Five candidates have taken out nomination papers for two of the three City Council seats up for election this year, Wards 2 and 5. Whether either race is contested in November remains to be seen.

In Ward 2, two-term incumbent Neal Harkness has taken out papers, as have two potential challengers, Rose Woodford and Joanne Moesswilde.

In Ward 5, Jessica Falconer and Paul Dean have taken out papers for the seat held by Councilor John Arrison, who has decided not seek a third term.

In an email to The Republican Journal, the outgoing councilor said he needs to devote time to his business after suffering injuries that kept him from work, and "cannot also put in the time necessary to do a good job as a city councilor." Arrison endorsed Dean as his replacement.

No challenger has come forward for the Ward 1 seat held by Mary Mortier, who has taken out papers for a fourth term.

As of Aug. 20, among candidates in the three wards, only Falconer had returned nomination papers.

Candidates for City Council must collect signatures from a minimum of 25 qualified Belfast voters. Councilors must reside in their ward but are elected by votes from all five wards. Once elected, they represent the city at large.

Nomination papers are available now at Belfast City Hall, 131 Church St. The deadline to return completed papers is 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. At that time, there will be a drawing to set the order in which names will appear on the ballot.