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VIDEO: Stubborn Board sets March 8 Special Election for Single Member Districts

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

On Election Day in November 2018, the citizens of Sarasota County by a wide margin voted to change the way County Commissioners are elected. Instead of having the entire population voting for all five Board members, each district would vote for its own representative on the Board.

After half an election cycle, the Board moved to reverse the citizens' decision.

On December 7, 2021, after hearing from 27 citizens who powerfully spoke in favor of Single Member Districts (only one spoke otherwise) -- the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners unanimously voted to once again place the issue of Single Member District Voting before voters. A Special Election has been set for March 8, 2022.

Single Member District voting was put forward in 2018 by a 60 percent supermajority of voters who chose to restructure county elections to make Board members more accountable to the Districts they represent.

Now the citizens must return to the polls on March 8. Here's the ballot language as approved by the Board -- does it fairly balance the issue at stake, or does it appear to bias voters in favor of at-large voting, which is what the Board prefers?

In comments made before the vote was taken, Commissioner Mike Moran stated that for him this is a question of "Good Governance" vs. "Bad Governance."

Twenty-seven citizens who spoke at the meeting made their position clear -- without Single Member Districts, the county will continue a long tradition of developer-funded political officials -- all from the same party -- whose pro-growth policies have long failed the people of Sarasota.


Click the image to open the video record of the hearing of 12.7.21 at the point SMD item begins:

Or click link to see VIDEO: Listen to the comments of the people who spoke at the hearing. This section of the meeting begins at the 7-hour, 7-minute (7:07) mark.

See also this story from the Sarasota News Leader:

With only 1 of 28 speakers advocating for new referendum on Single-Member Districts, County Commission still votes unanimously to put issue on March 8, 2022 ballot

Questions for the reader:

Does the Board's decision to reverse the will of the people reflect "Good Governance"?

Does the ballot language seem fair?

Should citizens consider a public effort to repeal the ballot language?


A flyer to download and share:

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