Hannum Withdraws Aberdeen Council Bid, Citing Potential Career Conflicts

Liz Hannum
Liz Hannum

Nertz! Liz Hannum has withdrawn her candidacy for the vacancy on the Aberdeen City Council. According to AAN’s Elisa Sand, Hannum is withdrawing “to avoid a potential conflict of interest with new employers.” After leaving her NSU jobs last winter, Hannum is concentrating on her economic development work with StartHUB right now, but she always has her eye open for other gigs that will pay the mortgage.

Hannum’s focus on new entrepreneurs, plus her international experience with NSU’s study abroad program and with refugees would have made her a great addition to a city council that needs to recruit and retain new young business leaders and that is relying on immigrants to fill its workforce needs. Her willingness to withdraw from consideration based merely on a possible future conflict of interest speaks to her integrity.

Compare Hannum’s withdrawal to remaining applicant David Novstrup’s unwillingness to acknowledge his existing conflict of interest, making a living on a concession contract with the city for his amusement park, as anything other than something other people “perceive”. Hannum may have a conflict in the future—she steps back. Novstrup has a conflict right now—he poo-poos it and keeps seeking power. It’s too bad integrity keeps some people out of politics.

The Aberdeen City Council has two other candidates, Carl Perry and Dennis “Mike” Olson, to choose from when it convenes on Monday, August 8. I have my suspicions about a councilman with an alias, but the community doesn’t: in an online poll launched by AAN yesterday after Hannum’s withdrawal, “Mike” is ahead:

Aberdeen American News, online poll, screen cap 2016.08.04 09:30 CDT.
Aberdeen American News, online poll, screen cap 2016.08.04 09:30 CDT.

Vote today, and see if your pick matches that of the Aberdeen City Council Monday!