Voters head to the polls Tuesday
Council seats up for grabs in districts 3 and 5
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.