On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Sarasota County Commissioners will hear from the public and make their decision on whether to continue the commission majority's effort to derail the voter-approved 8-year term limits law.
At issue is whether the commission will place a new referendum on the Jan. 31, 2012, ballot -- in place of the old one which passed overwhelmingly but has never been enforced -- to change Sarasota's existing term limits from eight to 12 years and give themselves a special 12-year grandfather period before they go into effect.
Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent estimates the cost to the county of the special referendum will be about $120,000. Recent polling shows that over about 74 of Southwest Florida voters believe in term limits in general and that 73 percent oppose replacing 8-year with 12-year term limits, at least at the state legislative level.
The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the commission chambers at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Boulevard. It is item #38 on the agenda, but commissioners are mum on when they might take it up. Reliable sources estimate the issue might be taken up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you plan to speak, please show up early to sign a speaking card.
Please browse the Sarasota-related articles below for background. Remember to be civil and professional in your remarks. We do not wish the commissioners to dig in their heels further nor have our actions reflect poorly on the civic-minded effort to see the will of the voters respected.
Remember also that the question at hand is not about the pros and cons of term limits. It is whether the clearly expressed will of the voters, as expressed at the ballot box, can be delayed forever by self-serving litigation and political tricks.
The answer is 'no.' Let's tell them.
Please forward a link to this blog post to all your friends and neighbors in Sarasota County.