Last Friday, former Palm Bay City Councilman Pete Filiberto officially resigned from his position a week after his arrest for felony drug charges and DUI, amongst other charges. Palm Bay has called for a special meeting this Thursday at 6pm to pass a resolution declaring the position, known as seat 5, vacant.
Also during the meeting will be the ordinance that explains the procedure and process for filling the vacancy.
During last year’s election, the citizens of Palm Bay amended the City Charter to give the City Council the authority to appoint someone to fill a vacancy, instead of filling it by having a special election. Filiberto was initially elected by a special election to fill the vacancy left by former Councilman Jeff Bailey who also resigned. The cost of the Special Election to the city was over $200,000.
According to the Ordinance, a vacancy will be filled by appointment of the majority of the remaining
members within sixty (60) days. If the majority of the remaining members of the City Council fail to fill the vacancy through appointment within the sixty-day period, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be called and held in a manner coordinated by the City Clerk with the Supervisor of Elections and adopted by resolution of the City Council. All vacancy elections will run concurrent with the regularly scheduled city elections. Appointments will be to serve until the next general election cycle. In this case, that would be 2024.
The vacancy shall be announced at not less than two (2) public meetings of council. A solicitation period of thirty (30) days, or as close thereto, shall be given for the receipt of applications. Appointments shall be made at a public council meeting following the two announcements, or if no applications are received within the time frame designated, at a special council meeting called for that purpose.
Depending on the number of applicants, each applicant will be scored by each Councilman from 1 to the total number of applicants. For example, if there are 10 applicants, they will be scored from 1 to 10 in order of preference. The scores submitted by all of the Council will be added up, and the applicant with the lowest score will be appointed.
Those who wish to apply, must meet the qualifications to run for Palm Bay City Council as outlined in the City Charter.
Section 5.02 Qualifications.
Candidates for the office of city council shall be a resident of the city and shall have
been for at least two (2) years immediately preceding the election, shall be a registered
voter residing at a city address, and shall qualify for such office by complying with the
Florida Statutes and in such manner as may be prescribed by ordinance and shall
continue to be a resident and an elector of the city during the term of office.
Applications can be picked up and submitted to the City Clerks office during City business hours.