JOHN FELLIN, Republican
BIRTHPLACE: St. Louis
EDUCATION: Forest Park Community College, St. Louis; post-graduate study from the School of Hard Knocks.
PROFESSIONAL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: President, Digital Electronic Systems, Inc., Englewood.
Why do you want to be elected to the Charter Review Board?
I am running for a seat on the Charter Review Board to allow me to assist in preserving the integrity of the County Charter and also to help steer the Charter Review Board to its original role as intended by the enabling language in the charter.
This is not to say that I am strictly opposed to any charter amendment(s); the charter is a living document that must accommodate the changing environment of the community. But since 1980, when the original charter was repealed and replaced by a new charter, the charter has had 79 amendments.
Governance by trial and error is not only unwise, but can indeed be dangerous.
How would you describe the role and responsibilities of the Charter Review Board?
Exactly as stated in the charter: “On behalf of the citizens of Sarasota County, the Charter Review Board shall review and recommend changes to the County Charter for improvement of county government.”
I would emphasize the final passage from this description: for the improvement of county government.
What is your position on whether the board should consist of elected or appointed members? Why elected? Or, why appointed?
Of the 20 charter counties in Florida, Sarasota is the only county with an elected charter review board. While much has been made recently over this issue, I believe that the performance of the board is far more important than how its members are seated. I have no agenda or intention of changing this aspect of the board.
What criticisms, if any, do you have of the previous board, and for what changes will you advocate if you are elected?
No criticism or complaints regarding the sitting board. I would like to see the board continue on its properly assigned task as stated in the charter.
What makes you a better candidate for the Charter Review Board than your opponent?
I am not familiar with my opponent. I feel that my experience with many community organizations, along with a well-documented dedicated service on several county advisory councils (totaling in excess of 36 years) including 12 years on the Sarasota County Planning Commission, gives me a sound understanding of the structure and function of county government.
What is your vision for the Charter Review Board?
Again, to stick strictly with its mission as provided in the county charter.
Preliminary city millage rate stays flat
Despite a $3.6 million general fund deficit, the Sarasota City Commission voted to keep the property tax rate level, opting to explore other avenues for balancing the budget.
Vandals damage 33 Colony units
Police don’t know who is responsible for the latest incidents at the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.
Manatee County School District to host public hearing on budget
The Manatee County School District will discuss its 2014-2015 school year budget in detail at a public hearing slated from 5:45 to 8 p.m., July 31.
Sarasota 2050 changes advance to County Commission
After three hours of public comment, the Sarasota County Planning Commission unanimously approved proposed amendments to Sarasota 2050.
25 Fourth Friday at the Historic Downtown Village
25 Sarasota Singles Society Presents "Bastille Day Celebration"
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
25 Martini Madness Dance Party!!
7:45 pm - 8:30 pm
26 NRA Pistol Safety
8:00 am - 12:30 pm