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Sarasota News Leader November 2, 2012 City Manager Robert Bartolotta, a subsequent inquiry revealed inadequacies in the depart- ment that the current clerk and auditor is try- ing to remedy. The proposed charter amendment would split the responsibilities of the City Auditor and Clerk's Office into two separate offices. One would be the Office of City Auditor. It would be run by a charter official appointed by the City Commission, and it would perform internal audits and make recommendations based on the audits. The auditing department currently has one employee and one opening. The amendment specifically states: "The City Commission shall not assign to the City Audi- tor any duties not related to audit or investi- gatory functions." The second office would work for the city manager. Its responsibilities would include all other functions of the current CAC, including records management, pension administration, information technology, city clerk's responsi- bilities and administration of oaths. Proponents say dismembering the current City Auditor and Clerk's Office would streamline government by making one person responsi- ble for city administration. And they believe establishment of an independent auditor with no other functions would provide the City Commission with the necessary checks on abuse of power by the city manager. Opponents dub this the "Boss City Manager" amendment. Some suggest it is a racist putsch to force the resignation of current City Audi- tor and Clerk Pam Nadalini. She is the city's first African-American charter official, having served as No. 2 until the retirement of Robin- Page 27 son. When he was preparing to leave, she was offered the job as CAC. Pension administration and public informa- tion are handled by the city manager in a sig- nificant number of Florida cities similar in size to Sarasota. The Information Technology de- partments virtually always report to the city manager in municipalities. Pension Manage- ment offices also report to the city manager in most Florida cities. For the clerking responsibilities — minutes, agendas, correspondence, swearing of oaths — the record is mixed. In Clearwater, Lake- land, Fort Myers and Delray Beach, the clerks report to the city managers. In Venice, Naples, North Port and Lauderhill, the clerks report to the city commissions. Most of the seven city charter amendments proposed for the Nov. 6 ballot seek to slow down or even prohibit City Commission ac- tions. One would delete nearly six pages of charter language aimed at defeating a Walmart store proposed several years ago. Only one — the decapitation of the CAC office — creates a fundamental change in government account- ability. Voters who believe the city manager should be the person who really manages the city in all its aspects will vote in favor of this charter change proposal. Voters who believe the current system of split responsibilities provides a check and balance on government power will vote against the amendment.

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