Candidate for 2nd Ward says let council fill vacancies

Opinion

Dear Editor;

When it comes to filling the two recent vacancies on the FM city council a special election is a bad idea on several levels and I will explain why.
Much noise has been made by Jerry Hamelton about the amount of money wasted by the City of Fort Madison and evidently his solution is to help them waste some more by forcing a special election to seat a council member for about nine months.
A special election would cost the city about $3,000 and would force voters to go out and vote or deal with another mail-in ballot in the dead of winter right after the holidays.
I can assure you voter turn out will be dismal. It is wasted money and undue stress on the electorate at an already difficult time. No matter how the seat is filled now there will be an election in 2021.
In addition, it will leave the residents of two wards without direct representation for about two additional months. If the council fills the seat it will be done in mid-November, an election will push this to January.
If Mr. Hamelton has some really great ideas to save money and provide needed services I am quite certain the council would love to hear them and if they are legitimate I’m sure he is a shoe in.
Rather what I see is a play based on blind ambition and way too much pride. Qualities we have little need of. I am happy to listen to his proposals and if they are genuine and workable I would be happy to step aside. Based on previous discussions I find that unlikely, but will keep an open mind.
I urge the citizens of Ft. Madison not to sign the petition for a special election.

Tom Schulz

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