Lack of council candidates causing problems for small towns - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lack of council candidates causing problems for small towns

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Kim Simon is a mother of four who's been living in Center Point for six years.

"Smaller school district, we had heard good things about the school," said Simon. "Just a small town feel -- my husband and I are both from a small town."

Small towns like Center Point are facing a big problem, however: Not enough people are running for city council.

"To approve anything, you have to have three votes," said Chelsea Huisman, Center Point City Administrator. "That's just to approve a claim, to cut a check. That's also with the budget."

In Center Point, there's a five-member council and three people have terms expiring at the end of the year. Only two people filed papers to get on the ballot.

Now, three people are running write-in campaigns.

"In smaller cities ... write-ins usually do win elections, sometimes over people who are on the ballot," said Huisman.

So this time around, the city will have enough people to fill the council. And the good news is, the people running are really interested in doing the job.

Moving forward, small towns face the challenge of continuing to have enough people on board to do the job of a council.

"It's definitely a problem," said Huisman. "I like to think we won't have that problem with this current election, but I'm sure it's happened somewhere in the state of Iowa in a smaller town."

People in Center Point hope it won't happen there.

"If they can't get things done, that's a worry," said Simon. "That's the point of a city council."

Under Iowa law, if you're voting for a write-in candidate you must fill in the circle next to the write-in spot for the vote to count. If a name is misspelled, it's up to precinct officials to decide if the vote counts.

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