Candidates running in November’s municipal election in Crothersville will be vying to fill five council spots rather than three as in the past.
That’s because the town citizens voted last year in favor of expanding the council to have two more board members, and voters approved the idea during the general election.
Ardell Mitchell, council president, said the idea came from town resident Brenda Holzworth last year after she voiced the possibility at a town council meeting.
Holzworth, who also recently filed to run for one of the council’s at-large positions, talked about the benefits of what she believed could come from expanding the council and then discussed how to make it happen, Mitchell said.
“So then for a couple of months, the council discussed whether or not we should do a referendum ballot and let the public decide,” Mitchell said. “We approved it 3-0.”
Butch Robinson and Derrick Minton are the other two council members.
From there, Mitchell said the choice was listed on this past November’s ballot and more than 200 voters were in favor.
Mitchell said he personally doesn’t see a reason to expand, but he didn’t want the decision to be based upon his feelings or just the council.
“I wanted to let the people decide,” he said.
After serving in office for two terms of four years each Mitchell said he will not run again.
“I believe in term limits, so now it’s up to other people to step up and do their part,” Mitchell said. “I hope to not be done with public service, but I think change is good.”
In addition to Holzworth, who is a Democrat, Nancy Hopper and Geoffrey Walker, who also are both Democrats, filed declarations of candidacy this past week.
Jackson County Republican Party Chairwoman Melissa Zabel Acton said since Crothersville is a small area, it could be difficult finding a large group of candidates to run. The filing period ends at noon Feb. 6.
“I think it’s going to be challenging,” she said. “Hopefully they do find good, qualified candidates.”