Fairfield?s municipal elections are Tuesday, but are somewhat subdued since there are no contested races this year.
But one thing is for certain: the council is guaranteed to welcome a new face in 2018.
John Revolinski is stepping down after 20 years on the council, leaving his 2nd Ward seat vacant. Paul Gandy was the only resident of the ward to file papers to appear on the ballot, making him the odds-on favorite to fill Revolinski?s shoes.
Gandy said Revolinski approached him several months ago to ask him if he would like to run for his spot on the council. Gandy was indeed interested in participating more in local government, so he decided to give it a shot.
Gandy ran for a seat on the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors in 2016. Lee Dimmitt and Dee Sandquist emerged as the two winners of that four-person race.
Gandy has practiced law in Fairfield for more than 26 years. He said he advocates primarily for ?individuals, families and small businesses in financial distress? in areas such as consumer protection law.
?In my legal career, I?ve worked with and counseled thousands of clients in southeast Iowa and throughout the state,? he said.
Gandy has lived in Fairfield for more than 33 years, having moved here from Houston, Texas, in the early 1980s. One of his formative experiences was becoming an Eagle Scout when he was 15 years old.
As a child, Gandy moved frequently all over the country because his father was serving in the United States Air Force.
?As a judge friend of mine said to me once, I wasn?t born in Iowa, but I got here as fast as I could,? Gandy remarked.
Gandy said he has been attending city council meetings recently given there is a good chance he will be elected to the council Tuesday. He said his legal experience will be a useful asset on the council, since legal aspects ?touch virtually every area of city government.?
During the past several years, Gandy has served as an elected member of the Jefferson County Magistrate Nominating Commission. He has participated in the interview and selection process for county magistrate and district associate judge positions.
?Being able to work well with city and county leaders in making decisions which affect our whole community is very important in that setting,? he said. ?I enjoy the process and have gained quite a bit of experience at it. I believe this skill of being able to work in partnership with others would also be useful for service on the city council.?
Goals for council
What are Gandy?s goals should he make it on the council? He said a recent editorial in his college alma mater?s newspaper put it well, which was that city councils are responsible for dealing with the practical needs of the community and the everyday well-being of the citizens the council represents.
?If elected, I would represent as best I could those who live in Ward 2, consistent with the needs of the entire city,? he said.
Gandy likes that council races are non-partisan, which he feels allows councilors to make compromises instead of getting caught up in divisive politics.
?I don?t have a specific agenda to promote as a councilor. If elected, my goal would be to listen well to Fairfield citizens ? particularly Ward 2 residents ? work hard to build on the accomplishments of our mayor and city council team, and do my part to help continue to improve Fairfield for our shared future,? he said.