As a former member of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, a member of the Argus Foundation, a former member of the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Home Builders Association of Manatee & Sarasota Counties, a potential member of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and a potential member of the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, I am requesting that your members vigorously oppose the proposed referendum proposed to be held on January 31, 2011, and protect my one vote as a taxpayer in Sarasota County who voted with the other 68 percent of the voters in Sarasota County in favor of eight year term limits in 1998.
The Commission should drop the referendum idea, wait for the Supreme Court and resign themselves to its decision. That is the right thing to do.On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, the county attorney, a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association, brought up under County Attorney Reports the Board of County Commissioners previously requested legal request for him to investigate the legality of holding a referendum on January 31, 2011, to clarify the State Supreme Court’s decision, that hasn’t even been made yet, to extend the two year term limits voted in 1998 to three years and to negate the time already served by the existing County Commissioners so they can all run and attempt to be elected for another three terms!
Please see the video of the County Attorney’s Report on the morning of October 25, 2011, on the Sarasota County website. Commissioner Christine Robertson, a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association, led the discussion and made the motion to prepare an ordinance and to place the ordinance on the Agenda for a Public Hearing by the Board of County Commissioners. The motion was seconded by either Commissioner Carolyn Mason or Commissioner Nora Patterson I do not recall which one. Commissioner Jon Thaxton made no comments and Commissioner Joe Barbetta, a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association, vigorously opposed the motion and stated in so many words “The Commission should drop the referendum idea, wait for the Supreme Court and resign themselves to its decision. That is the right thing to do."
The vote was 4-1 to with the other four commissioners voting for the motion and Commissioner Joe Barbetta voting against the motion.
It is my professional opinion that this vote by the Board of County Commissions is a bad example and sends the wrong message to the county staff at a time when we are trying to put a stop to the corruption that has occurred in Sarasota County in the past.
Minder & Associates Engineering Corporation
John C. Minder, PE, PSM
John C. Minder holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1964 and has done graduate work in Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institue of Technology. He is a Professional Engineer with registration in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He is also a Professional Surveyor and Mapper in Illinois and Florida. With over 45 years experience, Mr. Minder has been responsible for a variety of Civil Engineering projects throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Florida.