Article III. Commission Election  


§ 8-36. Commission seats.
Latest version.

(a) Allocation of commission seats. In accordance with Section 3.01 of the City Charter, there shall be five (5) seats on the city commission. Commission seats shall be allocated as follows:

Seat 1 At-Large
Seat 2 Commission District 19
Seat 3 Commission District 122
Seat 4 Commission District 27
Seat 5 Commission District 28

 

(b) Election to commission seats. Candidates for the office of city commission member shall qualify for and be elected to a specific commission seat. District commission members shall be qualified electors of and reside within the district or area for which the seat is allocated. District commission members shall be nominated by qualified electors residing within their district or area. Candidates for the at-large seat shall be qualified electors and residents of the city and shall be nominated by qualified electors residing in any district of the city. Nominations shall comply with the requirements of section 8-43 of this chapter. Candidates for all commission seats shall be elected by the voters of the city at large.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2012-05, § 3, 3-20-12; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-37. Qualifying period.
Latest version.

(a) The qualifying period for a regularly scheduled commission election shall begin at 12:00 noon on the 50th day preceding the election and close at 12:00 noon on the 46th day preceding the election.

(b) No person may qualify for election in accordance with section 8-44 prior to 12:00 noon of the 1st day of the qualifying period nor later than 12:00 noon of the last day of the qualifying period.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-38. Notice of commission election.
Latest version.

The city clerk shall prepare a notice stating which offices are to be filled at the next commission election, the dates of the qualifying period, and procedures for qualifying. During the thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the qualifying period, the city clerk shall publish said notice two (2) times in the nonlegal section of a newspaper of general circulation in the city.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-39. Resign-to-run.
Latest version.

(a) No individual may qualify as a candidate for city office whose name appears, or will appear, on the same or another ballot for another public office, the term of which, or part thereof, runs concurrently with the term of the city office.

(b) Any individual qualifying for city office shall comply with the provisions of F.S. § 99.012 prior to qualifying, if applicable.

(c) No individual serving on an appointed city board or committee without salary shall be required to resign from that position in order to qualify as a candidate for city office. However, an individual is required to resign from an appointed city board or committee prior to assuming elected city office.

(d) A sitting commissioner deciding to run for mayor will be subject to the resign to run law, thereby creating a vacancy for that candidate's unexpired commission term. The candidate elected to fill the vacated seat shall serve for the remainder of the term; Section 3.05 of the City Charter.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-40. Candidate's oath.
Effective on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

(a) Each individual, in order to qualify as a candidate for city office, shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in writing which shall be substantially as follows:

State of Florida

County of Polk

Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths, personally appeared (please print name as you wish it to appear on the ballot), to me well known, who, being sworn, says that he or she is a candidate for the office of City Commissioner of the City of Lake Wales; that he or she is a qualified elector of Polk County, Florida; that he or she is qualified under the Constitution and the laws of Florida to hold the office to which he or she desires to be nominated or elected; that he or she has taken the oath required by F.S. §§ 876.05—876.10; that he or she has qualified for no other public office in the state, the term of which office or any part thereof runs concurrent with that of the office he or she seeks; and that he or she has resigned from any office from which he or she is required to resign pursuant to F.S. § 99.012.

____________ (Signature of candidate)     

____________(Address)     

Sworn to and subscribed before me this ____________ day of ____________, ____________ at Polk County, Florida.

(Signature and title of officer administering oath)

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13; Ord. No. 2017-09, § 1, 6-6-2017)

§ 8-41. Campaign financing and reporting.
Latest version.

Any candidate for elective city office is subject to and shall comply in all respects with the provisions of section 8-8 and F.S. ch. 106.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-42. Election assessment.
Latest version.

(a) In accordance with F.S. § 99.093, each person seeking to qualify as a candidate for city office shall pay, at the time of qualifying for office, an election assessment in the amount of one (1) percent of the current annual salary paid to commissioners or such other amount as may be required by F.S. § 99.093.

(b) Within thirty (30) days after the close of qualifying, the city clerk shall forward all assessments collected to the department of state for deposit in the elections commission trust fund.

(c) Any person seeking to qualify for election to city office who is unable to pay the election assessment without imposing an undue burden on personal resources or on resources otherwise available to him shall, upon written certification of such inability given under oath to the city clerk, be exempt from paying the election assessment.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-43. Nomination by petition.
Latest version.

