There are three seats on the Fort Myers Beach Town Council up for election in less than four months. None of the three incumbents will be on the ballot so those races are wide open. As of this week, only two residents have shown interest in running for those seats. We know there are more Islanders interested in the public affairs of our town.
Is it too early to think about a March election? Definitely not!
There are two ways to qualify to run for Town Council: by petition or by paying filing fees. Qualifying by petition is much less expensive, like over $500 less expensive, than qualifying by filing fee. So, if you’re thinking of running, the time to get started is now. Those petitions with at least 49 signatures of registered Fort Myers Beach voters are due December 9 at the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office.
But don’t run out and start getting signatures quite yet. This is government work. There are forms to complete, rules to follow and deadlines to meet. We explained how to get started last week. Hint: it all begins at Town Hall with the Town Clerk.
Some years, we have an embarrassment of riches in candidates. Way too many good choices. Other years, we have just enough candidates to fill open seats. So far this year, we don’t even have that, though it is still early.
There are a lot of changes heading our way over the next three years. Decisions to be made, some of them hard ones. Our town deserves council members willing to work toward representing the interests of their fellow citizens in making decisions to further the progress of our community. Could that be you?
The Island Sand Paper has a Campaign Policy that is focused on providing information about candidates in the most effective way possible to our readers. We understand that we are one of the primary conduits through which voters will learn about these candidates. And that requires taking into account access and fairness, responsibility and duty to our community. As a result, we’ve developed our Campaign Policy so that we can share it with candidates and readers. Anyone who would like a complete copy can pick one up in our office or contact us and we’ll send it to you.
We provide all candidates whose name will be on the ballot the opportunity to announce their candidacy, share a Guest Opinion and answer “Ask the Candidate” questions. All candidates get the same opportunities.
We invite letters of support for candidates from our readers, providing they are not family members of the candidate. Let our readers know why you support the candidate!
Last fall, we were accused of violating Florida Election law because we provided that free space to candidates to share their views. It took eleven months, but we and our Campaign Policy, were fully cleared of any wrongdoing. We have always offered all candidates the same coverage and will continue to do so.
Missy & Bob Layfield