Lobeck to CRB: Hands off our Single Member Districts
TELL THE SARASOTA COUNTY CHARTER REVIEW BOARD: HANDS OFF OUR
SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS
Wednesday, October 20, 6 pm
SOUTH COUNTY ADMIN. BLDG., 4000 S. TAMIAMI TRAIL, VENICE
This Wednesday, our elected Charter Review Board will once again "discuss" putting a Charter amendment on the November, 2022 ballot to repeal single member districts for the election of County Commissioners and instead elect all Commissioners in very expensive County-wide campaigns favored by the big developer interests. Before that discussion, members of the public will be given five minutes each to speak. We should tell them: Politely send this back to the County Commission to decide on this unpopular proposal themselves. They also have the power to put amendments on the ballot. There is no reason Commissioners should expect the Charter Review Board to do their dirty work for them. Voters knew what they were doing in approving single member districts by a 60 percent vote in 2018, on a very simple and clearly worded ballot. There is no basis to say otherwise and it is an insult to the voters to tell us we made a mistake. The ballot read as follows:
SARASOTA COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT TO CHANGE COUNTY COMMISSION ELECTIONS TO SINGLE-MEMBER DISTRICTS
Shall each member of the Board of the County Commissioners of Sarasota County, Florida be elected by only those voters residing in the same district in which the Commissioner resides, rather than having each member of the Board of County Commissioners elected by voters County-wide as presently exists in Article II, Section 2.1 A of the Sarasota County Charter?
(Maybe we should get a re-do on our votes to elect Charter Review Board members -- might that have been a mistake as well?) Single member districts properly reduce the role of the developers' big money domination in County-wide campaigns by giving principled candidates -- Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, a fighting chance to get elected by cutting by 80 percent the cost of reaching their voters. The fact that a conservative Republican almost beat the incumbent supported by the developers in 2020's County Commission primary election is the main reason the developers' politicians now explore restoring County-wide elections. In a recent public opinion survey, residents overwhelmingly favored keeping single member districts instead of returning to County-wide elections. The spokesman for the survey company even told Commissioners that he was surprised at how familiar residents are with the issue, with only 14 percent declining to answer -- much lower than on some other issues, such as COVID policies. Sarasota County is too big for County-wide elections. Not only is it too costly and difficult to campaign from the airport to North Port, once elected it is difficult for Commissioners to keep in touch with their constituents. That is why of the 14 counties with populations as big as Sarasota County (as well as the next three below us), only four elect their County Commissioners County-wide. The rest have only single-member districts or mostly single-member districts. Please attend the Venice meeting on Wednesday night, and speak if you can.
Please also consider sending an email to the Charter Review Board members, at (copy and paste this email string):
Kennedy.Legler@scgcrb.net; Ray.Collins@scgcrb.net ; David.Samuel@scgcrb.net;Scott.Williams@scgcrb.net;Elaine.Miller@scgcrb.net; Alexandra.Coe@scgcrb.net; Richard.Dorfman@scgcrb.net; Joe.Justice@scgcrb.net; Jim.Gabbert@scgcrb.net; Deborah.Lapinska@scgcrb.net
We look forward to seeing you Wednesday at 6 in Venice! Thank you, Dan Lobeck For Control Growth Now