Interested in running for local office?
The filing deadline for the August primary and November election is noon, June 1.
Seats are open on every city council in Allen County.
In Iola, positions currently held by Mayor Jon Wells, and council members Nancy Ford, Ron Ballard, Gene Myrick and Mark Peters are up for grabs.
According to city administrator Matthew Rehder, the following are issues that future council members will likely face:
“Specifically, housing is an issue in town,” he said. “It’s a question of what role does the city have in providing single-family housing?”
“It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire career,” he added. That is, whether a city itself should build housing for residents.
Also on the city’s radar, “we’re always looking at improving our infrastructure, and we have some areas in town that need to be better in that rehab stage.”
In Humboldt, open city council spots are held by Mayor Nobby Davis, Kent Goodner, Don Becannon, Cindy Holinsworth and Ashleigh Dooley.
Cole Herder, Humboldt city administrator, said the issues most likely to be encountered include “whether to start an $11 million water project,” he said.
Throughout the process, the council will be very active in signing off on pay orders and discussing issues that come up.”
Herder compared the water project to the city’s recent sewer work, where the outcome was “a major project that will serve the city for at least 75 to 100 years.”
“The other thing that’s going to be ongoing is street repair,” he added. Specifically, “repairs and how to manage them.”
And Herder mentioned housing as well, saying that the council might look into things like incentives and spaces for development.
In the smaller cities, the following council positions are up for grabs:
Bassett: mayorship and five seats; Elsmore: mayorship and five seats; Gas: mayorship and two seats; LaHarpe: three seats; Moran: mayorship and two seats; Savonburg: mayorship and five seats.
Those who wish to run in all cities must pay a $20 filing fee and fill out the appropriate forms at the county clerk’s office. Some positions also require obtaining a certain number of signatures.
On the educational front, positions are open on all three K-12 school boards as well as the Allen Community College board of trustees.
In Iola district 257, open board seats are currently held by Nancy Toland, Jerad Larkey and Jennifer Coltrane.
As far as big issues that board members will have to tackle, superintendent Stacy Fager said:
“What we’re trying to do is finish our construction. … so as far as issues for the school board, I think a lot of it is finishing what we started.”
Fager was referring to new buildings at the high school as well as the new elementary school.
And once the old buildings are vacated, Fager said “we’re going to have to look at transitioning from the buildings we have, … see what options are available for repurposing those buildings.”
He also mentioned a new tax transparency bill he suspected would create work for the district.
Additionally, three seats are available on both the Moran board district 256 and the Humboldt board district 258.
Three seats are likewise up for grabs at ACC, which are currently occupied by Neal Barclay, Barbara Anderson and Jenny Spillman.
Again, those who wish to run must pay a $20 filing fee and fill out the appropriate forms at the county clerk’s office.
Southwind Extension district #10 also seeks two community members to run for its board.
The positions are currently held by Jonet Bland and James Smart.