By Karen Daniels
If you have political aspirations and a desire to make a difference, Stafford has announced the preparations for the 2013 general elections this past week at the City Council meeting. Seven positions are available: three on City Council; three on SMSD Board of Trustees, and the Mayoral spot, though no one has run against Mayor Scarcella since 1999. All current members are running again; however, due to the resignation last August of ShaMekka Pratt-Simmons, Board Secretary, there is an open spot on the school board.
The Councilmembers running for re-election are: Wen Guerra-elected 2002; Felecia Evans-Smith-elected 2009; and Fred Woolridge-elected 2005.
The Trustees running for re-election are: Greg Holsapple-elected 1991-1998 & 2003-Current; and Ed Castillo-elected 2010. Mayor Leonard Scarcella was elected in 1969. Positions are at-large and candidates with the first, second, and third most votes will take the available positions.
Candidate packets are available on January 30, 2013. This is the first day you can file to run. The last day to register is March 1. On Wednesday, April 24, a candidate forum will be held at the Stafford Civic Center at 7:00pm. Those running for SMSD Board Trustee spots will answer questions first in a round-robin format. Those running for Stafford City Council positions will take the stage next, and if there is to be a Mayoral run-off, Mayor Scarcella and the candidate(s) running against him will answer questions from the panel last.`
Ballots will be available in four languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Early voting will begin Monday, April 29 – Tuesday, May 7 at Stafford City Hall and the SMSD Administrative Building. Election day will be Saturday, May 11 at City Hall, located at 2610 South Main.