CHARTER REVIEW BOARD: County charter changes debated

 

CHARTER REVIEW BOARD: County charter changes debated

 

Date: August 12, 2010
by: Robin Roy | City Editor

 
 

Five candidates with diverse backgrounds are trying to fill two Charter Review Board seats. Charter Review Board members examine the county’s charter, which lays out rules on things such as the organization of government and land-use and voting requirements. The board analyzes proposed changes to those rules and makes recommendations, which are then subject to a voter referendum.


DISTRICT 2
Robert Copeland
Age: 41
Family: Divorced
Hometown: Mattawan, Mich.
Education: Electrical engineering degree from DeVry University
Career: Restaurant manager

What is the role of a charter review board member — to come up with charter changes yourself or only judge changes that come from citizens?
First and foremost, it is to represent the people of this county. We as a board should listen to the citizens and discuss as a board whether those concerns brought to us should be dealt with by the board or if it is more of an issue that the commissioners should address or if it is even relevant to the charter.

Why do you want to be on the charter review board?
To serve and give back to this community. 

What in the charter do you believe needs to be changed?
At the present time, I think the charter should be reviewed, as it was about 10 years ago, to see if there are any updates needed, such as outdated language that needs to be removed or any vague areas that can be better defined or clarified.


Steve Fields
Age: 44
Family: Married
Hometown: Terre Haute, Ind.
Education: Finance degree from North Georgia College and University
Career: Self-employed game designer

What is the role of a charter review board member — to come up with charter changes yourself or only judge changes that come from citizens?
The source of proposed amendments is not really relevant to the mission of the board. Any citizen of Sarasota County should be able to propose charter amendments to the board. I feel that this gives the voters greater access to government and a voice toward its improvement.

Why do you want to be on the charter review board?
I want to ensure that proposed amendments are given the thoughtful and deliberate consideration that they deserve. Changes to the charter should promote transparency, fiscal responsibility and accountability.

What in the charter do you believe needs to be changed?
Attempts to change the board from elected to appointed are unwise. Convening the board only every 10 years is a bad idea that would remove any chance the citizens might have to address issues in a timely manner.


DISTRICT 3
Kathy Bolam
Age: 75
Family: Widowed with nine children, 28 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren
Hometown: Detroit
Education: Attended Marygrove College
Career: Tupperware distributor and gas station co-owner

What is the role of a charter review board member — to come up with charter changes yourself or only judge changes that come from citizens?
Charter members may suggest changes and should welcome any citizens’ suggestions. 

Why do you want to be on the charter review board?
I believe the charter is as important to the county as the Constitution is to the United States.

What in the charter do you believe needs to be changed?
No specific changes, but there have recently been suggestions to changing the charter schedule to every 10 years and appointing members rather than electing them. I would like the Charter Review Board to have regularly scheduled meetings, so the public can plan on attending.


Adam Miller (Incumbent)
Age: 31
Family: Married with one son
Hometown: Born in Sarasota and raised in Venice
Education: Economics degree from University of Kansas, law degrees from St. Thomas Law School and Stetson Law School
Career: Attorney

What is the role of a charter review board member — to come up with charter changes yourself or only judge changes that come from citizens?
I will review changes that are brought to the board. However other members do present proposed changes that are considered by the board.

Why do you want to be on the charter review board?
I enjoy being involved in the community. My background in economics and law makes me qualified for the position. I have learned a lot during my first term that will be beneficial to the board if I am re-elected.

What in the charter do you believe needs to be changed?
I presently feel that the charter does not need any changes. However, I am open to any ideas that may improve our charter and ultimately our community.


Dawn Moore
Age: 56
Family: Married
Hometown: Clinton Township, Ind.
Education: Attended Duke University
Career: Co-owned life-insurance brokerage agency

What is the role of a charter review board member — to come up with charter changes yourself or only judge changes that come from citizens?
A board member may do both.

Why do you want to be on the charter review board?
Sarasota County is the best place to live in Florida. Good local government adds to our quality of life. I would like to be part of the process for the improvement of local government.

What in the charter do you believe needs to be changed?
Nothing at this time.

SHARE
Login Register now

Currently 0 Responses

Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
Password
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!

Classifieds

YourObserver
Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2014 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved