Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg City Council begins process to fill Lisa Wheeler-Bowman’s seat

Applications open noon Friday and end Oct. 3. The council will meet Oct. 6 to question candidates.
St. Petersburg City Council members will likely select a new council member for District 7 on Oct. 6 to replace Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, who resigned after allegations surfaced that she didn't live in the district.
St. Petersburg City Council members will likely select a new council member for District 7 on Oct. 6 to replace Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, who resigned after allegations surfaced that she didn't live in the district. [ ANGELICA EDWARDS | Times ]
Published Sep. 22|Updated Sep. 22

ST. PETERSBURG — The city council may appoint a new member to represent the southern St. Petersburg neighborhoods of Jordan Park, Childs Park and Central Oak Park as soon as Oct. 6.

The council met Thursday to agree on a process to appoint someone to the open District 7 seat. Lisa Wheeler-Bowman resigned last week following allegations that she did not live in her district.

The council is under a 45-day deadline to name a replacement. A city webpage will go live at noon Friday with information on how to apply. Applications will be accepted until noon Oct. 3.

The council will meet Oct. 6 and invite candidates to give opening and closing remarks and take questions from the public and council members. The council has until Oct. 30 to make a decision, but council members hope to reach a consensus Oct. 6 and swear in their appointee Oct. 13.

“This is the most efficient path, which I think is important,” said council Chairperson Gina Driscoll. “We do need a full city council. We’ve got a lot of business to take care of in our city.”

The appointment process is occurring during a tricky time: The city is in the midst of setting new city council district boundaries, and voters in November will decide whether municipal elections should be moved to even-number years to coincide with federal, state and county elections.

The appointed commission tasked with redrawing district boundaries has settled on new map, but it hasn’t been approved by council yet. Residents who would be drawn into District 7, such as the Melrose-Mercy neighborhood, are not eligible to apply, and neither might residents in Lake Maggiore Shores and Bear Creek neighborhoods, who may be drawn out of the district.

If voters approve the charter amendment, which would shift the city’s election schedule, the person appointed to council could serve until January 2025. That person would serve only a partial term, meaning they could run for reelection for two subsequent terms for a possible total of 10 years.

“If you’re thinking ahead, incumbents don’t really lose,” said Vice Chairperson Brandi Gabbard. “In my opinion, we should be looking at this as we have the responsibility of appointing someone who could potentially sit here for a very long time. A decade, almost.”

Those interested must deliver their applications in person, including a cover letter stating their intent to be considered for appointment and why they wish to be considered, a resume, a signed and notarized candidate oath and a financial disclosure form.

Childs Park Neighborhood Association president and activist Brother John Muhammad was present at Thursday’s meeting, as was Corey Givens Jr., who has run unsuccessfully for several public offices and already has a website for a District 7 campaign. Former council member and state representative Wengay Newton previously told the Tampa Bay Times he was interested in applying for the seat.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge