VERNON -  Residents interested in running for Vernon City Council have until 4 p.m. Thursday to pick up their qualifying packets.

All seats are up for election, including mayor, which will become a voting seat on the council for the first time. The qualifying fee is $140. Packets are available at Vernon City Hall, 2808 Yellow Jacket Drive.

"If you have ever thought you could do something good for our town," current Vernon Mayor Tina Sloan said in a recent Facebook post, "that you could make a difference, that you have real solutions to real issues - now is your time."

The city underwent a lengthy and thorough process to update its charter. A Charter Review committee was established and made 14 recommended amendments that are aimed at updating language and bringing the city in line with other cities its size.

For the upcoming election to be held Tuesday, March 12, one of the new changes would nix the old and costly annual elections by electing the three people who garner the most votes to serve three-year terms and the two that have the least votes to serve one-year terms.

"We need positivepeople with positive attitudes," stated Sloan, who will not be running again due to personal commitments. "I would also like to take this time to thank the residents of Vernon for the years of support as I have served as a council member and as mayor."

"So, someone grab the torches and run the good race," she concluded.

For more information about elections, call Vernon City Hall at 850-535-2444.