Sarasota News Leader


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CHARTER CHANGERS (From left) City Attorney Robert Fournier, City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini and City Commis- sioners Paul Caragiulo and Willie Shaw listen to public comments during a regular meeting. Photo by Norman Schimmel ONE PROPOSED CITY OF SARASOTA CHARTER AMENDMENT WOULD DISMEMBER THE OFFICE OF THE CITY AUDITOR AND CLERK By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Six of the seven proposed amendments to the Sarasota City Charter were proposed by an appointed committee of citizens who took tes- timony, received legal advice and held spirited debates on the issues. The seventh was conceived in secrecy by an organization now under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission. The amend- ment had a legal flaw that was rectified at the last minute. And it was put on the ballot by paid signature gatherers working piecemeal, paid per signature. These origins normally would scuttle public support for a charter change, but a surprising number of people think it is a good idea to break up the Office of City Auditor and Clerk (CAC), separating the audit function from ev- erything else. The auditor and clerk's position was created during the initial drafting of the city's charter in 1945. Initially, the clerk and auditor's job included management of central records, with the person acting as clerk to the City Commis- sion (handling agendas, minutes, etc.), doing internal auditing (of city departments, lease- holders and contracts, etc.), handling pension administration and presiding over city elec- tions.

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