(a) Pursuant to Section 8.03 of the City Charter, candidates for election to the city commission shall be nominated by petition of qualified electors of their district or of any district in the city if for the at-large seat. Official nominating petitions will be provided by the city clerk.

(b) Any registered voter of the district or any district if seeking the at-large seat shall be nominated for election by petition designating the commission seat to which he seeks election. For election to a seat representing a district or area of the city, twenty-five (25) registered voters residing in that district shall sign a petition nominating the candidate to such seat. For election to the seat representing the city at large twenty-five (25) registered voters residing in any district of the city shall sign a petition nominating the candidate to such seat.

(c) Each person signing a nominating petition must indicate the date of his signing and his place of residence.

(d) The signatures on a nominating petition need not all be affixed to one (1) paper, but each separate paper of a petition must bear the notarized affidavit executed by its circulator stating the number of signers of the paper, that each signature on it was affixed in his presence and that he believes each signature to be the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. All signatures must be executed in ink.

(e) Any candidate seeking to qualify for election must appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository on or before the date he obtains petition signatures. Petition signatures obtained prior to this date shall be disqualified.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-44. Method for qualifying.
Latest version.

(a) Each person seeking to qualify as a candidate for city office shall file the following with the city clerk during the qualifying period:

(1) The candidate's oath required by section 8-40

(2) The loyalty oath required by F.S. § 876.05.

(3) The completed form for appointment of a campaign treasurer and designation of a campaign depository required by F.S. § 106.021.

(4) The completed statement of financial interests required by F.S. § 112.3145.

(5) A written statement certifying receipt of notice of the time and location of the pre-election test of voting equipment.

(b) Unless qualifying pursuant to the method set forth in subsection (c) or (d) of this section, each person seeking to qualify as a candidate for city office shall file with the city clerk the following:

(1) A qualifying fee in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) which shall be paid by check drawn on the candidate's campaign account. Said fee shall be deposited in the general fund of the city by the city clerk.

(2) An election assessment as provided in section 8-42 to be paid by check drawn on the candidate's campaign account.

(3) At least twenty-five (25) individually signed official nominating petition as provided in section 8-43 requesting that said candidate's name be placed upon the official ballot.

a. Within two (2) business days following receipt of the petition, the city clerk or deputy city clerk shall verify the signatures on the petition by comparing them to signatures in the voter registration records of the county. Signatures of persons not appearing in the voter registration records of the county as registered voters residing in the district as required shall be disqualified.

b. Signatures obtained prior to the date on which the candidate's campaign treasurer and campaign depository were designated shall be disqualified.

c. Petitions bearing at least twenty-five (25) verified and qualified signatures shall be certified as sufficient, and the candidate shall be considered as having qualified for election on the date the petition was filed.

d. Petitions bearing fewer than twenty-five (25) verified and qualified signatures shall be certified as insufficient, and the candidate shall not be qualified for election. The candidate shall be notified immediately of the failure to qualify and, if the qualifying period has not closed, he may obtain additional signatures of registered voters as required and file the amended petition prior to the close of the qualifying period.

(c) As an alternative method of qualifying for persons unable or unwilling to pay the qualification fee in accordance with F.S. § 99.095, a person seeking to qualify for nomination to city office shall not be required to pay the qualifying fee if said person files an official nominating petition duly signed by at least one (1) percent of the electors qualified to vote in the ensuing election and residing in the district represented by the commission seat to which election is sought or in the city at-large, as applicable. A person seeking to qualify under this subsection shall file with the city clerk the following:

(1) An oath stating that the person intends to qualify by this alternative method.

(2) An official nominating petition as provided in section 8-43 requesting that said candidate's name be placed upon the official ballot.

a. Within two (2) business days following receipt of the petition, the city clerk or deputy city clerk shall verify the signatures on the petition by comparing them to signatures in the voter registration records of the county. Signatures of persons not appearing in the voter registration records of the county as registered voters residing in the district shall be disqualified.

b. Signatures obtained prior to the date when the candidate's campaign treasurer and campaign depository were designated shall be disqualified.

c. Petitions bearing verified and qualified signatures of at least one (1) percent of the total number of registered voters as required for the specific commission seat shall be certified as sufficient, and the candidate shall be considered as having qualified for election on the date the petition was filed.

d. Petitions bearing verified and qualified signatures of fewer than one (1) percent of the total number of registered voters as required for the specific commissions seat shall be certified as insufficient, and the candidate shall not be qualified for election. The candidate shall be notified immediately of the failure to qualify and, if the qualifying period has not closed, he may obtain additional signatures of registered voters as required and file the amended petition prior to the close of the qualifying period.

