Sarasota News Leader

01/24/2014

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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 OPINION Many pundits over the years have offered many theories as to why the voters of the city appear so disinterested in their government. Certainly, the combined factors of ignorance and apathy have their roles. Page 71 And while the mayor would not have a vote during City Council meetings, he or she would be able to veto actions of the council, subject to an override by at least four of the five council members. Despite numerous public appearances by Some critics of this new proposal have pointed candidates throughout the campaign period, out that the latest effort has been conducted only a handful of people ever showed up for in the shadows, with an entirely new city charthe events. And, likely, ter drafted without many in attendance any public participawere the same who Some critics of this new proposal tion … not even by the went to other events. have pointed out that the latest effort has city's Charter Review The larger majority of been conducted in the shadows, with an Board. These critics the city's voters were entirely new city charter drafted without believe that the pronot reached, either any public participation … not even by the ponents, having failed because those per- city's Charter Review Board. in the past to convince sons were not aware city voters to endorse of opportunities to a strong mayor, are meet their candidates, or because they simply attempting to offer an entirely new charter they hope will be more attractive to voters. did not care about the process. Certainly, it will be more confusing. Now a new collective — or old collective, if one looks at the principals involved in this There have been three attempts in recent latest effort — is attempting yet again to have years to establish a strong mayor in Sarasota, the City of Sarasota establish a "strong mayor" and every effort has been soundly defeated by — one elected directly by the voters, with voters, by an average two-to-one margin. Is it executive authority to run the city, assisted assumed by the proponents of this new city by a hired deputy mayor, which would corre- charter that those rebukes were because the spond to our current city manager. Rather than issue was establishing a strong mayor only, the entire City Commission — which would and not putting forth a wholesale revamping of the city charter (which also would estabnow be called the City Council — setting pollish a strong mayor)? icy and giving orders to the city manager, only the mayor would be giving direction to the Nonetheless, the group proposing the new deputy mayor. charter has put forth one idea worthy of

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