VENICE — If you’re contemplating a run for Venice City Council, the good news is you still have two months to throw your hat into the ring.
The bad news is that in each race a well-known candidate has a head start on you.
But again, you have two months to catch up, though, thanks to COVID-19, it’s hardly a normal election year.
Two seats will be filled: Seat 1, held by Mitzie Fiedler, who is seeking re-election, and Seat 2, occupied by Chuck Newsom, who isn’t. But current Planning Commissioner and former Council Member Bill Willson has filed to replace him.
Qualifying is the week of Aug. 17-21, ending at noon that Friday.
To be eligible for a City Council seat you must have been a registered voter residing in the Venice city limits for the 12 months prior to Aug. 17.
A Venice mailing address doesn’t necessarily make you a city resident.
Potential candidates must have a virtual or in-person meeting with the city election official, City Clerk Lori Stelzer, to verify their residency and review the city’s election packet.
The meeting takes about an hour and covers filing, setting up a campaign bank account and financial reporting, as well as other topics.
Here’s some other information to consider about the job:
• Although the seats are numbered, the six Council members and the mayor are all elected at-large. Terms are three years and are staggered, so that two people will be elected this year, two next year and three, including the mayor, the year after that.
• City Council members are paid $10,200 a year. The mayor receives $12,000.
• The Council holds two regular meetings most months, on the second and fourth Tuesdays, starting at 9 a.m. The exceptions are July, when the Council meets on the second Tuesday only, then takes a break until the fourth Tuesday in August; and December, when the meeting before Christmas is usually canceled.
• There are typically three budget workshops and a special meeting on the budget in June. Workshops may be scheduled as needed the rest of the year. The mayor has the authority to call other special meetings, though it’s rarely exercised.
• Each Council member also has liaison assignments to other city boards and appointments to county and regional ones whose meetings are to be attended.
• Council seats are not voted on in the primary. The 2020 General Election is on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
For more information, Contact Stelzer at 941-882-7390.