Why Single Member Districts in Sarasota County?
Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Some key talking points from SAFE - Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections
Why change how we elect County Commissioners in Sarasota County? What concerns YOU about what is happening in this county? ---traffic? ---uncontrolled growth? ---Do you want your County Commissioners to listen to YOU and not just to their largest campaign donors? ---Do you want them to work together for the PEOPLE and not just for the DEVELOPERS? We have outgrown County-Wide Elections
There are now OVER 300,000 voters in Sarasota County and we are growing rapidly.
Election as a County Commissioner in a Presidential Election year requires approximately 100,000 Votes
Even unpaid Charter Review Board Members need almost 100,000 votes to win, so they historically don't even bother to campaign and hope that they will be elected on straight party line vote.
The cost to run a campaign county-wide addressing 100,000 or more voters is staggering and requires that candidates raise huge sums of money. With campaign contributions limited to $200/individual or corporation, PACs whose contributors need not be disclosed have become all too common.
When untraceable PAC money enters our election process the likelihood that moneyed interests will control our elections and that elected officials will be beholden to those moneyed interests is extremely high.
We are not the only ones. Most large counties have moved away from County-Wide Election in whole or in part, the largest in whole:
Broward County - 9 Commissioners, All Single Member
Miami-Dade County - 13 Commissioners, All Single Member
Palm Beach County - 7 Commissioners, All Single Member
Orange County - 7 Commissioners, 6 Single Member, 1 (Mayor) County-Wide
Hillsborough County - 7 Commissions, 4 Single Member, 3 County-Wide
Pinellas County - 7 Commissioners, 4 Single Member, 3 County-Wide
Manatee County - 7 Commissioners, 5 Single Member, 2 County-Wide
Leon County - 7 Commissioners, 5 Single Member, 2 County-Wide
NOTE: When you allow even 2 County-wide seats, those are guaranteed to be candidates installed by the big developers. All single member districts are the most representative of the people. Single-member districts are more democratic and more representative Our Founding Fathers wanted to bring government closer to the people. Let's have our County Commissioners: o Live in the district o Campaign in the district o Be elected by the people in the district o Represent the district As they work together for the good of the county for: o Sustainable growth o Protection of the environment o Safe neighborhoods and schools o Small businesses o Good jobs All the great accomplishments of the County for the benefit of the public and the environment can still be done. It is some of the outright gifts to developers, made on the backs of us, the public taxpayers, that may deserve further review.
When a candidate can win an election with 20,000 votes vs 100,000 votes it creates incentive for grass roots candidates who are not wealthy or well connected to run for office.
Grass Roots candidates typically represent the issues, like responsible growth, that establishment candidates who are beholden to large moneyed interests like real estate developers do not.
Candidates elected exclusively by voters in their districts are likely to vote for the interests of the voters in their district. Just ask any South Sarasota County resident if they feel that the County Commission treats them as an equal to the city of Sarasota or Longboat Key?