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Paul Osborne

     It’s hard to believe that kids are back in school and Labor Day Weekend is history! We are already two/thirds through 2022! I don’t know about you, but for me, months seem to fly by like weeks — and weeks like days! It’s also hard to believe that this Sept. 11th marks 21 years since the terrorist attacks on our nation left all of us stunned.

     I remember the gathering we had in Decatur’s Central Park only hours following the attacks and the shock and sadness on the faces of those gathered there. It seems like only yesterday.

     Tom Emery has an article about “9/11 By The Numbers” starting in the center column of this week’s front page in the print and online editions.

     . One thing really stands out in my mind: patriotism in this nation was at an all-time high and citizens and politicians put away their differences and joined together in support of America. We really were the United States of America! Obviously, the nation is no longer “united” as it was that day 21 years ago. There are divisions in the major political parties, in families, between officials and friendships over “politics”! I don’t want this nation to ever be attacked again but I miss the spirit of unity and togetherness that was so present on that tragic day 21 years ago,

     • ROAD WORK — I’ve written a lot about the fast traffic on Route 51 South in Decatur. Most drivers seem to throw caution to the wind and drive at extremely fast speeds. There is now an informational electric sign for drivers to read as they are heading south out of Decatur on Route 51. For those who drive too fast to read the wording, the sign indicates that road work will begin the week of Sept. 12. No one looks forward to a new, smooth Route 51 South more than I do. With a new, smooth road, there may be some land speed records set, considering how fast many drivers go on the present rough road.

     • MEMORIES — Petitions are now available for Decatur Mayor and three City Council seats which will be up for election in 2023. That brings back some memories for me. Twenty years ago, I was collecting signatures for my run for the first term as Decatur’s mayor. Thanks to the support of the community I won that term and a second term four years later. However, I also had some great support from people I respected helping me make sure I did everything necessary in the process to get my name on the ballot. I have fond memories of working with the members of my campaign staff. The campaign was a long one but enjoyable and a real upclose and personal education for a newspaper editor on understanding the election process.

     • THE PETITIONS for mayor and council are available in the office of the City Clerk, located on the 3rd floor of the Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K Anderson Plaza, or on the City’s website at City Clerk. Petitions must contain the signatures of 85 registered voters. Anyone who can’t get the signatures of 85 registered voters has a campaign that will not even get started. My suggestion is to make sure those signing the petition are registered voters (challenges may come) and get at least double the number of signatures required in case there is a problem with some of the signatures.

     Council candidates must be a United States citizen, registered voter, age 18 or older, and must reside within the City limits for one year preceding the election. Nominating petitions may be filed in the office of the City Clerk from 8:00 a.m., Monday, November 21, 2022, through 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 28, 2022. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 217-424-2708 for more information.

     I couldn’t help but notice that the information announcing the availability of the petitions also stated: “Please note the City Clerk cannot provide any legal advice with regard to the election process.” My advice to anyone thinking of running for mayor or a city council seat is to make very sure you understand and meet all of the legal requirements of collecting signatures and filing the petitions. We’ve had some controversy in the past because some candidates were challenged due to not having completed everything necessary to be a legitimate candidate.

     • ANOTHER TERM — I received Lisa Gregory’s announcement Tuesday that she is running for re-election to the Decatur City Council. Lisa is running for her third term. More details about her announcment are elsewhere on

      • I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00. Brian was one of the members of my campaign committee when I successfuly ran for my first term as mayor 20 years ago. I always enjoy our discussion.

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