SEMINOLE — A fourth candidate has stepped into the City Council race.
Patricia Plantamura, 51, who made two unsuccessful runs for the council, wants to try again. She'll join a field that already has incumbent Tom Barnhorn, former state Rep. Leslie Waters and newcomer James Quinn.
Two seats are up for grabs in the March 10 election. One is held by Barnhorn. The other by Seminole lawyer Peter Hofstra, who has told city officials he does not plan to run. Hofstra's decision guarantees Seminole residents at least one new face on the council.
Plantamura is a former police officer who became a teacher. A native of Nebraska, she moved to Florida about 18 years ago and has lived in Seminole for about eight years. She is married and has a daughter.
Plantamura first ran for the council in 2007, coming in last in a four-way race for three council seats. She ran again in March. This time, she came in third, ahead of former council member Trina Watkins and only 47 votes behind John Counts, who was 75 votes behind Bob Matthews. Matthews and Counts were elected.
Qualifying closes at 4 p.m. Monday. Each candidate must have been a resident and a registered voter in the city for at least one year before qualifying. Candidates must pick up an elections packet from Seminole City Hall and fill out and turn in all documents before the end of qualifying. Candidates have a choice of getting signatures on 40 petition cards and paying a qualifying fee of $15 and a state election fee of $55.62 or paying a $100 qualifying fee and the $55.62 assessment fee.
Seminole has a council-manager form of government. Council members run at large for one of seven seats on the council (six members and the mayor). The election is nonpartisan. Council members serve three-year terms and must attend at least two meetings each month as well as workshops when scheduled.
The council is responsible for setting the budget, hiring the city manager, city clerk and city attorney, and setting policy. Members are paid $5,562 a year. Seminole has about 18,500 residents and an operating budget of about $16.7-million.
To get more information or to pick up a packet, call Seminole City Clerk Lesley DeMuth at 391-0204, ext. 102, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to City Hall, 9199 113th St. N.