Voter Guide - John Fellin

JOHN FELLIN, Republican
AGE: 61
FAMILY: Divorced
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 But since 1980, when the original charter was repealed and replaced by a new charter, the charter has had 79 amendments.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.




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