No New Challengers So Far For Wellington, RPB Council Seats

Filing for available mayoral and council seats in Royal Palm Beach and Wellington closes at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 8 for the elections to be held March 15, 2016.

As of Wednesday, Royal Palm Beach Village Council Seat 1 incumbent Jeff Hmara had qualified to seek re-election, and Vice Mayor Richard Valuntas had informed Village Clerk Diane DiSanto that he intended to file for re-election to Seat 3 on Thursday. Neither had yet drawn a challenger.

Councilman Fred Pinto, who has served on the council for 12 years, announced earlier this year that he will run for the position currently held by Mayor Matty Mattioli, who will retire next year after 22 years in office, including six as mayor. Pinto is also currently unopposed for the mayoral post.

Pinto, the Seat 4 incumbent, will need to resign his position in order to run. The seat will either remain vacant until the March 2017 election, or be filled by a council appointment.

Anyone interested in filing for the three available Royal Palm Beach Village Council positions should call DiSanto at (561) 790-5100.

In Wellington, four of the five council seats are up for election.

In the mayoral race, Councilwoman Anne Gerwig is challenging incumbent Mayor Bob Margolis, who is seeking a second four-year term.

Gerwig must resign from her Seat 2 to run, but that will be filled at a later date, either through a special election if voters approve a charter amendment on the March ballot, or through a council appointment.

Seat 1 is currently held by Vice Mayor John Greene, who is also finishing up his first four-year term. Greene has so far drawn one challenger — attorney Michael Drahos, who serves on Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board.

Seat 3 is currently held by Councilman John McGovern, who was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Howard Coates upon his elevation to a judgeship. McGovern is seeking election to the remaining two years of Coates’ term. He is unchallenged so far. Should he win, McGovern would face the electorate again in 2018.

Seat 4 is currently held by Councilman Matt Willhite, who will leave office due to term limits. Willhite has announced plans to seek the District 86 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. Seat 4 has so far drawn one candidate: attorney Michael Napoleone. Community activist Bart Novack had filed to run but later withdrew his candidacy.

Anyone interested in filing for a Wellington council position should call Village Clerk Awilda Rodriguez at (561) 791-4118.