Three in the running for Ward I seat

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Three individuals will be tossing their hat in the ring to represent the citizens of Ward 1 the City of Washington.

According to Washington City Hall, three people who reside in Ward 1 have filed to run for the empty Ward 1 seat on the Washington City Council.

Washington City Clerk Illa Earnest said the city received petitions from Dave Mueller, Danielle Pettit-Majewski, and Mark Kendall. Mueller appears to be a newcomer in city politics. Pettit-Majewski is the Washington County Public Health director. Kendall is a previous council member. The winner will serve the entire remainder of resigned council member Kerry Janececk?s term upon election. The term will run through Dec. 31, 2019.

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 people showing interest in serving, 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.

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 when they become available.