Qualifying Deadline Approaches
Next week is a big week for our Town. By Friday afternoon, January 18, 2019, Islanders will know who will be on the ballot for Town Council seats #1 and #2 that will be decided on March 5, 2019. Those seats are currently held by Dennis Boback and Tracey Gore.
Qualifying week begins at noon on Monday, January 14 and closes at noon on Friday, January 18. By noon Friday, candidates must have all required forms and payment submitted.
Who can run? A candidate for Town Council must be a resident of the Town and a registered voter and must have resided within the corporate limits of the Town for a minimum of one year prior to qualifying for election.
The first thing any candidate must do is appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository. In addition there are residency forms to complete along with Statement of Candidate forms, financial disclosure forms and ongoing campaign treasurer reports, among a long list of required forms.
What’s it cost? Candidate costs are based on the annual salary of a council member – $16,800. The full qualifying fee of 4% of that salary is broken down into a 3% filing fee and a 1% election assessment. If qualifying by petition (Fifty petitions were due December 17, 2018), the 3% filing fee is waived. The 1% election assessment can also be waived in cases of proven financial hardship. So, candidates will pay anywhere from $0 to $672 in order to appear on the ballot.
As of Wednesday, January 9, three candidates have announced their candidacy: Rexann Hosafros, Dan Allers and Ray Murphy. Incumbents Tracey Gore and Dennis Boback have not yet indicated if they will run.
Complete details on forms, requirements and deadlines are available on the Town Clerk’s page under Departments at fmbgov.com or via this link: bit.ly/FMBelection
To vote in the Fort Myers Beach Town Council election on March 5, 2019, voters must be registered with the Lee County Elections Office as a voter in the Town by Monday February 4, 2019. To Vote-by-Mail, request a Vote-by-Mail ballot from the Lee County Elections office by 5pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Vote-by-Mail ballots must be received in the Lee County Elections office by 7pm March 5 to be counted. Polling places will be open from 7am to 7pm in Fort Myers Beach on March 5, 2019. To check your voter registration status or request a Vote-by-Mail ballot visit lee.vote or call 239-LEE-VOTE.
By Missy Layfield