Donald D. Monty, Mayor
State of the City Address - December 16, 2014
Audio Recordings of Council Meetings and State of the City Address
From the Mayor
Please Vote in Local Elections
The City will hold an election for Mayor and three City Council members on April 7, 2015. It is essential that all eligible voters cast their votes at that election. The city government is the closest government to residents. The City provides many services to residents and visitors, and the City Council has the authority to regulate various activities and to impose taxes. Under our democratic system the people get to elect the persons who will lead the City government.
Unfortunately, only a small portion of the population votes in local elections. According to the 2010 Census there were 22,704 persons 18 years or older living in Carbondale. Some of those persons are not eligible to vote because they are not citizens of the United States. Others may be registered to vote in other jurisdictions and/or not consider themselves to be residents of Carbondale. But even keeping those factors in mind, it is shocking to see how few people vote in elections for Mayor and City Council and other local elected positions. In 2011, the last year a Mayor was elected, only 2,878 votes were cast for Mayor, and the winner received just 957 votes. In that same year the highest number of votes received by a City Council candidate was 1,360. In the 2013 City Council election, only 1,800 voters cast ballots, and the highest vote getter received 944 votes.
At the same time there is an election for Mayor and City Council, there will be elections for school boards, the Carbondale Park District Board, and the John A. Logan College Board. As the election approaches candidates for all the offices will be seeking your vote. Often forums or debates will be held to give voters a chance to learn more about the candidates. For Mayor and Council, local newspapers typically send questionnaires to candidates and then publish the responses. Please take advantage of the opportunities to learn the positions of the candidates on various issues facing these governing boards.
All too often I hear comments from people who are not happy with what the government is doing or not doing. But often times those same people will not have taken advantage of the opportunity to vote and select the persons who will make the decisions. The election is your opportunity to pick those persons who will make the decisions on a local level that will affect you. Please register to vote, and then vote. If you have any questions about registering to vote, contact the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office in Murphysboro or the Carbondale City Clerk’s Office. Information on voting locations, absentee ballots, and early voting is also available from the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.