There are nine seats up for grabs in Hesperia politics on November 2. On July 12, residents can formally begin the process of seeking one of those positions.


Residents interested in running for one of the three seats open on the Hesperia City Council can pick up the necessary paperwork to declare themselves a candidate from Hesperia City Hall.


Simultaneously, residents interested in a position on the Hesperia Unified School District school board or the board of directors of the Hesperia Recreation and Park District can pick up the necessary paperwork from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters in San Bernardino.


"They have to be a registered voter within the city," to run for city council, said Hesperia City Clerk Vicki Soderquist. (And yes, they check.) There's a similar requirement that would-be school and park board candidates live within the boundaries of those districts. (Each of the three Hesperia government agencies has slightly different boundaries.)


City council candidates will need 20 signatures from registered voters living within city limits. Because so many would-be candidates over the years have brought back petitions with bad signatures, the city also includes 10 extra spaces for signatures, which Soderquist strongly recommends candidates also get filled before turning the forms in.


"For schools [and the park district], there are no signatures," said Mary Lou Mongar, the manager of Candidate and Public Services at the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters. "They just have to show up."


And although it's free to run for office, candidates who want to have a 200-word statement included on the ballot must pay a fee based on the number of registered voters in the district (and thus the number of sample ballots printed up and translated into Spanish, of which each government agency pays a portion). Soderquist estimates it will cost $1,354 for a city council ballot statement. Mongar estimates that number will be "in the neighborhood of $1,500" for school board candidates. Candidates will be billed for the difference if it actually costs more and receive a refund if fewer registered voters are counted closer to Election Day.


The paperwork (including the list of qualifying signatures, for city council candidates) is due by Friday, August 6 at 5 p.m. Would-be candidates waiting to see if one of the incumbents drops out, however, might get an extra week: If any of the incumbents for any of the races does not file their candidacy papers, the deadline is extended for everyone in that race (except for that incumbent) to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 11.


Which incumbents are seeking reelection this year won't be known until August, but those whose seats are in contention include Ed Pack, Thurston "Smitty" Smith and Rita Vogler on the Hesperia City Council, Hardy Black, Robert Kirk and Lee Rogers on the Hesperia Unified School District school board and Dave Dupree (who took over the seat of the late Richard Lupton), Mike Limbaugh and Rebekah Swanson on the Hesperia Recreation and Park District board of directors.


For more information about running as a city council candidate, call 760-947-1007.


For more information about running as a school or park board candidate, call 800-881-8683


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.