The filing period for Seat 5 on the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council opened on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and closes on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at noon.
As of Tuesday, only Seat 5 incumbent Vice Mayor Dave DeMarois had picked up filing papers to run for the seat. If no one files to challenge DeMarois, he will return to the seat automatically and not appear on the Tuesday, March 17 ballot.
“The incumbent, Vice Mayor DeMarois, has done his statement of candidacy and his candidate non-partisan oath, which has been filled out and turned in, but after all paperwork is turned in during the qualifying period, that’s when we will know who has qualified,” Town Clerk Lakisha Burch said.
Seat 5 is the only position open, although three referendum questions are also on the ballot — term limits for mayor and council members, as well as a question regarding proposed charter amendments.
DeMarois told the Town-Crier on Tuesday that he is ready to run a campaign if another candidate or candidates file.
“I won’t be filing until Monday,” he said. “I’ve had three or four people call me who were going to file, but they called me first and asked if I was running. Once I told them I was going to run, they decided not to. I thanked them for their courtesy of calling and encouraged them. Next year and the following year, there’ll be more elections, but this is the only seat this time. I guess people are figuring I’ve been around awhile, and I don’t know if they want to take me on or not. It doesn’t matter. I’ve got good supporters, and we’ll do our best.”
If no one else qualifies, DeMarois’ name will not appear on the ballot, and he will be declared the winner of the election. If that turns out to be the case, DeMarois said he has goals for the council to finish improving the town’s roads, which have been at the forefront of most residents’ minds.
“We want the roads improved. We started on that, and we have a group of people up there on the council who are interested in getting the roads done,” he said. “I want to make sure that the rock roads are improved, and they should be this year, and also get the OGEM roads repaved.”
DeMarois also wants to focus on improving equestrian trails and canals. “We’ve got a lot of work in front of us. Those are the major projects, and after that, we can do other things,” he said. “The equestrian trails shouldn’t be too much because all we’re doing is opening up the maintenance trails.”
Referendum questions to go on the March 17 ballot include a series of housekeeping measures, such as the deletion or amending of passages outlining how the town would be created, its form of government, the transition schedule, initial election of council members, first-year expenses, temporary emergency ordinances, references to service providers that no longer exist and other provisions considered outdated or not applicable. These items will go on the ballot as one question.
The other two questions involve term limits for the mayor and council members, which were approved at a final reading at the council’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
The proposed question regarding the mayor provides that no council member can serve more than two consecutive annual appointments as mayor without a break (one regular election cycle) between appointments. Partial-year appointments will not be considered as an annual appointment.
The other question will ask voters if they favor term limits for council members. If approved by voters, beginning with the March 2020 municipal election, any council member elected at that voting cycle and for each election thereafter would only be able to serve two three-year terms before they must sit out for at least one election cycle.