Want to be on city council? Time to sign up to run is now

Two-week qualifying period begins Tuesday for Palm Beach Gardens City Council.

Palm Beach Gardens City Council

Fed up with the way your city government is run? 

Two of the five seats on the Palm Beach Gardens City Council are up for election on March 8.

The only way to run is to set up a campaign account, pay a filing fee of $1,321 and take the oath by Nov. 30. 

The qualifying period begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday and ends at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 30, according to the city website. The opportunity to avoid the fee and qualify by gathering petitions closed on Nov. 5.

It doesn’t take much to sign up to run but it takes a lot to win. 

Three announced candidates already have been lining up support — and money.

Carl Woods

Incumbent Carl Woods, seeking a return in Group 4, has raised $35,300 through October.

His opponent, newcomer Eric Bruns, has raised $1,250. He qualified to run by submitting signatures on a petition rather than paying the $1,321 fee.

Marcie Tinsley

Incumbent Marcie Tinsley is the sole candidate so far in Group 2, where she has raised $9,400.

Tinsley won the seat in March to complete the third year of Maria Marino’s term. Marino left to successfully run for the Palm Beach County Commission.

Woods has been on the board since 2016 when he bested David Levy in an outcome determined in the courts. Because he started his three-year term about four months late, it does not qualify as a full term, the city attorney told him in a July 29 memo, meaning he can seek a third term without violating the city’s term limit rules. 

For Tinsley, who served two terms previously and sat out for four years before running again, the term-limit clock would start anew with a 2022 victory. 

After several council members held their seats for decades, city residents voted in 2014 and again in 2018 in favor of term limits to force elected officials from office after two three-year terms.  

In 2023, the other three council seats will be up, with Mayor Rachelle Litt and Councilmember Mark Marciano forced out by term limits and Councilmember Chelsea Reed in line for a second term. 

This story was updated on Nov. 17 to specify the amount of the filing fee and to reflect that Eric Bruns filed by the petition method.

© 2021 Joel Engelhardt. All rights reserved. 

Related reading:

What’s in a term? Woods told he can run again

How the city is taking on the county with its push for more density downtown

Attack ads already in the mail for the March 2022 election

Author: Joel Engelhardt

Joel Engelhardt is an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor based in Palm Beach Gardens. He spent more than 40 years in the newspaper business, including 28 years at The Palm Beach Post. As a reporter, he covered countywide growth, the 2000 election and the birth of Cityplace in West Palm Beach. As an editor, he oversaw probes into the opioid scourge, private prisons, police-involved shootings and more. For seven years, he worked on the paper’s editorial board. Joel left The Post in December 2020. He and his wife, Donna, have lived together in Palm Beach Gardens since 1992.

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