Assistant Professor of Economics Peter Jennings has joined City of Hillsdale Ward I residents Ted Jansen and Dennis Wainscott as a candidate to fill in the city council vacancy left by Ward I City Councilman Brian Watkins’ resignation.
According to City Clerk Stephen French, Jansen and Jennings have completed the paperwork to be listed on the ballot in the fall election. Wainscott has not yet turned in the paperwork, but told The Collegian that he plans to seek Watkins’ seat.
Since Jennings is the third candidate to fill the paperwork, a primary election will be held in August to narrow the ballot down to two candidates, according to Mayor Adam Stockford.
Watkins resigned at a March 5 city council meeting, emailing his letter of resignation to Mayor Adam Stockford. According to Watkins, his job as a travelling public relations officer for Toyota is “no longer allowing me to provide the connected and engaged representation the citizens of Ward 1 need or deserve.” Since the beginning of his 2015 term, Watkins routinely missed council meetings — as excused absences — due to a work and travel conflicts.
Both Jansen and Wainscott have sought this seat before, first in the fall of 2015 and then this past fall. Both times they were defeated by the third candidate. Watkins won in 2015 and Ward I Greg Stuchell won in 2017.
Wainscott told the Collegian that he keeps seeking this seat because he believes that he can help the community.
“I don’t want to be a dependent. I want to be an asset,” he said.
Wainscott said his goal is to raise people from dependency to independent and self-sustained living.
“I believe that working with city and on council, I can be better equipped to reach out and help the people that need it,” he said.
Jennings could not be reached for comment.