(d) As provided in F.S. § 99.061, a person may qualify as a write-in candidate by filing a statement to that effect, under oath, with the city clerk during the qualifying period. A person seeking to qualify as a write-in candidate shall also file a candidate's oath and a statement of financial interests but shall not be required to pay a qualifying fee or election assessment. A write-in candidate shall not be entitled to have his name printed on the ballot; however, space for the write-in candidate's name to be written in shall be provided on the ballot. Only write-in votes cast for a candidate who has qualified as a write-in candidate under the provisions of this subsection shall be counted and canvassed as a valid vote.

(e) As provided in Section 3.05 of the City Charter, any commissioner or other qualified elector of the city shall be entitled to run for mayor. Whether elected or not, a commissioner who runs for mayor shall lose his commission seat effective the day of election. A commissioner seeking to run for mayor, shall give notice of intent not less than forty-five (45) days prior to the first day of the qualifying period to allow time for notice of election. candidate qualification, and placement of the election on the ballot for the seat to be vacated, thereby eliminating the need for a special election. The candidate elected to fill the vacated seat shall serve for the remainder of the term.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2006-15, § 1, 3-7-06; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-45. Form of ballot.
Latest version.

(a) The form of the ballot in elections for city commissioner shall be substantially the same as the form of the ballot for the state general election prescribed in F.S. § 101.191.

(b) Candidates shall be grouped together on the ballot by commission seat, and, within each group of commission seats, candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order by the last name of each candidate.

(c) The name of a candidate shall be printed on the ballot in the same form as the name appears on the candidate's oath. Shortened versions or nicknames may be used if so indicated.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-46. Determination of results.
Latest version.

(a) In an election to fill the office of commissioner, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast shall be declared elected.

(b) In an election to fill the office of mayor, the commissioner receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2007-01, § 1, 3-2-07)

§ 8-47. Unopposed candidate.
Latest version.

If, at the close of the qualifying period, only one (1) candidate has qualified for election to city office by any method provided in section 8-44, the unopposed candidate shall be deemed to have voted for himself, shall be declared elected, and no election for that office will be required.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03)

§ 8-48. No qualified candidate.
Latest version.

If, at the close of the qualifying period, no candidate has qualified for election to the city commission by any method provided in section 8-44, a vacancy on the commission shall occur at the first commission meeting in May. A vacancy of the commission shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining commission members. The interim commissioner shall serve until the seat is filled in the normal course by the electorate and the next elected commission member takes office.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-49. Withdrawal of candidate.
Latest version.

(a) A candidate may withdraw at any time prior to the election by filing with the city clerk a written and executed statement, under oath, to that effect. The candidate's name shall then not be printed on the ballot. If the ballot cannot be changed, then a vote cast for a candidate who has withdrawn shall not be canvassed or certified as a valid vote.

(b) If the death, removal or withdrawal of a candidate after the close of the qualifying period results in only one (1) candidate remaining on the ballot for that office, the remaining candidate shall, in the absence of a qualified write-in candidate for that office, be declared elected, and no election for that office will be required.

(c) If the death, removal or withdrawal of a candidate after the close of the qualifying period results in no candidates for an office, a vacancy on the commission shall occur at the first commission meeting in May. A vacancy of the commission shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining commission members. The interim commissioner shall serve until the seat is filled in the normal course by the electorate and the next elected commission member takes office.

(d) A candidate withdrawing or being removed from the ballot after having qualified and paid the qualification fee shall not receive a refund of the qualifying fee.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)

§ 8-50. Filling of vacancy on the commission.
Latest version.

(a) A vacancy of the commission shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining commission members. The interim commissioner shall serve until the seat is filled in the normal course by the electorate and the next elected commission member takes office; City Charter Section 3.08

(b) In the event that all members of the commission are removed by death, disability, law or forfeiture of office, the governor shall appoint an interim commission that shall call a special election and such election shall be governed by the provisions of Article VIII of the City Charter.

(Ord. No. 2003-15, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2013-01, § 1, 2-5-13)