2023 Election Letter to Candidates



NOVEMBER 7, 2023 Municipal Election

2023 Notice of Election

2023 Election Proclamation

2023 Public Logic and Accuracy Testing

2023 Qualified Candidates

Dear Candidate:

We welcome your participation in the City of Tavares 2023 Municipal Election.  The enclosed notebook includes information about the election laws, campaign financing, and the Florida Sunshine Law, along with various forms that must be completed as part of the qualifying process.

Attached is the list of items to be completed and filed at the office of the City Clerk to qualify to run for Seat 2 and Seat 4 on the Tavares City Council and be placed on the ballot. This notebook includes all forms and state statutes referenced in the documents you will sign. The qualifying period begins August 1, 2023, at 12:00 noon, and ends August 15, 2023, at 12:00 noon. If August 15 should fall on a weekend day or holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day at 12:00 noon.

Please note that per FS 99.061(7)(a), the assessment fee of $78.47 must be paid out of the candidate's campaign account. The assessment fee is one percent of the annual salary; currently $7,847.52 for Council members. 

All elected municipal officers must complete 4 hours of ethics training each calendar year, which addresses, at a minimum, s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, and this state's public records and meetings laws. (FS 112.3142). Those elected officials who first assumed office in 2023 must complete training on or before December 31, 2024. Information regarding training opportunities will be provided at a later date.

 In addition, websites you may find helpful and provide further information are as follows:






 If you have further questions please contact me 352.742.6209.


Susie Novack, MMC/FCRM

City Clerk/Election Qualifying Officer


Forms to be completed in Order to be Qualified as a Candidate

Pre-Filing Forms(These forms can be turned in prior to the qualifying period and begins your campaign) 

  1. Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates. “Office sought”, should include the seat number. (Please note that any use of personal funds, including in-kind donations, towards election expenses are considered an expenditure.) 

*The Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository form (DS-DE 9) must be on file with the City Clerk before obtaining signatures on the petition form.

      2) Statement of Candidate - (Section 106.023 F.S.)(1 copy attached of Form DS-      DE 84) – File with the City Clerk within 10 days after the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer form is filed.  

Qualifying Forms:  To Be Submitted During Qualifying Period Beginning August 1, 2023 at 12:00 noon and ending August 15, 2023 at 12:00 noon. If August 15th should fall on a weekend day or holiday the deadline will be extended to the next business day at 12:00 noon. 

3)   Petition for either Seat 2 or Seat 4 filled out and signed by at least 25 registered City voters (2 forms attached).  Prior to any signatures being obtained a campaign depository and campaign treasurer must be designated and submitted to the City Clerk. (See #1) (F.S. 106.021)  

      The Lake County Supervisor of Elections charges a .10 cent certification fee per petition signature. When submitting your petitions to the City Clerk please include a check made payable to the Lake County Supervisor of Elections calculated by the number of signatures times .10 cents.  

      Do not delay in getting the petitions back to the City Clerk to allow sufficient time for the signatures to be validated by the Lake County Supervisor of Elections before the end of the qualifying period. 

4)  Candidate Oath – Nonpartisan Office DS-DE 302NP (this form must be notarized) and name printed phonetically). The candidate’s Florida Voter   Registration Number must be included.                        

5) City of Tavares Candidate for Elected Office of Councilmember form 

6)   Statement of Financial Interests for the year 2022 (Form 1).       

7) The Election Assessment in the amount of $78.47 (1% of $7,247.52).  Make check payable to the City of Tavares. The City will submit the assessment fee to the State of Florida. If the candidate is unable to pay the elections assessment, the form “Affidavit of Undue Burden” should be completed.   

8)  See Financial Reports and Due Dates below regarding Campaign Treasurer’s       Reports/Waivers/Itemized Contributions/Itemized Expenditures and    Calendar of Reporting Dates. 

Financial Reports and Due Dates: 

The following is a schedule of the financial reports to be filed with the office of the City Clerk. This is done by:

  1. Completing the Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summary (Form DS-DE 12noting the time period being reported and the schedule identifier (Itemized Reports – DS-DE 13 and DS-DE 14 should be turned in with the Campaign Treasurers Report Summary); or, 
  2. If there has been no activity in the account or no in-kind services for that period you can opt to complete the Waiver of Report (DS-DE 87) on or before the date that the financial report is due.             

