SARASOTA — Under the threat of a lawsuit, three outgoing city commissioners decided against forcing through advisory-board appointments, include those to the Planning Board.
Mayor Kelly Kirschner, Vice Mayor Fredd Atkins and Commissioner Dick Clapp decided April 30 to go against city code and the advice of the city attorney and move ahead those appointments to their final commission meeting, which was May 2.
However, after hearing from attorney Casey Colburn, who told them there would be consequences for not following their own laws, the commissioners asked that the reappointments be put on hold.
City code requires a 90-day advertisement period before an advisory-board appointment. However, that rule had never been enforced.
Some citizens had complained it wouldn’t be fair to anyone who wanted to apply for a board if the commission made the appointments without advertising them.
At main issue was the Planning Board, which had two members with terms expiring at the end of May, Susan Chapman and Chris Gallagher.
But commissioner-elect Paul Caragiulo also was concerned the new commission, which will be sworn in May 13, would not have a say as to who would serve on the board.
“We’re the ones who will be working with them,” he said.
There is no timetable yet on when the advisory-board appointments will be made.
Contact Robin Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.