ALPENA - Even though the November general election is still several months away the deadline for candidates to file for two vacant Alpena Municipal Council seats is quickly approaching. The seats that will be up for grabs are those currently held by Sam Eiler and Shawn Sexton. Eiler already has announced he does not intend to run for another term, which would be for another four years.
Clerk Karen Hebert said nobody has filed to run yet, but that advertising for the positions has begun. She said people who want to be on the Nov. 5 ballot need to follow a few steps and meet limited requirements in order to be placed on the ballot.
"People who want to file should come into my office at city hall and we have petitions," Hebert said. "They need to then get 50 signatures minimum and no more than 75. The signatures have to be from registered voters who live in the city. They will have to file an affidavit of identity, as well as be 18 years old and also be a registered voter in order to be on the ballot."
Hebert said there isn't a limit on the amount of candidates who can file and be on the ballot, but a person can only sign two petitions, because that is how many seats are open. If there are four or five people running you can only sign two. Although nobody has announced their candidacy as of yet, Hebert said there should be some filings in the next week or two. She said then each name on the petitions will be reviewed to be sure they are registered voters who live in the city.
Hebert said if everything checks out they will be on the ballot and the voters will decide the rest. She said in the city there is usually a good turnout during general elections and she hopes the same will hold true in November.
"We are normally at about 20 percent of the registered voters, but if there are only two candidates then it might not be that high. If there are more than two, then we should see more voters come out," she said.
Hebert said those wishing to file for the election or have questions about running the should stop by the clerks office, they also can call 354-1720.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.