Sarasota News Leader

03/01/2013

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 OPINION Page 90 how fiscally ���responsible��� they were prepared entities. And that is what should be raising to be. At a meeting of the city commission on the eyebrows of Sarasota city voters. Dec. 18, Cook made a motion to sell the city���s For several years, the City Commission in interest in Warm Mineral Springs. Sarasota has been noted more for how many Although she later backtracked on her stated different directions the individual commisintentions at that meeting, she made it clear sioners can pursue at once than for any meanthen that she preferred for the county to join ingful coalition working for progress and the the city in selling Warm Mineral Springs to a betterment of the community. The election of two new at-large commissioners has the poprivate developer. tential to change that. Her fellow freshman commissioner, Rhonda DiFranco, seconded the motion to divest the That potential will evaporate, however, if 85 percent of the city���s voters once again cannot springs. be troubled to cast a ballot on March 12. MoreMayor Linda Yates from one side of her mouth over, a vote for a ���stealth��� candidate, such as expressed surprise that such a move would the two enigmata elected in North Port, has even be contemplated. But, moments later, the the real possibility of producing a cure that is other side of her mouth uttered the tie-break- far worse than the ailment. ing vote to sell Warm Mineral Springs. Sarasota voters have a duty to inform themAfterward, the county commissioners offered selves about the true nature of the six candito buy North Port���s share of the springs for $2 dates seeking office. We have done our part million, an offer roundly rejected by the City by conducting in-depth interviews with all of Commission with no counteroffer. them, asking them the same questions. If a candidate���s answers seem evasive or dissemNow the matter appears headed to some sort bling, voters should assume the worst should of mediation, as part of a state requirement that candidate be elected. If the answers seem for conflict resolution before either party can thoughtful and earnest, perhaps that canditurn to the courts for relief. And almost ev- date is one truly interested in what is best for eryone expects the matter to wind up in the the city. courts eventually. Electing the wrong two candidates on March However North Port voters might feel about 12 could put the city in a precarious position this expression of ���fiscal responsibility,��� nei- going forward, with something even worse ther candidate gave much indication during than the ���every man for himself��� ethos with the campaign that it was afoot. Nor does it which we have lived. It could produce a coaappear that either commissioner is now in- lition bent on dismantling the city in the name clined toward meaningful discussion or com- of ���fiscal responsibility.��� promise, especially since the mayor has provided them her vote to create the necessary To paraphrase the observation of Alexis de majority. Such unrepentant dogmatism does Tocqueville almost two centuries ago, if votnot bode well for balanced government in ers fail to make the right decisions, they will North Port, or for amicable relations with the deserve the suffering that comes as a conseCounty Commission or other governmental quence of their wrong decisions. %

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