Sarasota News Leader


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HOW DIFFERENT A BOARD? Proposals to reconfigure the representation of Sarasota County citizens on the County Commission went nowhere this week at a Charter Review Board meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel` PROPOSALS FOR SINGLE-MEMBER COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICTS AND EXPANSION OF DISTRICTS FROM FIVE TO SEVEN SHOT DOWN BY CHARTER BOARD By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Half of the Sarasota County Charter Review Board members – including Chairwoman Cathy Layton – said Sayonara Tuesday, Oct. 16. Five of the 10 declined to run for re-elec- tion, and Tuesday was their last meeting. Four of the five retiring members – Layton, Jud Bodecker, Marie Nisco and Frank Moore – had served 12 years. Matthew Fountain (who was absent from the meeting) was elected in 2004. Layton served as chairwoman for nine of her 12 years on the board. Sarasota is one of 17 counties in Florida with a home-rule charter, providing a greater sepa- ration between state and county government. The other 50 counties are legally extensions of state government. Sarasota's charter board is the only one in the state that meets with regularity. Years ago it met monthly. Any recommendation it makes must be approved by voters in a referendum. The 10 members are elected countywide in a partisan election; they serve four-year terms without term limits. The board maintains an extremely low pro- file because it has little appetite to pursue its mandate to "review and recommend changes

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