ITHACA, N.Y. — A Fall Creek resident has announced she is running for the 5th Ward Common Council seat.

Melissa Hall is running as an independent candidate but is seeking the Democratic Party nomination. Hall is running on the Fall Creek Voice ballot line and said she decided to run for office because she cares about Fall Creek and the City of Ithaca.

“Ithaca is a special place and it should be for everyone,” Hall said in a news release. “To do this we need affordable quality housing, good paying jobs, transparent and responsive local government, and smart public safety policies that solve problems without alienating any part of the community.”

Hall works as the grants and training coordinator at the Tompkins County Assigned Counsel Program. In a news release, she said she also has nearly a decade of experience working with homeless populations and with people suffering from addiction. She is also a mother of two girls attending school in Fall Creek. She said her career and life experience as a mother has “made her aware of the challenges that people face every day in Ithaca.”

There will be a special election Nov. 7 to fill the vacancy from Josephine Martell’s resignation. There are two years left of her term.

Related: Alderperson Josephine Martell plans to resign from Fifth Ward

Independent petitions were due Thursday to the Tompkins County Board of Elections, and Hall was one of three people to turn in petitions for the 5th Ward seat. WRFI host and freelance journalist Aryeal Jackson and Laura Lewis, the 5th Ward Chair of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee, are seeking the seat.

Hall said she returned to Ithaca five years ago to be closer to her aging parents and raise her children. Hall said she has followed local government and is “acutely aware” of the issues facing Ithaca residents. She is a member of the Ithaca Community Gardens, the Fall Creek PTA, former assistant coach with the Ithaca Youth Bureau and Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension “as time permits.” She also plays soccer in a local women’s soccer league.

Hall said if she is elected, she will be “accessible and engaged with the Fall Creek community.  I look forward to meeting more of my neighbors during this fall’s campaign.”

Featured image provided by Melissa Hall

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