has proven even more difficult.

Three City Council seats are up for grabs this fall as the terms for Councilmen Bob Meyers, Brian Morgan and Jeremy Weller end in January. But only three people have taken out papers so far: Meyers, Robert LaPoint and Dave Gordy.

Meyers is a current councilman and hopes to retain his seat. If elected, January would mark the beginning of his third term on council.

LaPoint, currently chairman of the Ottumwa Transit Advisory Board and member of the Ottumwa Parks Advisory Board, ran for mayor in 2011 but was booted out in the primary by candidate Frank Flanders and then-mayor Dale Uehling. Flanders went on to win the general election.

Gordy said he's "just a regular citizen" who's running because he wants to see more accountability in local government and he wants to be the "conservative take" on city finances.

The mayor's seat will appear on the ballot as well. Flanders has taken out papers as have three others: Morgan, Tom Lazio and Mitch Niner.

Morgan and Niner are current councilmen. Morgan's term ends this year and he has said he doesn't plan to run for his council seat again this fall. Niner is in the middle of his term as he was just re-elected in November 2011, but setting his sights on the mayoral seat could mean another opening on the council if he were to be elected.

City public information officer Tom Rodgers, who's watched the evolution of Ottumwa's council for years, said the majority of the public is all too aware of the time that must be committed by council members and the mayor. But divisive issues the past several years could also steer people away from running, he said.

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National