When it comes to government, there are lots of armchair quarterbacks and second-guessers. In the end, there are only seven elected representatives in Mount Dora serving their community--one mayor and six council members--that have the final say on decisions. Three of those seats will have open elections this year and the qualifying period is just around the corner. In recent elections, many city council candidates run without opposition. Here’s some timely information for residents interested in serving in their community: 1. What are the requirements? A candidate must be an eligible voter in Mount Dora for no less than 12 consecutive months prior to filing for candidacy. Paperwork must be filed by the end of qualifying period (August 14 at noon). 2. What education and experience is required to run for city council? There is no particular experience or education required. 3. What and when is the qualifying period? The qualifying period is the timeframe to turn in the paperwork, also referred to as “the packet.” The qualifying period for the November 3, 2020 city election begins at noon on August 10 at noon and ends at noon on August 14 at noon. So the paperwork must be completed and turned into the City Clerk by that date and time. View and download the packet with complete instructions and forms here. 4. What are the three city council seats up for election? Council seats for District 2(including Northeast Mount Dora and Country Club of Mount Dora), and District 3 (including Lake Gertrude parts of downtown & Chautauqua), plus an at-large council seat (includes entire city). View district map below (click to enlarge) or download PDF.
5. What is the difference between the district council members and at-large council members? District candidates are elected by voters residing in that defined district (see district map). At-large council members are elected by all the voters throughout the City. Additionally, at-large city council seats and the mayor seat allow candidates to live anywhere within the city limits. District council members are required to live in their specific district. (See district below) Mount Dora City Council has four district council members and two at-large, plus the mayor which is an at-large seat.
6. How long are the terms? All city council terms are two years. 7. How much money do candidates typically raise for a campaign? Historically, that can vary greatly depending on the district, the number of candidates vying for the same seat and the effectiveness of a candidate's campaign strategy. The ballpark range for the specific district seats this year may be $2,000 to $5,000. The mayor seat and at-large council seat require additional money to reach more voters in a larger geographic area, so the ballpark amount is likely $8,000 for a 2-person race. 8. How much are the council members and mayor compensated? Approximately $6,000 and $10,000 respectively. 9. Where do I turn in my paperwork packet? City Clerk’s office located on the second floor of CIty Hall at 510 N. Baker Street.
10. There is no time like the present to get involved.
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