BACKGROUND:

– 36-year resident of Sarasota County

  • 20-year background in local journalism
  • Involved in local youth sports (Little League, Babe Ruth Baseball, soccer, basketball) as coach and board member
  • Candidate for CRB in 2008, and Sarasota County Commission in 2014

QUESTIONS

Do you support county wide election of all county commission seats?  Please explain your answer.

I do support the petition to change our election system from countywide to district-only voting for the county commission and the CRB. Our current system is provably unhealthy and undemocratic, as 57 percent of the voting electorate has been shut out from county board participation  for 46 years. This has been the result of the need for candidates to have either exorbitant financial backing, or the ability to devote hundreds of hours to grassroots, door-to-door campaigning across a large geographic area. A district-only voting system would immediately open up the process and attract more well-qualified candidates from all political persuasions.

Do you support changing the board from elected to appointed?  Please explain your answer.

Absolutely not! The CRB has operated as an effective mechanism for the expression of democracy in both the voting booth and as an outlet for citizen involvement in government. The board was designed to solicit potential positive, constructive changes to our county charter – our local constitution – and act as a springboard for these ideas and proposals. Over the years, it has proven its worth in many ways (establishment of mandatory recycling program, limits on campaign contributions, limiting county board members to two four-year terms, as examples).