More than 20 vying for mayor’s seat
By GRAY ROHRER, “mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Coral residents interested in being mayor for a year still have time to submit their applications to City Hall. Mayor Eric Feichthaler is resigning effective Nov. 17, and applications are due Tuesday.
As of Friday afternoon, 21 people have submitted applications.
City council members will hold interviews with applicants on Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 before naming Feichthaler’s replacement on Nov. 17.
Some councilmembers have spoken out against this process, saying the interviews will take up too much of the council’s time on unqualified candidates.
Councilmember Jim Burch said they should appoint someone from the dais.
“In my opinion the mayor should come from the elected people we have now,” Burch said.
Besides an appointment by councilmembers, the office could be filled through an election. Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington has said the mayor’s office cannot be put on the Nov. 4 ballot in the general election, so a special election would need to be held. The earliest an election could be done is March 3, Harrington has said.
Since Feichthaler’s term is due to expire November 2009, the new mayor would only be guaranteed the position for one year. If an election was held, it would cost about $80,000 and fill a position for eight months.
Replacing Feichthaler with someone from council, however, would leave a council seat to fill. Burch contends that replacing a councilmember would be easier than replacing the mayor.
“The reason I think it would be easier is your pool of applicants is down to a district,” he said.
Councilmember Dolores Bertolini, who has been critical of the replacement process but who also was the first to submit an application, said it is likely someone from outside the council could be appointed.
“There’s a very good chance it’ll be someone outside council,” Bertolini said.
Here is a list of those who have submitted applications:
Dari’ Nicole Spence
Vance Earl Bowers
David I. Keller
Jon Larsen Shudlick