OKEECHOBEE — Although there will not be an early vote for the special election planned for the spring, City Clerk Lane Gamiotea said there will be vote-by-mail ballots available. This election was made necessary after Councilman-elect Russ Cale resigned amidst controversy just days before his term was due to begin. Gamiotea said they will tentatively bring the election proclamation calling for a special election in the next council meeting on Feb. 2. Qualifying week would be Feb. 8-12, and then election day would be April 27. These dates are very tentative. The plan is to hold the vote at the ROC (Recreation Outreach Center of First Baptist Church) if they can get permission.
“I just wanted you to know Supervisor Arnold has hit the ground running and has been great to work with,” said Gamiotea. “She is excited about getting a special election out there.”
The lack of an early vote is a cost-saving measure and is very common during special elections. Gamiotea and Election Supervisor Melissa Arnold have met multiple times and are working on many ways to save costs. Arnold is even looking at software that may help with this.
Gamiotea said in her 34 years in the clerk’s office, she has never seen a special election take place for any reason. She knows there has been at least one in the history of the city, because Judge William Hendry told her so, but she has never experienced one herself and is very excited to a be part of this one.
In other business, the council voted to award a contract for professional landscape services to Calvin, Giordano & Associates.
City Attorney John Fumero said the charter review committee has had two meetings and is moving right along.