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OPINION gistic integration into the larger organization ��� in this case, the City Commission ��� and more concerned about reshaping it to comply with his preconceptions, which may or may not be in the best interests of the citizenry. The other type of candidate is one who, while perhaps not entirely self-effacing, has a healthy respect for the significant task of participating in the governance of large municipalities. Such a candidate would have sought out the advice of opinion-makers in the community, focusing especially on those whose beliefs might be in direct conflict with the candidate���s own views. It is precisely in challenging one���s beliefs and preconceptions that one gains a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing the city ��� and the opportunities that might exist for meeting those challenges. Qualified and motivated citizens, guided by their desire for a better Sarasota, must offer themselves for office if the voters are to have a meaningful alternative. While some or all of the announced candidates might be just that sort of public servant, it remains for each of them to convince us ��� and the citizens of Sarasota ��� of that fact. And it remains for the populace to do some collective soul-searching in the four weeks remaining before filing for the City Commission closes. The City of Sarasota needs two qualified, committed candidates who agree on a mutual plan of action for remedying the city���s woes. And those two candidates must identify a sitting commissioner with whom they can make common cause, giving the city ��� assuming their election ��� what it has lacked for too long: an The former candidate is an individualist, un- actual majority striving in the same direction. interested in building consensus. The latter seeks like minds among other candidates and sitting commissioners in an effort to realize a LETTERS TO THE EDITOR common vision for the city���s future that can The Sarasota News Leader welbe reasonably and realistically achieved. The City of Sarasota has struggled mightily for several years, caroming from one unlikely debacle to another. While blame has been placed on city management and senior staff, the real blame ultimately rests with the City Commission, which shoulders the burden of articulating a vision for the city and promulgating policies and strategies which will bring the city closer to a realization of that vision. Blame also rests with the voters, of course, but they cannot be blamed when confronted with a Hobson���s choice on Election Day. comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with ���Letter to the Editor��� in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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