SEBRING - Sebring's city government could see some major changes in the City Council elections March 11, where the mayor's position is open along with three councilor seats .
Mayor George Hensley and Councilman John Clark have announced they will not seek re-election, while Councilman Andrew Fells hasn't decided if he will run. So far, Bud Whitlock is the only incumbent seeking re-election for the six-member council, which includes the mayor. Councilmen John Griffin and Scott Stanley's terms expire March 2016.
Qualifying for the election begins at 9 a.m. today and will close at 5 p.m. Jan. 17 , according to an election notice posted by City Clerk Kathy Haley.
Qualifying must be done at Sebring City Hall, 368 S. Commerce Ave., on weekdays. Those interested in running must be legally qualified voters and permanent residents of Sebring.
Nadine Elliott-Tedstone, a retired teacher and unsuccessful candidate for Highlands County Commission two years ago, has announced her candidacy for a council seat.
Highlands Independent Bank President John Shoop is the only announced mayoral candidate.
For the council seats, voters will select three names from those running. The three who get the most votes will be elected. If only three candidates run, then those three automatically win.
Whitlock said he decided to run again because he wants to keep working on several unfinished matters, including the sale of Harder Hall. He also wants something to help occupy his time other than just his work as a surveyor.
Whitlock has served five terms and was first elected in 1996. He was defeated in 1999, but won the next election in 2002.
Elliott-Tedstone said she would bring a conservative philosophy on spending taxpayer money and would be "conscientious" in that regard. She has lived in Sebring for 20 years, coming here from Buffalo, N.Y.
The city's web site should be modernized, she said. Elliott-Tedstone said the city should sell Harder Hall and a bonafide Realtor should be used to do that.
Clark said he's not running because two terms are enough. He previously served after being appointed to fill a vacant seat.
Hensley has served as mayor or city council member since 1980.