Daily Egyptian

Carbondale city council announces petition packets for 2019 mayoral election, city council positions

By Claire Cowley, Staff Reporter

Carbondale city council announced petition packets for the 2019 municipal election are now available for those interested in running for office.

In April 2019, the city will select a mayor and three city council members for four-year term agreements, the press release said.

The election is for the seats currently held by council members Adam Loos, Navreet Kang, and Tom Grant as well as Mayor John Henry.

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Carbondale acting mayor, Carolin Harvey, said if a current city council member wants to run for Mayor, they can.

“If their term has expired, they and anyone else can run,” Harvey said.

Harvey also said she has no intention to run for mayor.

Harvey said any candidate should make their stance on community issues, put your personal views aside and do what’s best for the community.

“Get out, be very visible, attend meetings and most importantly know the current issues,” Harvey said.

Jane Adams, a 2014 mayoral candidate, said she chose to run while sitting on Carbondale city council.

“I had a really strong sense of some of the initiatives that we could take to revitalize the city of Carbondale and I thought we needed leadership to do that,” Adams said.

Adams also served on the comprehensive plan committee seven years ago and believes the city needed broad input from the community.

“To draw on the wealth of information that we have here, especially from students because [they] have so little voice in this town, even though we live and die [depending] on student [population],” Adams said.

Adams said the best advice she can give someone who seeks the mayoral or city council position is to be ready to work.

“You have to be ready to go and walk around the neighborhoods and raise a little money, you don’t have to have a lot of money, but you have to have money for door hangers and yard signs,” Adams said.  

Adams also said it’s good to have a group of people who will work with you, give you advice and introduce you to people.

“The mayor is really a first among equals,” Adams said.

Adams said the city manager sets much of the city’s priority. However, the mayor is the person who has the major responsibility for getting the council involved in discussions for initiating actions.

“The mayor is the public face [and] is sort of like the President,” Adams said.

Adams also said the position of mayor has more weight than other city officials.

“If you’re going to run for mayor, have a sense of the whole city because we have so many international students, religious organizations and [diversity],” Adams said.   

SIU alum, Naomi Tolbert, who graduated with a bachelor’s in political science, said she believes it is important for everyone to contain knowledge and understanding of our political systems.

“I believe the only way to meet such goals is by having leaders that stand up for the interests of the people and fight for equality and justice for all,” Tolbert said. “I strive everyday to become just that.”

As a 2016 SIU student trustee, she got insight on how to be a better leader and represent the views of a diverse and inclusive population.

Amy Fox, public relations officer for Carbondale City Hall, said those interested in running for mayor to consult with an attorney for further advice on how to complete forms, circulate and file their petition packet.

Signed nominating petitions must be submitted to the city clerk’s office during the filing period of Nov. 19 through 26, excluding holidays, the press release said.

“Candidates should contact the local election official who is responsible for receiving the filing of the petition for nomination as to the specific number of signatures required,” the candidate guide, said.

The candidate guide also said those interested must file papers such as a statement of candidacy, receipt for the filing of a statement of economic interests and and optional loyalty oath.

“We do not know who is running for the [mayoral] seat, there is nothing to report at this time,” Fox said.

Jackson County fluctuates between 30,000 and 40,000 registered voters based on students transition, Larry Reinhardt, a Jackson County recorder, said.  

Voter registration for students will be held Oct. 1 in the student center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Staff reporter Claire Cowley can be reached at ccowley@dailyegyptian.com.

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