Local News

Arlene Tuck to take LP council seat

LAKE PLACID - Councilman Mike Waldron filed his paperwork to qualify for the town's municipal election, but he didn't pay the $12 filing fee, which means Arlene Tuck will take his seat when it expires on April 8.

After the Friday noon qualifying deadline, Town Clerk Eva Cooper-Hapeman said three people qualified - Mayor John Holbrook, Councilwoman Debra Worley and former town clerk Arlene Tuck.

So there would be no need for an election. Holbrook and Worley would retain their seats and Tuck would fill Waldron's seat.

Highlands Today contacted Waldron early Friday afternoon and asked him why he did not qualify.

"I have got to turn my check in today," he said. "Yes, I filed; Today is the last day; I have got to pay my $12 and then I'm in."

Cooper-Hapeman said Waldron turned in his paperwork, but didn't pay his qualifying fee.

Her understanding was that the $12 fee had to be paid by the end of the qualifying period, which was noon Friday, Cooper-Hapeman said.

Highlands County Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg said the issue is bound by Florida Statues and the town's charter.

The Town of Lake Placid's Charter reads that their qualifying period runs from noon until noon Monday through Friday.

"So when qualifying ends and you don't have everything in, you don't qualify," she said.

The qualifying fee is paid with a campaign check, she noted.