The Charter Review Committee felt it was such a good idea to have the city manager, rather than the mayor, give Sarasota’s State of the City address that its members voted unanimously to recommend that occur.
Two weeks later, however, nearly every single member had second thoughts and voted to remove all mention of the State of the City from the charter.
Committee members voted 7-1 March 1 to strike any requirements related to the annual address because they didn’t feel it belonged in the charter.
But that decision didn’t come until after nearly 90-minute of debate about whether the mayor or the city manager should deliver the address.
The State of the City address is made once a year as a mayor rounds out his term and a new mayor is appointed.
Member Elmer Berkel originally preferred the city manager issue the State of the City, because the city manager actually leads the city’s day-to-day operations.
“It’s not written by the mayor,” he said. “It’s written by (city spokeswoman) Jan Thornburg. It’s given once, during the day and is a swan song for an outgoing mayor.”
But member Hank Battie believed because the city manager already has input into the address, it didn’t matter who gets the honor.
“If it’s all a joint effort, why does it matter who delivers it?” he asked.
In the end, the majority of members decided the matter did not belong in the charter and that it should be up to the City Commission to decide who delivers the State of the City.
Contact Robin Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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