Monday, August 19, 2019

And So It Begins


Photo by Steve Stefanides

They’ve filed their papers, appointed their treasurers, have begun collecting money and for some, have been working their constituent base since early February for a four-year term on the Marco Island City Council.

The filing period for running for council closed at 5 PM on July 31 and five individuals have successfully qualified for the election, which will be held on November 6, 2018 for the three open seats.

First to file their intent to run was incumbent Victor Rios, the only sitting councilor to do so. Bob Brown, the only other sitting councilor who would have been eligible to run chose not to. He would have been eligible to run for another four years had he chosen to.

Erik Brechnitz was the second to announce his candidacy in early March of this year. Brechnitz sits on the city’s Planning Board and is in his second term as the chairman of that influential advisory committee. He resides in the Hideaway Beach community on Marco.

Photo by Steve Stefanides

Dr. Gerald Swiacki has chosen to throw his hat into the ring and make a bid for one of the three open seats, qualifying earlier this month. Swiacki was chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, and has sat on a number of city committees and local organizations.

Jim Richards, another local island resident has also chosen to run in 2018. Richards and his wife have been active participants in a number of organizations and causes on the island. He too filed his papers earlier in July to run for one of the three available seats.

Sam Young, a member of the city’s Waterway Advisory Committee has also filed his paperwork recently and qualified to run for council.

To be eligible to run for council an individual must meet the following criteria and file the appropriate paperwork.

  • Been a resident of the community for one year prior to an election.
  • Qualified to be a voter within the community.
  • Must have signed petitions equaling 1% of the city electors registered in the last election. For this election that would be 123 signatures, as 12,348 individuals were registered to vote during the last election.
  • Candidates were required to pay a $60 registration fee and $.10 per petition to cover verification costs, which equals $12.30.

An individual would also be required to submit financial statements on a regular basis, which documents who has contributed to their campaign and a listing of those expenditures paid during the specific filing period.

Candidates will also be required to disclose all sources of income, assets and liabilities as part of the necessary paperwork.

There is no limitation on the amounts of monies that may be raised, from whom or where it will be spent. However, all that information must be disclosed and open to public scrutiny for their evaluation.

The Coastal Breeze News will be providing its readers with up to date information on the candidates and the issues residents feel are relevant to making an informed decision when they cast their ballots on November 6, 2018.

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