Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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Sarasota News Leader September 21, 2012 as she has been in her position for the past 24 years.) "So what I'm doing is replacing people," Reid said, noting that he had been through five versions of the county organizational charts in his first seven months on the job. And he has strived to be very transparent in the changes he has been making, Reid said, out of respect for the people who re- mained on staff. "I have to try to be sure staff's not dropped through the crack. … We have good people [here]." THE ROAD TO SARASOTA When he seated himself before the Sara- sota County Commission in November as a finalist to be county administrator, Reid was able to reflect on more than 36 years of experience in public service — from his first position working for the city manager of Vandalia, Ohio, to the one he had held since 1999, county manager of Alachua County. In fact, Reid told the five commissioners, he had sought the Sara- sota job once before — only to lose out to Jim Ley. When he moved to Florida in 1987, to take the job of city manager in Titus- ville, Reid said, he became very active in the League of Cities. That's why one face Page 24 on the Sarasota County Commission was already quite familiar to him. Reid met Commissioner Nora Patterson when she was serving on the Sarasota City Commission. As his local government ca- reer has matured in the state of Florida, he said, he's seen many elected municipal of- ficials move on to elected county positions. "Nora's an example of one of those," he points out. LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPERTISE In his typically low-key manner, Reid ex- plained, "I have a pretty good understand- ing not only of cities but also of counties." After leaving Titusville, Reid served as dep- uty/acting county administrator in Martin County from 1994 to 1999. I like the scale of county government. It's never boring. I can go from a human service issue to a public safety issue. I can experience a lot in one day. Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid, "I actually prefer counties," he said. "I like that city managers have some more di- rect authority than county managers do, because I have constitutional officers [the sheriff and the clerk of court, for example], but it's broader [authority at the county lev- el]. I like the scale of county government. It's never boring. I can go from a human service issue to a pub- lic safety issue. I can experience a lot in one day." Asked about his ten- dency to characterize Sarasota County as "a premier county," Reid explained that when he was working

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