Creating Prosperity in a ZIP Code

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Developing Issues


Carl E. Person
225 E. 36th St. Suite 3A
New York NY 10016-3664
Tel. No. - 212-307-4444
Fax No. - 212-307-0247
Email Address:

Major-Value Issues for Candidates Running for Town, Village, Municipality or County Offices


There is no reason other than political corruption in one form or another for most of these issues to have been suppressed over the years. The main reason probably is that any candidate tries to remain open to wealthy contributors and does not want to lose this revenue by advocating something that would be adverse to the major corporations and their wealthy controlling shareholders.

Yet, in a small town or village, an individual without much financial backing, but with dedication and populist issues (meaning, issues that would be of benefit to the average person residing in the community) is much more able to win an election than at a higher level of government, where there is no opportunity to go out and actually meet and talk with most of the voters. In a small town, you can enlist the support of many of the small businesses and can explain to other voters (many of whom are underemployed, unemployed, scared about their financial future and the ever-increasing loss of jobs and the ever-decreasing wages for the jobs that remain in the U.S. They are looking for someone who can help them. The issues I present in this website are what the candidate for local office needs. The issues relate to the economic and other well-being of the towns residents and small businesses, and they should be inclined to vote for someone with these fresh ideas who is not part of the long-lasting political scheme to take away their economic security and standard of living.

The Candidate for Mayor of Your Town Could be a Non-Resident such as Carl E. Person - the Author of This Website

Although many towns and villages announce that candidates for mayor or councilperson are required to have usually one to five years of residency in the town or village, a number of federal and state court decisions do not agree. Of course, there are some (a lesser number) that have upheld such requirement. The courts are more apt to strike residency requirements that are created by the town or village, as distinguished by the state constitution or perhaps by state statute.

The situation, it seems, comes down to this. A requirement that a candidate for mayor be a resident of the town or village for so many years would probably not be a barrier, if the non-resident candidate is willing to challenge any such restriction in court.

Accordingly, I would like to have my name given as candidate for mayor or head of the town council in hundreds of towns and villages in the United States, following whatever procedure is appropriate, including the specific number of valid signatures from voting residents on nominating petitions, and submitting the paperwork within the required time frame. If the candidacy is not challenged, then I would be a candidate for mayor (simultaneously, in hopefully hundreds of towns and villages), and in the places where the candidacy is not permitted on the ballot, then I would file action action to require the candidacy to be accepted, and my name placed on the ballot as a candidate for mayor. From now on, when I mention mayor, I am also referring to the head of council by whatever name, who in many communities is the equivalent of an elected mayor.

Assuming that I or others are elected mayor with promise of making a bona fide effort to implement each of the within election issues, the counry would have hundreds of town and village attorney generals making sure that the major corporations in the United States adhere to the law or be subjected to hundreds of lawsuits for violation of the law.

You, as the reader of this website, if you are interested in helping out, should contact your local elections office to find out what needs to be done to put you or me on the ballot as a candidate for mayor in your town or village. Then, proceed to take the appropriate steps. I will always be available to answer any questions or sign any documents.

Here is a draft of my poster (which reminds me of the time, many years ago, when I ran for the Presidency of Student Council at Long Island University -- and I won! Carl Person's Campaign Poster for Mayor-Council - Dressed in the Formal Attire of a Solicitor General; a thumbnail of same poster Thumbnail of Carl Person's Campaign Poster for Mayor-Council - Dressed in the Formal Attire of a Solicitor General; Carl Person's Campaign Poster for Mayor-Council - Using Different Picture; and Thumbnail of Carl Person's Campaign Poster for Mayor-Council - Using Different Picture.

My campaign slogan was "SCP for SCP" meaning "Support Carl Person for Student Council President". I had a 17-Point Program at the time.

Discussion of the Governing Law with Citation to Various Cases

In White v. Manchin, 173 W. Va. 526, 318 S.E.2d 470 (1984), the Supreme Court of West Virginia uphold a state constitutional provision requiring a one-year residency requirement for state senate. The 24-page opinion stated in part:

