Local discussion forums and news sites have been speculating whether George Gardner will in fact run for re-election. Gardner, a former Mayor, currently holds Seat 3 on the St. Augustine City Commission; a seat which expires this year and was changed by voter referendum in November, 2006.
Current Mayor Joe Boles, who holds Seat 5, does not come up for re-election until 2010. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Boles’ position as “Mayor” expires this year — since under the old system, mayors only held that position for two year terms.
If Boles does not decide to run for mayor, he will remain a City Commissioner in Seat 5 for two more years.
In 2006, the voters of St. Augustine decided to designate Seat 3, a two year seat, to be the mayor’s seat beginning with this yearâ€™s election. In other words, if you are elected to Seat 3 from this point forward, you will only hold office for two years but during those two years, you are the Mayor of St. Augustine.
At least two potential candidates are considering a bid for some seat including former St. Augustine Fire Chief Jimmy Owens who retired in December, 2007, and Nancy Sikes-Kline who was mentioned in a recent article in The Record as having an interest in a Commission Seat.
Sikes-Kline’s interests may have been misunderstood by some of the pundits in town when she was pressured to remark about the seat she was interested in seeking. “Lots of people are eager to hear my official announcement and are ready to work on my campaign — but I have had to say we just have to wait for now.” said Sikes-Kline in an interview with Historic City Media.
Seats 1, 2 and 3 will each be up for election this year. Seats 1 and 2 are four year term seats and have announced candidates; Errol Jones and Judith Seraphin vie for Seat 1 and Leanna S.A. Freeman and Daniel F. Sullivan vie for Seat 2.
As of today, no candidate has filed for Seat 3; the 2008-2010 Mayor’s Seat, however, current Mayor Joe Boles has expressed interest. If Boles now wants to be mayor for two more years, he will have to resign the remaining two years of his current seat (Seat 5) in order to run for Seat 3.
If that happens, Nancy Sikes-Kline says that she is interested in seeking the remainder of Boles term. “Seat 5 is not currently open and will open only when that seated Commissioner vacates the seat by filing the proper “resign to run” papers in accordance with Section 99.102 of the Florida Statutes” said Sikes-Kline in her interview.
Sikes-Kline claims to be as eager as some of her supporters and commented, “I have built my reputation on being reasonable, doing my homework, and working hard for the things people care about. Once I am elected to the City Commission, citizens can expect the same from me. Right now because the seat I intend to run for is not open, I am just getting out there and letting people know I will be a candidate this year.”