Vot­ers head to the polls Tues­day

Coun­cil seats up for grabs in dis­tricts 3 and 5

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Vot­ers in dis­tricts 3 and 5 will go to the polls on Tues­day to choose their next rep­re­sen­ta­tive on city coun­cil.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dis­trict 3 vot­ers will cast their bal­lots at Aetna Fire Sta­tion No. 7, lo­cated at 7 Thorn Lane. In that race, for­mer city em­ployee Ricky Ni­etubicz is chal­leng­ing in­cum­bent Jen Wallace, who is seek­ing her sec­ond term.

The dis­trict en­com­passes the south­west por­tion of the city and in­cludes Devon, Binns, Ar­bour Park, Barks­dale Es­tates, Col­lege Park, Newark Pre­serve, Ab­bots­ford, Twin Lakes and sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods.

Dis­trict 5 res­i­dents will vote at First Pres­by­te­rian Church, lo­cated at 292 W. Main St. In that dis­trict, three new­com­ers – Neel Barua, Ja­son Lawhorn and Lena Thayer – are vy­ing to re­place Luke Chap­man, who chose not to run for a fourth term.

The dis­trict is in the north­west por­tion of Newark and in­cludes Chris­tianstead, West Branch, Fair­field, Fair­field Crest, Terry Manor, most of New Lon­don Road and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Dis­trict 6 Coun­cil­man Stu Markham is un­op­posed for his sev­enth term, so no elec­tion will be held in that dis­trict. The other coun­cil seats and the mayor’s po­si­tion are not up for elec­tion un­til next year.

The win­ners of Tues­day’s elec­tion will be sworn in for two-year terms on April 19 and won’t have much time to get set­tled be­fore div­ing in to sev­eral high-pro­file is­sues.

Likely one of their first ma­jor votes will be on whether to au­tho­rize a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum on bor­row­ing up to $26 mil­lion for cap­i­tal projects, in­clud­ing the planned Rod­ney stormwa­ter pond and park. The ref­er­en­dum is sched­uled for June 19 but won’t be­come of­fi­cial un­til coun­cil au­tho­rizes it.

The newly elected coun­cil mem­bers will also be thrust into the hir­ing process for the next city man­ager, which has al­ready dragged on for nearly a year. Ap­pli­ca­tions are be­ing ac­cepted now, and coun­cil will be­gin nar­row­ing down the can­di­dates in May.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the bud­get plan­ning process will start this sum­mer, and coun­cil is await­ing rec­om­men­da­tions from a com­mit­tee study­ing holis­tic so­lu­tions to the down­town park­ing is­sue.


Coun­cil­woman Jen Wallace speaks at Tues­day’s Dis­trict 3 fo­rum as chal­lenger Ricky Ni­etubicz looks on.

A map shows Newark’s elec­tion dis­tricts. Only dis­tricts 3 and 5 have con­tested races.

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