Page 5 contains the 2023 Calendar of Reporting Dates with the cover period dates along with the dates that the Campaign Treasurers Reports must be turned in to the City Clerk. 

Note that for all contributions and expenditures, an itemized report must also be completed giving the details of the contribution/expenditure. Contributions over $100 must include the occupation of the donor. 

Campaign Treasurer’s reports must be signed by both the candidate and the campaign treasurer. If the candidate is his or her own treasurer, both places must be signed.

(Forms are also available at the City Clerk’s Office and on line at www.tavares .org and https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/forms-publications/ forms/statewide or multicounty candidates. Complete the form, print out, sign, and submit to the City Clerk.) In addition, please note that there are additional financial forms that may or may not pertain to your campaign. The most common reports-- Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summary, Itemized Contributions, and Itemized Distributions, and Waiver of Report-- have been provided in your notebook. 8 copies have been provided.

Per F.S. 106.07(2)(a), Reports shall be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the day designated; however, any report postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than midnight of the day designated shall be deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the date on which the report is due, shall be proof of mailing in a timely manner.    

2023 Calendar of Reporting Dates

Cover Period

Report Code

Due Date

6/1/23 – 6/30/23

2023 M6


7/1/23 – 9/30/23

2023 Q3


10/1/23 – 12/31/23

2023 Q4



Termination Reports


90 days from Aug. 15 – withdrawn/unopposed

2023 TR-Q


90 days from Election on Ballot

2023 TR-G


Due dates in accordance with Florida Statutes 106.07


Upon determining that a report is late, the filing officer shall immediately notify the candidate or chair of the political committee as to the failure to file a report by the designated due date and that a fine is being assessed for each late day. The fine is $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. However, for the reports immediately preceding each special primary election, special election, primary election, and general election, the fine is $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. For reports required under s. 106.141(8), the fine is $50 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the candidate or chair or registered agent of the political committee. The filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the following:

1. When the report is actually received by such officer.

2. When the report is postmarked.

3. When the certificate of mailing is dated.

4. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.

5. When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s. 106.0705 or other electronic filing system authorized in this section is dated.

 Such fine shall be paid to the filing officer within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless appeal is made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph (c). Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the filing officer. In the case of a candidate, such fine is not an allowable campaign expenditure and shall be paid only from personal funds of the candidate. An officer or member of a political committee is not personally liable for such fine.

Additional Information:


The following disclaimer must be used on all campaign advertising per state statute 106.143(1)(a)(1):

 “Political advertisement paid for and approved by _______________ (name of candidate) (No Party Affiliation) for the office of Tavares City Council, Seat ____.”

The following is the City’s Land Development Regulations regarding political signs. Political are temporary signs and if placed in the right of way will be removed by the City.

Land Development Regulations

Section 21-16 - Temporary Signs 

(A)       Temporary Signs may only be displayed for a maximum of one hundred twenty (120) days during a calendar year. Temporary Signs are exempt from the permitting requirements under Section 21-4.  A Temporary Sign shall: 

  1. Not exceed six (6) feet in height;
  2. Not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in size; 
  3. Not be an Electric Sign or Portable Sign;
  4. Not obstruct the visibility of a permanent sign; 
  5. Not be illuminated; and

(6) Shall be limited to two (2) signs per parcel of property.

(Ord. No. 2017-01, § 1, 4-5-17; Ord. No. 2021-01, § 1, 3-17-21) 

Section 21-3 - Prohibited Signs

The following signs are expressly prohibited unless exempted by another section of these regulations:

(B)      Any temporary sign within the right-of-way of any street or public way. Any temporary sign or snipe sign within the right-of-way shall become the property of the City and may be immediately removed by the City without notice.

***Please note that no more than two (2) Temporary Signs shall be placed on a parcel and each sign shall be set back a minimum of five (5) feet from any road right-of-way and ten (10) feet from all side property lines.