Official hoping to avoid election
By LEON M. TUCKER
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 10, 2001
SAFETY HARBOR -- Jan Tracy has her fingers crossed -- and her toes.
The 12-year Safety Harbor resident appointed to the City Commission in August is hoping she won't have to defend her seat in a special election come March.
"I'd like the opportunity to serve the residents of Safety Harbor to ensure its future while remembering what makes Safety Harbor so special," she said.
And if no one else steps up to declare candidacy by noon Jan. 19, Tracy says she plans to do just that. She will be automatically elected to the seat she was appointed to after former Commissioner Rollin Yanchar resigned in June and moved out of the city.
The special election fills the one year left on Yanchar's term, said City Clerk Bonnie Haynes. "When Rollin resigned, he had more than a year left on the term, so our charter requires that we hold a special election," Haynes said.
In 1993, officials made an addition to the city's charter that explains what to do when a commissioner vacates a seat on the commission early. Before, Haynes said, the city had no defined way to name a successor when a seat became open.
In July the city received 11 applications, including one from Tracy.
The election is tentatively scheduled for March 13.
"Of course it would be nice not to have to spend the money to campaign for an election," Tracy said. "I'd like to spend my money on more charitable efforts than spend money on signs. But if I have to, I will."
Patrick Whelan, a Safety Harbor resident who managed the Clearwater office of the 2000 U.S. Census, is the only other person to pay the $10 for the special election application packets.
Whelan, however, said he probably won't run against Tracy.
Interested candidates have until noon Jan. 19 to declare candidacy and can pick up packets from the city clerk's office at City Hall at 750 Main St. in Safety Harbor.
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