Qualifying for Indian River Shores Town Council opens today

INDIAN RIVER SHORES — Two seats will be opening up on the Indian River Shores Town Council in March and this is the one and only week to qualify to run.

Town Clerk Laura Aldrich said Town Hall is open today, despite the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and that qualifying runs from noon today through noon on Friday, Jan. 21. Candidates have been picking up packets for a couple of months, but there is no paper record of who is obtained qualifying paperwork because residents do not have to sign out the packets.

At least one person, Dick Haverland, has publicly declared and two others are interested in the job. It is expected that Haverland, plus St. Edward’s School Board member Brian Barefoot and former Shores Mayor Tom Cadden will be filing papers this week.

For more information about these potential candidates, click here to read previous coverage of the Shores election.

Should more than two people qualify, there will be an election for Town voters only on Tuesday, March 8. When other municipalities switched their elections to November, the Shores opted to keep the March date in order to capture the greatest number of voters in town, as the Shores has a high percentage of seasonal residents generally in town from November through early April or from January through early April.

If only two candidates are in the race, both will be declared winners by default and will take office in March. This has been the typical outcome in the Indian River Shores, but increased citizen interest over utility and budgetary issues may prompt an actual election and some debate.

Mayor Bill Kenyon and Vice Mayor William Ahrens — both John’s Island residents — are term-limited after serving for eight years each.

Shores Town Council Members serve four-year terms with a limit of two consecutive terms. After sitting out a period, former council members can run again and serve another two consecutive terms if re-elected.

Current Councilmen Gerard Weick and Mike Ochsner could run again in 2013, while Councilwoman Fran Atchison will be term limited in 2013.

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