Fourteen people, along with the mayor, decide the direction for Danville. These 14 aldermen must decide about taxes, road work, special projects and dozens of other issues that determine whether the city makes progress.

Make no mistake, it’s a lot of hard work coupled with almost constant criticism.

Sound like fun?

With a city election scheduled for April 2021, seven people — one from each ward — will be elected to fill seats on the city council. It’s an opportunity to play a vital role in the community’s future.

Danville residents interested in becoming an alderman must pick up petitions from the Danville Election Commission and gather signatures to have his or her name placed on the ballot. The number of signatures vary by ward. If several people decide to run for the same seat, a primary will be conducted in February 2021 to narrow the field, with the general election on April 6, 2021.

Completed petitions must be returned to the election commission Nov. 16-23. Officials at the election commission can provide complete details to those interested in becoming a candidate.

All communities benefit when residents are represented by a variety of voices. A diverse council ensures officials hear everyone’s voice. Residents do not share a common experience. They bring different ideas based on their past experiences. It’s that combination of backgrounds that help create the best decisions for all residents.

Political polarization on the national and state level can discourage many from deciding to become a candidate for city council, but aldermanic candidates run on a non-partisan ballot. It’s the quality of the candidate’s ideas that count the most, not his or her political affiliation.

Danville, as do many Midwestern communities, faces significant decisions in the years ahead. Aside from the changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the advancement of technology and changes in manufacturing, health care, logistics and demographics present unique challenges to the 14 people who will be part of the city council.

For the community to become a better place for all — better job opportunities, better housing, better streets and better economic development, among other issues — the city needs committed leaders willing to put personal preferences aside for the better good.

Think you have good ideas? Think you can help move Danville forward? Then pick up a petition, gather the signatures and become a candidate. Win or lose, it will help make our community a better place.

Recommended for you