Connell likely won't seek second term

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— City Council President Kathy Connell said that unless no one else comes forward, she will not seek a second term as council president.

Connell, who has served as president for two years, said she believes it is better to rotate presidents.

"If everyone refuses to do it, I would," Connell said. "But I think it is healthy to rotate."

The announcement came at a candidate's forum Thursday afternoon. Connell was giving advice to five of the seven candidates who will be on November's ballot.

The candidate's forum was intended to educate the November council candidates on the election process and role of council members. The forum also set the order of the ballot.

Connell said Council Pro Tempore Paul Strong, who has held the position for two years, should be considered for the president's position if he is re-elected in November.

Connell said the council has discussed making a policy limiting presidential terms to two years. Because of the amount of work placed upon the president, the council could look at redefining the position, she said.

It is the role of the president to lead the council meetings, and the president is the first council member to be the spokesperson for the city, she said, but other functions could be spread out.

"The goal here is to balance it so that all seven members participate in the process. There are many, many committees," she said.

Before Connell took the position, Kevin Bennett was president for seven years. Before him, Bill Martin was president for two years.

In the District I race, Susan Dellinger's name will appear first on the ballot and Councilman G.H. "Bud" Romberg's name will be second.

For the District II race, the most highly contested race, Marcus Williams' name is first, Ken Brenner's name is second and Kathi Meyer's name is third.

Councilman Paul Strong is the only candidate running for the District III seat.

The at-large position, where Councilman Steve Ivancie is the only candidate, will be the last listed on the ballot.

At the forum, Williams asked if there was any benefit to having your name appear first on the ballot. City Clerk Julie Jordan said an advantage to name placement has never been proven.

Connell asked the candidates to spend their time and money on forums that educate the public.

"After the last election, I would like to urge you to focus on the issues and facts and what we are dealing with as a community and less on emotions," Connell said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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