Ths Court has frequently recognized that the right to become a candidate for public office is a fundamental right, and that any restriction on the exercise of this right must serve a compelling state interest [various citations omitted]. Therefore, strict scrutiny applies, whether under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment or under the fundamental right to candidacy under our state constitution, requiring a compelling state interest to sustain our durational residency provision's constitutionality. In Marra v. Zink, 163 W.Va. at 407, 256 S.E.2d at 586, this Court invalidated a City charter provision requiring members of city council to have been city residents for one year prior to their nomination. In so doing, we explicitly rejectged contentions that such a provision served a compelling state interest. ... This is relatively consistent with the majority of cases throughout the country which have invalidated local durational residency requirements [citing decisions from the 3rd and 6th federal Circuit Courts, federal district courts in Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan; and state courts in California, Colorado, Michigan, New York; and citing cases to the contrary from the federal 6th and 5th Circuits, federal district courts in Michigan and Missouri, and state courts in Alaska, Arizona and Louisiana]; or state statutory durational residency requirements governing local public officials,5 [citing decisions from the 5th Circuit, federal district courts in Ohio and Michigan, and state courts in Georgia and Kentucky, and citing cases to the contrary from the 9th Circuit, federal district courts in Texas, Florida and Illinois, and state courts in New Jersey, New York and State of Washington].

On the other hand, courts have consistently upheld state constitutional durational residency requirements [citing 2 federal court decisions in New Hampshire that were affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court; a Declaare federal district court, another federal court; and state courts in Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey, and Tennessee; and citing cases to the contrary in the 8th Circuit; Oklahoma federal district court; and state courts in Maryland and Oklahoma].

Another, shorter decision, collecting cases both pro and con, is Robertson v. Bartels, 150 F. Supp. 2d 691 (D. NJ 2001). After listing the various decisions, pro and con, the court stated:

There exists "a federal constitutional right to be considered for public service without the burden of invidiously discriminatory qualifications," and a state "may not deny to some the privilege of holding public office that it extends to others on the basis of distinctions that that violate federal constitutional guarantees." * * *

The weighing process in each case is fact sensitive. A fundamental right is at stake and it is necessary to weigh against its impairment the governmental interests asserted in support of the classification. In the present case the State argues that "there is nothing in the State constitutional residency requirement that restricts plaintiffs' ability to express themselves.... Even assuming, Ii>arguendo, that candidates realistically have more opportunity to be heard, as plaintffs contend, this alleged increased opportunity does not amount to any abridgement of federally protected rights. The federal Constitution does not guarantee anyone, candidates or otherwise, the right "to be heard." [U.S. Suprme Court decision omitted.] * * *

FN2. The State may well be correct in its statement of these general principals. The fundamental right which is threatened by the one year residency requirement, however, is not the right to free speech or the right to travel. The fundamental right at issue is the combined right of persons to run for public office and the right of voters to vote for candidates of their choice. Impairment of that combined right, as recited above, is subject to strict scrutiny and can only be impaired if the impairment furthers significant State interests. [lengthy analysis omitted, but is good support for someone trying to have a local residency requirement declared unconstitutional.] * * *

IV. Conclusion

New Jersey's one-year residency requirement for candidates for the Senate and General Assembly does not survive the strict scrutiny inquiry and, is therefore violative of the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. * * *

Also, see

  1. Lentini v. City of Kenner, 479 F. Supp. 966 (D.C. La. 1979) (city charter requirement that candidate for office of councilman have two years' residency in the city was not justified by any compelling governmental interest, and was thus violative of equal protection, despite contention that such statute insured that candidate was familiar with constituents, insured that voters had been thoroughly exposed to the candidate and prevented political carpetbagging.

  2. Wellford v. Battaglia, 485 F.2d 1151 (3rd Cir. 1973) (city charter provision that mayor shall have been a resident of the city for at least five years at the time of his election affected fundamental rights of right to vote and right to travel, and would be judged by the "compelling state interest" standard

  3. Campbell v. Tunny, 196 Misc. 2d 860, 764 N.Y.S.2d 163, 2003 N.Y. Slip Op. 23698 (Supreme Court, Albany NY 2003) (one-year residency requirement for candidate for office of county legislator deprived candidate of his right ot run for country office, and restricted right of voters to support candidate of their choice; and one-year residency requirement, as applied to candidate, was not reasonably related to rational objective of ensuring mutual familiarity between candidate and electorate.

  4. Answer by Google Answers to My Question "Carpetbag Mayoral Candidates - Is it Possible Today?" together with My Reply Google Answer and My Reply to My Question about Residency Requirements to Run for Mayor in Nation's Towns and Villages

  5. If you are interested in looking at the Constitution for any state to see if there are any residency or other requirements for candidates, see Constitution for Each of the 50 States in Beautiful United States Website

  6. To search the statutes of any state for any requirements for a candidate for various public offices, you should visit the Prairienet Community Website of the University of Illinois. The website provides a link to various other websites that provide the full text of the statutes and constitution for each of the 50 states. Prairienet Website Providing Links to Statutes of Constitutions of the 50 States

In conclusion, the foregoing cases will be useful in challenging the candidancy for mayor of candidates who do not live in the town or village holding the election.