ITHACA, N.Y. — Alderperson Josephine Martell is moving later this summer, which will leave her seat on Common Council open for election this November.

Martell represents Ithaca’s Fifth Ward, which includes Fall Creek. Martell’s term would have expired Dec. 31, 2019.

Josephine Martell/Provided Photo

Martell is not moving far. Martell said she, her husband and three children are planning to move to a house in the First Ward. She said she will resign sometime in August.

Because of the timing, there will not be a primary but there will be time for people to run in the general election in November. After Martell resigns, the Democratic Committee could make a nomination or the committee could choose not to make a recommendation and candidates would run as independents.

Martell is in her second term and fourth year on Common Council. She serves on the Planning & Economic Development Committee, and is the Common Council liaison for the Rental Housing Advisory Commission, Parks Commission and Natural Areas Commission. She also chaired the Canada Geese Working Group.

Martell said she does not plan to run for any seats in local government this election cycle, but said she would consider it again in the future.

With Martell leaving, there are now six seats open for the November election. Cynthia Brock, Seph Murtagh, Donna Fleming, Graham Kerslick and Deborah Mohlenhoff are all running for re-election.

Anyone interested in running for the Fifth Ward seat can contact Martell at The Tompkins County Democratic Committee also posted that people interested in running can contact Laura Lewis, Fifth Ward Chair, at

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.