The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

September 20, 2013

Clinton City Council Election: Five eye at-large seats

CLINTON — Three out of four races for Clinton City Council seats will be contested this year, with five people vying for two at-large seats.

Two at-large, along with the first, second and third ward seats are up this year. The only non-contested race on Nov. 5 will be second ward, with Lynn McGraw the lone candidate.

In each of the remaining races, two or more candidates, including that seat's incumbent, turned in nomination petitions by the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline.

Andy Sokolovich, 31, will seek a position as an at-large council member. Sokolovich, the owner of Bent Business Marketing, has lived in Clinton for nine months.

While he's never sought public office, Sokolovich felt his talents would benefit the city.

"I thought my creative background and ability to market could be used to reach out to other communities and find ways Clinton can have the same success," Sokolovich said. "The city really needs someone to bring in new business and support our existing businesses."

Also running for an at-large seat is former Clinton County Supervisor Grant Wilke.

Wilke, 69, is a lifelong Clinton resident who retired as the Clinton Fire Marshal.

He decided to run in order to be part of the solution to the city's financial problems.

"I want to rebuild the trust and confidence in our city government through some common-sense solutions," Wilke said. "I felt I had something to contribute to make things better."

Tom Determann and Andrew Luett also are seeking an at-large seat.

Luett, who works for Iowa American Water, said he believes the City Council needs a younger perspective in order to harvest economic growth. He would also like to address some issues he finds concerning. 

"I feel Clinton has so much to offer and am concerned with the rising cost of sewer rates, the city not seeking qualified candidates within our own community to fill key positions and the relationship between the city officials and citizens," Luett said. 

Luett's age as well as how long he has lived in Clinton was not available. Determann was not available for comment. 

Sokolivich, Wilke, Luett and Determann will face incumbent Jennifer Graf, who is seeking her second term as an at-large council member.

Current at-large Councilman Charlie Mulholland rescinded his bid for re-election last week. Mulholland is wrapping up his first term on the council.

"I'm happy with the things we've accomplished like cleaning up the riverfront, the burn ban and other things," Mulholland said. "Basically, it's too time consuming and I think it's time for some younger people to step up and making the changes people talk about."

The first ward race will be a contest between current representative Maggie Klaes and Ward 2 Councilwoman Julie Allesee. Because of redistricting, Allesee had to run for an at-large or ward 1 seat.

Ward 3 voters will choose between two candidates with experience on the council. Incumbent Bev Hermann is seeking a second consecutive term as councilwoman.

Hermann, 76, also served on the council from 2001 to 2005. The retired associate staff person with the Illinois Education Association has lived in Clinton for 49 years. She currently works part-time with Colony Brands.

Hermann is seeking another term because she believes she still has work left to do on the council.

"There's some unfinished business that needs to be followed through by the people who have been working on it," Hermann said. "There are things that somebody new couldn't jump in and make an informed decision on."

Hermann will face Ed O'Neill, who served as an at-large councilman from mid-2003 to early 2006, when he left his position early to take a job with the Clinton Regional Development Corp.

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