The 2020 South Bethany Town Council election is scheduled for May 23. Candidates may now throw their hats into the ring.

Candidate applications are due Wednesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. Forms are available at Town Hall, at 402 Evergreen Road, or may be requested by e-mail (townhall@southbethany.org) or by calling (302) 539-3653.

The council seats up for election this year are currently held by Derek Abbott, Don Boteler and Sue Callaway, and the town will also be electing a mayor. That position is currently held by Mayor Tim Saxton.

All candidates must be: a natural person, at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, and never convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude. A candidate must be either a resident or a “freeholder” (property owner or trustee). They must also be qualified to vote in the municipal election (which includes 30-day residency requirement or 90-day freeholder requirement).

Mayoral candidates must remain a resident throughout their time in office. Because of the current composition of town council, the elected council members may be either residents or freeholders.

Terms are for two years, starting on May 30. Elected officials may not be on the Town payroll.

Voter registration is not required before the May election. If there are fewer than four council candidates or fewer than two mayoral candidates, no election will be held. Absentee voting will be available an election is held. (The Town is planning to make some housekeeping changes to simplify the absentee balloting process and align the rules with state code.)

In respect to the voter requirements, a resident is any person who has been physically residing within town limits for at least 30 days before election day. An eligible freeholder is any person who holds property in his/her own name or as a trustee for at least 90 days before election day. Freeholder spouses are also eligible to vote (up to eight total freeholders per property).

Specific qualifications and additional rules are found in the town charter, Sections C-5 and C-6 (at South Bethany Town Hall or online at https://ecode360.com/8879334).

Any questions regarding status or qualifications should be directed to Town Manager Maureen Hartman.

More details are online at https://southbethany.delaware.gov.

Staff Reporter

A staff member for 10 years, through mid-2021, Laura Walter is an award-winning reporter on schools, environment and more. An IRHS and Washington College alum, she has rappelled, assisted a magician, and encourages readers to act on local issues.