With seven having filed for the three Greensburg City Council seats available in the April 6 election The Signal has tentatively set March 23 as the date for a candidate forum.


 The Signal has made tentative plans to hold a candidates’ forum the evening of March 23 to give voters a chance to hear for themselves the views of the seven Greensburg residents who’ve filed for the three city council vacancies to be decided in the April 6 election.

   Letters will go out in the next several days to all seven candidates, asking them to RSVP by February 16 as to whether they will attend the event to be held in the GHS gym that evening at 7 p.m.

   Most of the names to be appearing on the April ballot are familiar ones, including current council members Matt Christenson and Erica Goodman running for reelection. Both were elected in the April 2008 ballot casting that saw former council member and mayor John Janssen lose to current mayor Bob Dixson. Dixson’s position will not be up for a vote until 2012.

   As the council president at the time Janssen inherited the mayoral position three weeks after the tornado when then-mayor Lonnie McCollum resigned amidst post-tornado political angst. Consistently outspoken during his 11 months in office, some would say to a fault, Janssen took a strong stance in terms of what he considered the best route for the city to take in planning and designing its new downtown area, often playing the role of devil’s advocate in provoking others to consider a pending matter from more than one angle.

   Janssen’s attempt to regain a seat on the now five-member council—it was seven at the time of the storm—is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this coming campaign. He is, however, not the only former council member seeking to regain a spot on the council as former member Rex Butler has also filed, as has his wife, Shirley, a sometimes outspoken critic of the City’s recovery/rebuilding agenda.

   New to the local government arena are local businessman Mike Swigart and Marvin Lawson, rounding out the seven who filed by the deadline.

   The one surprise would have to be the failure of current councilman Brandon Hosheit to join Goodman and Christenson in filing for reelection.

   The county clerk’s office has confirmed there will be no need for a primary with seven individuals running for three spots.

   Assisting Signal editor Mark Anderson with preparation for the forum will be Jan West. West also aided Anderson in setting the format for separate mayoral and council forums two years ago in advance of that election. That event featured a number of questions put to all the candidates, mailed to them in advance, with opportunities for follow up and rebuttal. A time for public questions from the audience was also allotted.

   Though Anderson and West have not yet settled on a format for this upcoming forum, they expect an arrangement similar to that used two years ago.