Letter to the Editor: Level the City Council Playing Field

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Santiva Chronicle.

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.

Comments (1)

  1. These interim appointments, enjoined from running in the general election, makes no sense to me. How long does it take a new member of the Council to become knowledgeable and productive ? How many stay as just “ place holders “ ? How many who originally thought as this only as a short time project might start to think that they could make a long time contribution ? And of course Ruane and Maugham could choose to run again but they have proved that they have other ambitions than serving this island so their previous incumbency should not prove to be a big asset in the general election.
    I just want to get through ALL upcoming elections !
    Joan Grabe

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