Never let it be said that the people of the First Ward are apathetic. Article III, Section C3-5 of the city charter indicates that when there is a vacancy on the Common Council, the Council appoints someone to fill the vacancy. The residents of the First Ward, however, have shown themselves to be not entirely satisfied with this arrangement. When Larissa Parks resigned in March 2012, after being an alderman for only about ten weeks, the First Ward gathered for a meeting, took a straw poll, and let the Council know their choice: Nick Haddad. At a special meeting on March 22, 2012, the Council followed the will of the people and appointed Haddad First Ward alderman.
Three years later, there is once again a vacancy on the Council as a result of the resignation of First Ward alderman David Marston. As they did three years ago, residents of the First Ward gathered today at noon to hear from those interested in the position and to participate in a straw poll. After brief comments from the remaining First Ward alderman, Nick Haddad, candidates Karla Roberts and Rick Rector addressed their neighbors.
Roberts described herself as someone who "likes to speak out, give my opinion, and be involved in the community process." She called the First Ward "the best ward to live in" and urged that we embrace tourism and support the "below Third economy." She characterized the group who had come out for the meeting as "a good representation of people who care."
Rector said Hudson was changing "very, very quickly and for all the right reasons" and he wanted to see "every politician wrap their arms around tourism." He told the group that since settling in Hudson he had the time and energy to devote himself to "less selfish endeavors" and defined his areas of interest as education and historic preservation. Rector has served on the Historic Preservation Commission, which he now chairs, since October 2011.
When the time came to vote in the straw poll, Claire Cousin, who had arrived while the other candidates were making their statements, announced that she too wished to be considered, saying she was "running on behalf of people who are not represented in the First Ward."
When the ballots were cast and tallied, it was announced that Rector had received the majority of the votes. It was not revealed how many votes had been cast for each of the three candidates.
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