Planning to run for city council?

Here's what you need to know.

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WHAT IS QUALIFYING WEEK?
This is the time reserved, which all individuals who want to run for a City Elected Office, are required to file specific forms and pay the qualifying fees, either in person, or by mail. The qualifying papers and fee must be received in the City Clerk’s Office PRIOR to 12:00 PM, NOON, February 12.


WHEN IS QUALIFYING WEEK?
It begins promptly at 12:00 PM, on Monday, February 8, 2021, and remains open until 12:00 PM, on Friday, February 12, 2021.

Allow yourself enough time to file your forms in the City Clerk’s Office, open a campaign account at a financial institution, and then pay the qualifying fee (from campaign account) at the City Clerk’s Office.


WHAT IS FILED DURING QUALIFYING WEEK?
1. The very first form to be filed is Form DS-DE 9 Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and
Designation of Campaign Depository. It designates the office one is seeking, appoints a campaign treasurer, and designates where the campaign account will be set up. Campaign treasurers and deputy treasurers are very important and have a great responsibility; they are bound like the candidate, to follow ALL the campaign finance laws. Candidates can be held accountable for the actions of the treasurers and deputy treasurers. This should be someone who is meticulous with paperwork, and trustworthy.


2. Form DS-DE 84 Statement of Candidate must be filed within 10 days after filing form DS-DE 9, and states the Candidate has received, read, and understands the requirements of Chapter 106,
F.S.


3. FORM DS-DE 302NP CANDIDATE OATH FOR NON-PARTISAN OFFICE requires properly notarized oaths and includes a section for you to print your name the way you want it to appear on the ballot. If you plan to designate a nickname on this form, other than a generally recognized shortened version of your legal name, you should provide notice to the City Clerk, well in advance of qualifying week, and make a satisfactory showing that you are generally known by the nickname or that you have used the nickname as part of your legal name, and complete an Affidavit for Use of Nickname.


If you are having the form notarized outside of the city clerk’s office, review it carefully; nonproperly notarized forms cannot be accepted. Failure to provide information regarding the use of a nickname, may result in the city clerk’s office not having sufficient time during the qualifying period to determine if the nickname may be printed on the ballot.


4. Form 1 Statement of Financial Interests requires that the Candidate disclose the names and
addresses of their primary and secondary sources of income, addresses of real property owned in Florida, excluding your residence, certain relationships with or ownership interest in businesses such as banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, and utility companies. The dollar value is not required to be reported.

For assistance on completing the form, refer to the Guide to the Sunshine Amendment and Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, and the Rules of the Florida Commission on Ethics within this section.


5. Pay Qualifying Fee (must be a check drawn on the campaign account) or submit appropriate forms.


WHAT IS THE QUALIFYING FEE & METHODS OF PAYMENT?
The qualifying fee for City candidates is $50.00, plus a State Assessment Fee of 1 percent of the annual salary as of July 1, for the office you seek. The annual salary of the Mayor is $10,900.00, and Council Member is $8,800.00. Since any Council Member could be appointed as Mayor, the State Election Assessment must be based on the higher salary.
$ 50.00 CITY QUALIFYING FEE
$ 109.00 STATE 1% ASSESSMENT FEE
$159.00 TOTAL
Alternative to paying the 1 Percent State Assessment Fee is to complete the AFFIDAVIT OF FINANCIAL HARDSHIP (F.S. 99.093(2). However, once the G3 Treasurers Report is filed, any funds that remain must be paid towards the 1 % assessment fee.

WHAT IF A MISTAKE IS FOUND ON MY PAPERWORK?
No corrections to qualifying papers can be accepted after the close of qualifying. The City Clerk’s Office will make a reasonable effort to notify a candidate of mistakes in paperwork prior to the last day of qualifying. Should a candidate’s qualifying campaign check bounce, they will be notified immediately. Candidate has 48 hours from receipt of notice, either by telephone or return receipt mail, to provide a cashier’s check purchased with funds of the campaign account. Failure to provide cashier’s check will disqualify candidate.


WILL I GET MY QUALIFYING FEE BACK IF I DECIDE NOT TO RUN?
Candidate Withdraws - F.S. 99.092(1) provides that your qualifying fee will be returned only if you withdraw your candidacy in writing and it is filed in the City Clerk’s Office before qualifying ends.

Deceased Candidate - If the candidate dies prior to the election, the candidate’s beneficiary is entitled to the return of the qualifying fee.

Candidate Fails to Qualify - The City Clerk’s Office will return the campaign check with letter explaining that the person did not qualify.

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