Big Turnover Coming For BC City Commission This Fall
Battle Creek City voters will be selecting their Mayor by popular vote this November for the first time. Voters approved changes in the election procedures last March. In the past, the elected commission would select the mayor during their organizational meeting, held after the election. Now, a candidate must declare whether or not they are running for Mayor, even though the mayor will end up being considered an at-large commissioner.
One thing that is a virtual certainty in this election, is that the majority of the Battle Creek City Commission will be brand new. At most, only four of the nine will have previous commission experience, and it could potentially be as few as two. Commissioners John Griffin, Chris Simmons, Susan Baldwin, and Kate Flores are not seeking re-election, and Commissioner Gray must win the mayoral race to stay on the panel.
Five ward commissioners will be elected this November 3rd, along with three at-large commissioners and the Mayor. Each will serve two-year terms.
Mayor. Running for Mayor will be incumbent Mark Behnke. He faces a challenge from current Ward 2 commissioner Lynn Ward Gray, and also from Jerry Steiner. That means that either Behnke or Gray or possibly both, will not be on the commission after the election.
At Large. Four candidates will run for three at-large seats. They are Kaytee Faris, Derrick Freeman, Carla Reynolds, and Sherry Sofia. Sofia and Faris are both incumbents.
Ward 1. Three people are running in Ward 1. They are Kristin Blood, Matthew Egelkraut, and Hal Longman.
Ward 2. Five people are running in Ward 2. They are Harvey Fisher, Ashley Jones, John Kenefick, Jenasia Morris, and Aysia Rucker.
Ward 3. Only one candidate is running in Ward 3. Boonikka Herring is practically assured of winning a seat on the City Commission.
Ward 4. In Ward 4, Christopher Bacik and Kathy Wilson will square off.
Ward 5. In Ward 5, Keona Ackley, and Dana Canales-Jamierson will try to unseat incumbent Jim Lance.