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Submitted by Sanibel Residents: Arlene Dillon, Mary Ganske & Sarah Peck
An unprecedented three City Council seats will be up for grabs in March of 2021. In the interim, Council must appoint two temporary members to fill the seats of Mayor Kevin Ruane and Councilman Jason Maughan (who, after seeking higher offices, must step down under Florida’s “resign to run” law).
To make it possible for new candidates to have an equal shot at being elected in March, Councilwoman Holly Smith suggested at the August 18th City Council meeting that Council should choose interim members who will not run in the election. This would mean there will be no incumbents vying for the three open seats.
We agree with Councilwoman Smith, because we believe people who are appointed this Fall will have an unfair advantage in the March Election if they run.
In the interest of giving the voters an independent field of candidates, and ensure a free and fair election, we urge the Council to appoint people who do not intend to run in March. This ensures that all candidates will run on a level playing field.