Hear Council Candidates
Fort Myers Beach voters have three public forums to attend to hear directly from the seven candidates who are vying for the three Town Council seats on the March 17 ballot. Candidates are Dan Allers, Jim Atterholt, Robert Burandt, Bruce Butcher, Forrest (Butch) Critser, David Drumm and Bill Veach. Butcher is the only incumbent seeking a second term, while Mayor Anita Cereceda is term-limited out of office and Council member Joanne Shamp is not running for re-election.
The Beach Ministerial Association will host the first Candidate Forum entitled “Why You?” at the Beach United Methodist Church at 155 Bay Road on Tuesday, February 18, at 6 p.m. Candidates will be asked to share what qualities they can bring to Town Council by explaining their background and how that will translate into being a proactive Council member by answering questions. Following the Candidate Forum, there will be a “Meet & Greet” to personally interact with those running for office.
The following week, island residents Doris Grant, Tracey Gore, Deborah Groll, Judy Haataja and Becca Nakaya will host a Candidate Forum at St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church at 5601 Williams Drive on Wednesday, February 26, at 6:30 p.m. Audience questions will allow voters to better understand each candidate’s stance on important issues that will form the island’s foreseeable future.
Finally, the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce will host its Candidate Forum, “Commotion By The Ocean” at the Beach Baptist Church at 130 Connecticut Street on Thursday, March 5, with a “Meet & Greet” at 6 p.m. and the program from 7 to 9 p.m. This forum allows voters to get to know each candidate and where they stand on local issues. Moderators will randomly chose submitted questions. To submit a question send to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 2.
On the March 17 ballot, in addition to three Town Council seats, will be two Fort Myers Beach Charter Amendments related to council terms and elections and, for voters who are registered with a political party, a Presidential Preference Primary.
Residents wishing to register to vote or change their party affiliation for the Primary Election must do so by February 18, 2020. Mailing of Vote-by-Mail ballots began February 11 according to the Lee County Elections Office. Vote-by-Mail ballots must be requested by 5 p.m., March 7. Note that Vote-by-Mail ballots will not be forwarded. For all voting-related questions, visit lee.vote or call 239-533-8683.
In addition to Vote-by-Mail, Early Voting is available from Saturday, March 7, through Saturday, March 14, at ten Lee County locations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The two closest to Fort Myers Beach are the Lee County Elections Center at 13180 South Cleveland Avenue and Lee County Elections Bonita Springs Branch Office at 25987 Tamiami Trail.
Fort Myers Beach’s three precincts at Chapel by the Sea, St. Peter’s Church and Ascension Church will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, March 17, 2020.