Now is the time to watch City Hall

We are still four months from the filing deadline for candidates hoping for a seat on the Alpena Municipal Council, and seven months from the polls opening for that contest.

But now is the time to start paying attention. Matter of fact, if you’re not already paying attention, you’re late.

Three seats are up for grabs on the seven-member council. Mayor Matt Waligora and Councilman Mike Nowak already have announced they are seeking reelection, as Steve Schulwitz reported last week. Councilwoman Susan Nielsen, however, has decided she will not seek reelection.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the candidates will speak on their positions and The News will profile them and share those positions with our readers. We’ll refresh you on the past votes of incumbents and introduce you to newcomers who throw their hat in the ring.

But it’s important to watch city government all year long, every year, to get a sense of the issues the council deals with and how they respond. To know the budget and how much money the council spends where, the clearest expression of councilmembers’ priorities. We urge you to attend council meetings (and read The News) to stay abreast of the issues that affect you.

That way, you’ll be the most prepared voter you can be when Election Day finally comes.