KEY LARGO -- Two sitting board members of the Key Largo Fire-EMS District say they will not seek re-election this fall.
William "Bill" Andersen, who has served seven years on the board -- all as chairman -- said he believes in term limits and will focus his time on his accounting business.
Mark Wheaton, who will have also served two terms, told the Free Press he also will not seek re-election.
Wheaton owns and operates an automotive service center.
So far, three candidates have signed up for the four seats that are to be decided in the Nov. 6 election. The seat held by Jennifer Miller is not up until 2014. The deadline for filing for office is June 8. Board members serve four-year terms.
Kent Van Winkle, who lost his bid for Seat 2 in the 2010 election, and Robert "Bob" Thomas, who failed in his bid for a seat on the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District in 2010, are both seeking a seat.
Van Winkle is seeking Seat 1 now held by Andersen and Thomas is seeking Seat 3 now held by Wheaton.
Board member Marilyn Beyer, who says she also believes in term limits, although no term limits are set by district bylaws, she says she has been wrestling over the decision to seek office again.
"Yes, I probably will," she said, emphasizing the word 'will.' "It's been bothering me a lot. Several members of the fire department have asked me to run and that is why I ran in the first place. But I believe in term limits and I don't want to be a hypocrite."
Tom Tharp, who was appointed last July by the board to replace board member Mike Edgerton who abruptly resigned, filed for election on Friday, May 18. Since he is filling out the balance of Edgerton's term he would serve two years rather than a full four-year term.
Miller said last week that she had been concerned that not enough candidates had signed up for four seats. If Beyer runs all five seats would be filled. If any of the three candidates (or potential candidates) changes his or her mind and no other candidates register, the five-member panel would be left short-handed.
"I think other people will step up," said Beyer.
The district oversees the Key Largo Volunteer Fire-Rescue Department and the Key Largo Ambulance Corps, which provide services to Key Largo under contract.