Elections looming

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, October 11, 2017
NOTE: While several members of the city council in the three towns have not filed the necessary paper work, this does not confirm they will not run again.

On Nov. 7, 2017, West Liberty, Nichols and Atalissa will be holding elections for city council and mayoral positions. The official filing period concluded Sept. 21.

The election will be held from Noon to 8 p.m. at the Activity Center at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds, as well as Nichols and Atalissa City Halls.

In West Liberty two seats will be up for the ballot as well as that of the mayor. Incumbent Mayor Robert Hartman has decided to run for a third term.

“I am running for mayor again for a few reasons, the first and main reason is ‘I love West Liberty!’” he said. “While I was contemplating serving again I was approached by many individuals who encouraged me to run again.”

Hartman will have served as West Liberty’s mayor for a total of four years this November, each mayoral term is two years. He served on the city council for several years before that.

“Along with these reasons and others, I have a few projects I want to see completed and the major one is the recycling center and curbside recycling,” he added.

Meanwhile, two of the five council seats, those of council members Robbie Rock and Melody Russell, will also be up for election. Council terms last four years.

While Council Member Robbie Rock has filed the paperwork to be on the ballot once again, Council Member Melody Russell did not.

Russell will have spent six-and-a-half years serving on the council, with the latter half in the position of Mayor Pro-Tem. She originally joined thanks to special election.

On the other side Robbie Rock joined the council only a year ago in order to fill out the remaining days of a term started by Felicie Simmons.

Simmons ended up moving out of West Liberty, so Rock took over. Now he wants a shot at a full four-year term.

Since Rock is the only community member to have turned in the necessary paperwork, his is the only name that will appear on the ballot this November for the council race.

This means the second seat being vacated by Melody Russell will have to be filled via a write-in campaign.

So far no one has officially put his/her name out there. However, anyone who is a resident of the city is eligible to be elected by a write-in majority vote.

In Nichols all five council seats and that of the mayor are up for election. There will be six candidates for five seats in the town.

Current council members Russell E. Grimm, Cindy Massey, Kelly Loving and Kelsy Lampe have decided to run again.

Council member Jaimie Kirk has decided not to run. Instead, new candidates John “JD” Hudson and Todd Mahan have joined the race.

Meanwhile incumbent mayor Cyle Geertz is currently unopposed. Geertz has already served as mayor of Nichols for several terms.

In Atalissa two seats will be up for the ballot as well as that of the mayor. Current Atalissa Mayor Angie Dickey has decided to run again.

The seats of Randy Windus and Carol O’Neill are up for election. Randy Windus is running again, joined by Dawn Huggins and Sara Stanoff. O’Neill has not filed the necessary paperwork to be on the ballot.

If you intend to run as a write-in candidate in West Liberty, Atalissa or Nichols please be sure to inform the West Liberty Index.

On that note, absentee ballots are now available for the upcoming city election according to Muscatine County Auditor Leslie A. Soule.

Absentee ballots are available by submitting an official application to the Auditor’s Office by Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 at 5 p.m.

You can also vote in person at the Auditor’s Office, 414 E. Third St., Suite 201, Muscatine, weekdays from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, for the cities of Atalissa, Conesville, Fruitland, Nichols, Stockton, West Liberty and Wilton.

Further questions can be answered by calling the Auditor’s Office at 563-263-5821. All voter registrations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2017.

Same Day Registration on Election Day will require Photo ID and Proof of Residence.
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