City election set for Ward 1

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Washington County Deputy Elections official Sue Meeks said today that the winner of a special election the Washington City Council called for recently will serve the entire remainder of Kerry Janececk?s term upon election. The term will run through Dec. 31, 2019.

Meeks said that the polling place for the election, which is scheduled to be held July 10, will be in the Washington County Courthouse from noon to 8 p.m.

She said that people will be able to vote absentee in the election, although she is uncertain when absentee petitions will be available. She said it won?t be until after the June 15 filing deadline.

?The city has the option of filing for a special election, although oftentimes they appoint,? Meeks said. ?They usually appoint if there is only one person interested, but I guess there were four people interested in this case.?

During the May 20 meeting, the council unanimously approved holding a special election to fill the vacancy left when Janecek resigned, citing personal reasons.

While several members had expressed interest in appointing a candidate, with four interested candidates, the feeling turned to holding the special election.

During the May 1 meeting, council member Steve Gault said that he wanted the council to hold a special election to fill the seat, saying that being a council member is an elected position and he felt the people should determine who will represent them.

Gault won his seat in 2016 after calling for a special election to fill the seat when the council had intended to appoint a different candidate to fill the vacancy.

The council had 60 days under Iowa law to appoint a replacement or call for the special election. If they had chosen to appoint a candidate, the public could have petitioned to hold a special election.

People wishing to run for the office can get filing papers ? a petition which requires 25 signatures and affidavit of candidacy ? either from the Washington County Auditor?s office or from the Iowa Secretary of State?s website.

Washington City Clerk Illa Earnest will be the filing officer and papers should be turned in at Washington City Hall.

The election will likely cost $1,800 to $2,500.

Since the election involves only one city ward and the population for that city ward is under 3,500, the Washington County Auditor?s office will do hand counting with no machines.

The results of the election will be posted on the Washington Evening Journal website as soon as they become available.