2011 Carbondale Elections
Elections for Carbondale mayor and city council are coming up in April 2011 and several candidates have already announced they’re running. Joel Fritzler, George Maroney, Sam Goldman, and Brent Ritzel have all announced their candidacies for mayor. As far as I know, there have been no formal announcements for city council, but a few people are rumored to be running.
Frizler should be considered a real contender. He has been on city council since 2005 and was the top vote getter in the 2009 elections. In recent years, he has been sharply critical of current mayor Brad Cole, who is not running for reelection.
George Maroney’s chances are tough to gauge. He was CEO of Southern Illinois Healthcare, which is one of the region’s largest employers. SIH grew during his tenure so it seems reasonable to assume he’s capable of executive leadership. Judging by some of his letters to the editor, he is pretty conservative, so he may inherit some of Cole’s voters. On the other hand, he’s never run for office so there is no way to judge his potential political base or campaign skills.
Sam Goldman has served on the SIU Board of Trustees and as Chancellor. During Goldman’s tenure as chancellor, enrollment continued to decline at SIU. Goldman is popular in the community and could be competitive. He is retired, so he would have plenty of time to devote to serving as mayor.
Ritzel seems to be the outlier in this group. He is head of the effort to rehabilitate the Buckminster Fuller Dome Home on Cherry St., and is business manager for the Holistic Wellness Institute. About a year ago he was promoting a clean energy manufacturing project in Herrin. I don’t know quite how to judge Ritzel’s prospects, so I’m going to save that for a future post.
Some other names have been mentioned including former Building and Services Manager Tom Grant, Councilman Steven Haynes, and former Community Relations Officer Marilyn James. We’ll see if any of them officially announce candidacies.
***CORRECTED: I received an email alerting me that I had misspelled Brent Ritzel’s name in an earlier version of this article. The spelling has been corrected. I apologize for the error.***