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Vero Beach pool of council candidates grows to 3 applicants

VERO BEACH — The list of Vero Beach residents wishing to serve on the city council has grown to three with the application from a real estate agent and Vietnam veteran. Still, no one who ran for the Vero Beach City Council in the Nov. 3 municipal election has filed for the now open seat once held by Charlie Wilson.

William Mills sent a 2-page letter to the city’s clerk, asking to be considered for the seat. Mills has been a resident of the Vero Beach area for nearly 60 years, according to the letter. Mills is the owner of Real Estate & Management Group Inc., while his wife, Mary Jane, owns Children’s Discovery Center. “I am deeply committed to preserving the integrity and character of our beautiful city,” Mills wrote.


He adds, “As a small business owner and a Realtor, I have been and continue to be concerned about our city’s needs for growth and expansion.”

Mills also writes that the city should remain open minded to possible annexation as the city is essentially built out.

City residents have until Friday to submit a one-page resume to City Hall to be considered for the open council seat.

Earlier this month, a judge ousted Wilson from serving on the council, ruling that Wilson did not meet the city’s residency requirements when he filed to run in the election. Wilson was the top vote getter with more than 1,000 votes.

Wilson – and fellow seat winner, Brian Heady – beat out incumbents Debra Fromang and Bill Fish, along with Ken Daige, Jack Shupe and Susan Viviano. So far, none of the election’s candidates have filed their intent for consideration with the city clerk.

Mills joins fellow residents Richard Kennedy and Al Benkert in consideration for the open seat.

Kennedy is an attorney and has served on the city’s planning commission. Benkert is the president of the Oceanside Business Association.

Residents interested in being considered to serve on the council must meet the following requirements:

Be 18 years old or older

Be a resident of the city for at least one year immediately prior to submitting a resume

Be a registered voter

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Dec. 17, after which the remaining four members of the Vero Beach City Council will review the submitted resumes and cover letters over the holidays and hold one-on-one private interviews with candidates on Jan. 6.

A public interview of up to three finalists will be held on Jan. 12 in the City Council Chambers.

The new member will serve until the next election in Nov. 2010, at which time he or she may run for re-election for one of the three open seats.

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