NOV. 10 UPDATE -- At tonight's meeting, members of the Sarasota Republican Executive Committee resolved -- by a 97 to 2 vote -- that Sarasota County commissioners shall respect the will of the people and retain, defend and abide by the voter-initiated and approved 8-year county commission term limits. There were 5 abstentions.
The resolution was a direct challenge to the commission majority's proposal to ditch the popular 8-year limit and replace it with a new 12-year limit and a special 12-year grandfather period for current commissioners.
When the resolution was read, the floor erupted with applause and cheers. Before the vote, the draft resolution was strengthened with language specifically criticizing the commission's proposed anti-term limits amendment.
Commissioner Nora Patterson, a key player in the effort to circumvent the voter-approved term limits law, attended the meeting but left before the vote.
Citizens of all parties will have an opportunity to more directly share their feeling with commissioners at the Nov. 15 hearing on the proposal. Be there!
SARASOTA REPUBLICANS PONDER PRO-TERM LIMITS RESOLUTION
(Originally posted 11/3/11)
Much has been made of the fact that the majority of the Sarasota County Commission -- all Republicans -- has proposed holding a referendum to give commissioners 12 additional years in office on Republican primary day, Jan. 31, 2011, when few Democrats will be voting. Clever idea, but the commissioners might not be able to count on the blind support of their own party.
According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, a draft of a resolution has been submitted to be voted on at the Nov. 10 meeting of the Republican Executive Committee of Sarasota County. If it passes, the Sarasota REC will resolve "that Sarasota County commissioners shall respect the will of the people and retain, defend and abide by the voter-initiated and approved eight-year term limit."
Its odds are good. REC Chair Joe Gruters told the Herald-Tribune that some 90 percent of Republicans support term limits.
PROPOSED REC RESOLUTION
WHEREAS through the Sarasota county charter review process, an amendment for 8-year term limits on county commissioners was created, vetted and placed on the county ballot in 1998;
WHEREAS the voters of Sarasota county approved the charter amendment by a 68 percent vote;
WHEREAS the 8-year commission term limit was to go into effect in 2006 but was blocked by local litigation;
WHEREAS the 8-year term limit remains in the Sarasota county charter but is currently unenforced;
WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the State of Florida is expected to rule on the Constitutionality of Sarasota county commission term limits before the 2012 elections;
WHEREAS recent national, statewide and Southwest Florida polling indicates over 70 percent of voters of all political parties continue to support term limits;
THEREFORE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF SARASOTA COUNTY HEREBY RESOLVES that Sarasota County commissioners shall respect the will of the people and retain, defend and abide by the voter-initiated and approved 8-year term limit.
REC members are encouraged to attend the Nov. 10 meeting -- details here -- and let the county know how you stand.
(Pictured, Sarasota County REC Chair Joe Gruters)