NEWBERRY – As the days count down to April 10, a question of qualification has come up for one of the candidates in the City of Newberry’s commission race.

At the March 26 city commission meeting, a resident alleged that candidate Barbara Hendrix did not meet the residency qualification requirements for the Newberry election.

Sandra Marin filed an affidavit at the meeting citing that Hendrix removed her homestead on her property in the city of Alachua too late to meet the qualifications to run in the upcoming city of Newberry election.

Marin cited four exhibits, which included records from the Alachua County Tax Collector’s Office.

The Newberry City Charter mandates that candidates should have maintained a primary, principle and physical residence within the city for six months immediately preceding the date of qualification.

Hendrix, the program manager for Newberry Main Street Organization, said she has had a primary residence in Newberry since 2008. She further said she had changed her primary residence so she could serve on the Planning and Zoning Board in 2009.

According to records from the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s website, Hendrix owns property in Alachua. The records also say she does not own the property in Newberry that she listed on her website as her primary residence.

Hendrix said she is renting the property in Newberry, which she currently claims as her permanent residence, but owns property on 915 NW State Road 45. Records from the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s website affirm that she has been an owner at this site for more than eight years.

Hendrix said she checked with the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office before she applied to run for the commission seat. When Hendrix saw that her homestead had not been removed from the property in Alachua, she notified the office. According to Hendrix, the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office acknowledged this as a glitch.

Hendrix has lived in North Florida since 1990 and began volunteering with the Newberry Main Street Organization in 2006.  She is running against incumbent Lois Forte in the Group 2 commission seat in the election on April 10.

The residency allegation and affidavit presented by Marin was provided to Newberry City Attorney Scott Walker for further review.