Sarasota News Leader

01/04/2013

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HOW TO PROCEED Bob Waechter (left) watches the newly elected Sarasota County commissioners sworn in on Nov. 20. Photo by Norman Schimmel COMMISSIONER GRAPPLES WITH WAECHTER���S ROLE ON COUNTY BOARDS By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor What to do about Bob Waechter? That is one question some county commissioners are grappling with in the wake of the former Republican Party of Sarasota County chairman���s arrest. Newly elected County Commissioner Charles Hines tells The Sarasota News Leader he has heard from constituents who want to know how the county plans to deal with Waechter���s presence on those bodies. Waechter, charged with impersonating Republican activist Lourdes Ramirez and donating in her name to the congressional campaign of Democrat Keith Fitzgerald, withdrew from his post on the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority board shortly after his arrest. But he also serves on two county advisory boards, the Board of Zoning Appeals, which he chairs, and the Tourist Development Council. ���Does the [Board of County Commissioners] intend to act (or has it acted) on his continuing service as a TDC member pending resolution of the criminal matter?��� wrote county resident Richard Alpher on Dec. 18. ���I think at least some temporary action ��� such as a suspension from serving on the committee, would seem in the public interest as well as the BCC interest.���

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