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Voters throughout southeast Iowa will go to the polls on November 7 to fill city council seats and elect mayors. There are contested races in some of the largest cities: Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Burlington.Tri States Public Radio talked to the candidates in these cities about their campaigns and put together an online audio election guide. Hear what the candidates have to say and become informed before you vote.

Election 2017 - Burlington City Council - Bill Ell

Jason Parrott
Bill Ell finished 2nd the in Oct. 10 Burlington City Council primary.

The October 10 primary narrowed the field of candidates seeking three open seats on the Burlington City Council from 15 to 6. Tri States Public Radio spoke prior to the primary with the top six finishers, including Bill Ell, who finished second.

Ell is quite familiar with city government -- he served on the city council from 2005-2012, including 4 1/2 years as mayor. He's also a retired fire chief.

Ell said one of the reasons he wants to return to the city council is for the opportunity to work with City Manager Jim Ferneau. He said Ferneau's helped lead the city out of its financial woes and Ell wants to help that process continue.

Ell said he sees a lot of positives going on throughout the city with new businesses opening, new housing being built, and the work along the riverfront. He also supports the new police station, the addition of firefighters through a state grant, and the expansion of nuisance enforcement.

Ell said if elected, he would lobby state lawmakers to stop balancing the state budget on the backs of cities.

Early voting is underway in Burlington ahead of the November 7 general election.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.