Bring on the New Year! Bring on the Referendums!

An Op Ed by Carmine Miranda

On March 8, 2022 the County Charter Referendum is on the ballot. This Charter Amendment sought by Sarasota County Commissioners is to overturn Single Member District (SMD) Voting for electing County Commissioners and changing it back to County-Wide Voting!

What does this mean for Sarasota County Voters?

Single Member District Voting for County Commissioners gives your vote to the Commissioner who is representing your District for greater accountability to the voters in your District. County-Wide Voting allows for voters outside of your District to decide who your Commissioner will be with less accountability to the voters in your District.

In fact, Big Money interests donate thousands to Candidate Campaigns in hopes of receiving preferential treatment and to reap Millions in return, causing candidates to serve private interests vs public interests! Under County-Wide Voting, candidates not affiliated with Big money must raise even more funding on their own to run a campaign, thereby eliminating some highly qualified candidates due to lesser funding.

On December 7, 2021 the County Commissioners designated a special election to repeal Single Member District Voting even though Sarasota voters came out and approved SMD’s by 60% across all five Districts in 2018!

At the public meeting the public overwhelmingly spoke in favor of keeping Single Member Districts!

Commissioner Maio accused voters of being confused when voting in 2018.

Commissioner Moran offered it must have been Sly Operatives who fooled a gullible electorate into voting for it.

Commissioner Detert said ‘I’ve never liked Single Member Districts but I’m getting tired of trying to save people from themselves.’

Once public comment was over , Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of going forward with the March Amendment.

Is this the kind of representation we want or need in Sarasota County?

IMHO, Come out and vote NO against the Charter Amendment that wants to change County Commissioner Elections to County-Wide Voting!

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