Sarasota News Leader

12/14/2012

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OPINION CITY NEEDS LEADERS WITH VISION AND UNITY EDITORIAL With the election of two at-large City of Sarasota commissioners only three months away, six candidates already are vying for the two available seats, including incumbent Mayor Suzanne Atwell. Commissioner Terry Turner recently announced he was declining to seek re-election. The other candidates are Richard Dorfman, Susan Chapman, Linda Holland, Kelvin Lumpkin and Pete Theisen. Of course, filing for the two seats does not open officially until Jan. 7. By the time the statutory filing period has closed five days later, more candidates might have come forward to offer themselves to the city���s electorate. While we are not yet prepared to offer an opinion as to which announced contenders might be best qualified to fill the two at-large vacancies, we are prepared to say that nothing proffered to date by them or their surrogates gives us any hope that the maladroit disunity that has characterized the City Commission���s struggles in recent years is likely to end anytime soon. There are two types of candidates for municipal public office. The first is one who has a preset agenda ��� what might be indelicately described as ���an ax to grind.��� Such an individual typically has strongly held beliefs about what changes in governance might produce the results most likely to conform to those beliefs. Occasionally, a candidate might be so convinced of his own unique talents and abilities that his only real strongly held belief is in his own greatness, or potential. Regardless, such a candidate is less interested in a syner-

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