Election season looms in FD

Fort Dodge voters will pick a mayor and six of the seven City Council members during the Nov. 5 election.

The terms of Mayor Matt Bemrich and councilmen Kim Alstott (Ward 4), Dave Flattery (Ward 3), Andy Fritz (at-large), Robert ”Barney” Patterson (at-large), Mark Taylor (Ward 1) and Don Wilson (Ward 2) will expire at the end of this year.

Councilman Dean Hill, who holds an at-large seat, is the only elected official whose term doesn’t expire this year.

The mayor and the at-large council members serve four-year terms. The council members who represent the wards serve two-year terms.

The mayor is paid $15,000 a year. Council members are paid $4,800 per year.

The election process begins Aug. 12. That’s the first day that candidates can file their nominating petitions at the city clerk’s office in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

Nomination petitions, affidavits of candidacy and other information for candidates is now available at that office.

To get on the ballot, candidates must file nominating petitions bearing a number of signatures equal to at least 2 percent of the number of people who voted for that office during the last election, according to Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director. He said there must always be a minimum of 10 signatures on a petition.

Because the number of required signatures is related to the number of people who voted for that office in the last election, that number varies greatly.

For example, mayoral candidates need at least 101 signatures.

But candidates for the Ward 1 council seat need 10 signatures. Ward 1 includes western and northwestern Fort Dodge, Pleasant Valley and much of downtown.

Candidates in Ward 2, which is the southern portion of the city, need 14 signatures.

In Ward 3, which is the northeastern part of the city, 16 signatures will be needed to get on the ballot.

In Ward 4, which is the north central part of the city, 23 signatures are required.

Candidates seeking either of the at-large seats will need at least 84 signatures.

People seeking to be elected to council from one of the wards must get their petitions signed by residents of that ward.

The petitions must be filed at the city clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Aug. 29.

If more than two candidates enter the race for mayor or any of the council seats from the wards, a primary election will be held on Oct. 8. The top two vote-getters for the mayor’s office or a council seat will advance to the general election.

Also, if more than four candidates enter the race for the two at-large seats, a primary election will be held on Oct. 8. The top four vote-getters will then move onto the general election.