Sebastian residents can start election qualification Thursday

By Debbie Carson, Online Editor

SEBASTIAN – City of Sebastian residents can officially get started in the qualification process to run for the City Council this November. Residents have until Sept. 4 to file their application and pay the $61 filing fee.

This year’s municipal election has three open seats. Council members Andrea Coy, Dale Simchick and Eugene Wolff seats are up.

So far, only Councilwoman Andrea Coy has filed for re-election. Whether or not Simchick and Wolff will also file remains to be seen. Already, there are five candidates running for the three open seats. Along with Coy, are council hopefuls Don Wright, Joseph Scozzari, Al Paternoster and Bob McPartlan.

All five have pre-qualified and are expected to finish their qualification requirements during the qualifying period.

City Clerk Sally Maio, who oversees the candidate qualification process, said that there could possibly be four more residents who file – but that’s just a guess.

“It’s hard to predict,” Maio said of how many people will run for the council.

Last year’s municipal election garnered nine candidates vying for two seats. How many this year’s election will draw is hard to say.

“We never know,” Maio said, adding that she closes the door on the process at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 4.

Sebastian holds municipal elections every year. On odd-numbered years, such as 2009, the city elects three council members. On even-numbered years, two council members are elected.

Next year, Mayor Richard Gillmor and Jim Hill’s seats will be up for election.

Historically, the city sees between 20 and 25 percent voter participation in municipal elections, Maio said. Last year was higher, however, due to the presidential election.

The last time Maio checked, while preparing her municipal election budget, there were approximately 15,500 registered voters in Sebastian.

Council members serve 2-year terms and there are no term limits. Council seats are at-large and are non-partisan.

In order to run for council, candidates have to have lived within the city limits for at least one year from Sept. 4, 2009.

Anyone considering running for a City Council seat should contact City Clerk Sally Maio by e-mailing her at [email protected] or calling (772) 388-8214.

For information about voter registration, precincts and polling places or early voting please contact Indian River County Supervisor of Elections, Kay Clem at www.voteindianriver.com or by calling 226-3440.

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