Though city council, mayoral and city clerk elections are still 11 months away, the effort to get on the ballot has already begun for some Dearborn residents.
In addition to the mayor and clerk positions, all seven council seats are up for reelection in 2013.
As of Jan. 8, two residents had pulled petitions to run for Dearborn City Council: Colette Richards and Michael Albano.
Richards, a 15-year resident of Dearborn, is a media secretary with the Dearborn Public Schools, longtime member and former president of the Dearborn PTA, as well as founder of the city's Special Education PTA. She serves on the City Beautiful Commission, is a board member of the Dearborn Rotary Club, and is active with Dearborn Relay for Life.
"I want to make sure that we leave behind a great place for everyone's children to grow up and raise children of their own here," Richards said of her reasons for running. "We have a gem of a city with great schools and recreation amenities that we need to focus on and make sure that people outside of Dearborn know we offer so much."
Albano is a wireless consultant and 38-year resident of Dearborn. He serves on the city's Rental Task Force, and the Telecommunications Commission, and is an active advocate with the city's Save Our Pools group.
He commented that serving on council would allow him to be "involved in seeing that Dearborn plans well for its future, as well as making sure that it does not neglect the Dearborn assets that have created one of the greatest, unique cities in America."
His goals as a city leader, he said, would include preserving city services and amenities, as well as encouraging new businesses.
City Clerk Kathy Buda has also pulled petitions to run for reelection. Buda, a lifelong Dearborn resident, is currently serving her fourth term in the position.
No one has pulled petitions for the mayoral race yet.
All petitioners must submit 100 valid signatures by May 14 to the Dearborn City Clerk's office to be considered as official candidates. They may turn in up to 200 signitures, which will then be checked and verified by the clerk's office.
A signature will be considered valid if the signer is a verifiable Dearborn resident who is also registered to vote in Dearborn. Signatures and petition sheets must also meet a number of other criteria, as identified by the State of Michigan.
A primary election will be held if the number of candidates for a particular race is more than double the available seats. So, three people would need to run for clerk, three for mayor, and 15 for city council, to necessitate a primary election.
Otherwise, verified candidates will head straight to a general election on Nov. 5.
All candidates must pull petitions to file to run for office, even if they are already an elected official.