ANNAMARIE REITHMILLER, Write in
BIRTHPLACE: South Africa, naturalized U.S. Citizen since November 2009
FAMILY: Three children, aged 2, 16 and 19
EDUCATION: Law degrees: Evaluated equivalent to American Bar Association-approved law school, J.D. and master’s in law; master’s in science.
PROFESSIONAL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Speaker, American Bar Association Washington, D.C., and American Conference for Science and the Environment, Washington, D.C.
FUN FACT: Set up a cultural village in honor of Nelson Mandela.
What attributes do you bring to this office that separates you from your opponent?
My unwavering commitment to uphold the U.S. and Florida constitutions and carry out the prescribed duties of the Manatee County Clerk of Court.
What specific skills or experience do you have that qualifies you more than your opponent to serve as the chief auditor of the county government’s finances, the keeper of Manatee County’s public records and the clerk of the courts?
I shall adhere to my oath to the Constitution of the United States of America and to my oath to the constitution of the state of Florida. Over and above my law degrees, which meant passing high-level accounting courses at the university level, I further did financial courses in international law by the foremost institutions. I was the senior managing partner for a large law firm where hundreds of millions of dollars went through our accounts held on behalf of clients. And even after crime affected the firm, we had such tight control and overseeing capacities over client assets that not a single cent of client money was affected. I take no nonsense from anyone and shall not tolerate some of the inefficiencies clear from the current slack system, where even simple items like budgeting for existing teachers is botched up.
What do you see as the biggest challenges that will face the clerk of courts in the next two to three years, and how would you propose these challenges be addressed?
My biggest challenge will be to identify which people can be worked with to repair to the constitution and the rule of law. I shall tolerate no one who does not adhere to the U.S. Constitution. I further believe in a work ethic which places those whom we serve first. The need to create a more functional and streamlined systems aligned with the constitution to serve Manatee County shall therefore be my top priority.
What will be your three top priorities if you are elected?
Implement the U.S. Constitution; implement the Florid Constitution; and implement the rule of law.
Florida’s clerks of court and the Florida Supreme Court sometimes have clashed over what records should be made available online. If you were the ultimate decision maker on this issue, what information would you make public that is not now public online? What information would you continue to redact?
Transparency of any public records is a fundamental principle of our rule of law and must be available to the widest possible extent. The only information which should be protected is that which is unconstitutional to be available to the public at large, which obviously includes that which can harm individual rights and in particular the vulnerable, minors and those incapable to defend their own rights.
What is your position on the publishing of local and state government’s public notices — should they continue to be required to published in newspapers; required to be in newspapers and online; or online only? Should the clerks’ websites be the purveyors and publishers of public notices? Why or why not?
We are a transitional generation with the old school deeply attached to newspapers and the younger generation using online means for access to information. Until that changes, both media sources should be considered appropriate. The website is not a place the public necessarily visits and is inappropriate and does not qualify in terms of definitions required to make public information available.
If elected, how will you make the office more economically efficient?
I managed a large law firm for a long time. I shall cultivate a motivated workforce that understand its duties clearly to work efficiently and serve the public optimally.
An important part of the office is overseeing the financial affairs of the sheriff and the county commissioners. It is clear that the present system of internal auditing with minimal outside auditing has left voids and inaccuracies, which are unacceptable.
My first and foremost task shall be to insure taxpayers and taxpayers’ money are protected. Being more economically efficient should be a natural outflow from that.
What is your vision for the office of the Manatee Clerk of Courts?
My vision is a Manatee County restored to the Constitution, where all are equal, treated justly and their fundamental rights protected and serve in an efficient, economic fashion.
Communities and systems that succeed or fail show that the dividing line between success and failure in communities is individual rights. If one looks at the vibrant economies of St. Petersburg and Sarasota and the struggles of Bradenton, it is clear that something is wrong.
I believe that when the clerk of the court, implements the rule of law and the constitutions of Florida and the United States into the lives of “we the people,” the people of Manatee County, that individuals will respond positively and thrive. My function will simply be to serve them to the best of my ability.
PHOTO GALLERY: Sarasota Sailing Squadron Summer Sailing Camp
Campers in Sarasota Sailing Squadron's Summer Sailing Camp set sail and explore the waters of Sarasota Bay Friday, July 25.
FYI Friday — Your weekly news roundup
Catch up on the week's most important and most interesting news stories from Sarasota, Longboat Key and East County with FYI Friday.
Sarasota Memorial names new CEO
The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board named former Sarasota Memorial Chief Operating Officer David Verinder as CEO in a unanimous vote Friday. Verinder has served as interim CEO since the departure of Gwen MacKenzie in May.
PHOTO GALLERY: Mattison's Forty-One cooking camp
Mattison’s Forty-One has hosted a cooking camp for campers ages 11 through 14 for the past four years. It’s so popular the four week-long camps limited to 15 campers gets full the first day of signups — there’s always a waiting list.
26 Mini Yoga Retreat
28 Scrub Jay Jr. Ranger Camp - Bugs! Week 7
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
29 Manatee Forum Monthly Meeting
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
31 Salon Series