Now is the time for residents interested in joining Beaufort City Council to begin preparing for the November election.
City Council is preparing to decide filing deadlines for the election, in which three of five seats are open, including the mayor's seat.
A final vote by council is needed, but members have given initial approval to an ordinance setting dates and fees.
As it stands, the ordinance requires candidates to submit statements of candidacy and economic interest between July 23 and Aug. 15. The election will be Nov. 6 and winners will take office Dec. 11.
Candidates for council seats will be required to pay a filing fee of $150 and mayoral candidates must pay $250.
City Council is composed of five nonpartisan members -- a mayor and four council members. All members are elected at-large.
Terms are for four years. Council members receive an annual stipend of $4,800, and the mayor's is $6,000.
The three seats that are up are:
Keyserling, a Realtor, is a former state representative and served on City Council for one term after being elected in 2000. McFee, also a Realtor, joined the council in 2008.
O'Kelley, an attorney, was elected last July to replace Gary Fordham, who died in April 2011. O'Kelley previously served on council in the 1970s but resigned to become a municipal judge. He served another term after the 2004 election. He was acting mayor for several months in 2008 after Bill Rauch resigned.