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Sarasota Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 1 year ago

Charter Review Board, District 1: Neil Rainford

Questions and answers with the candidates/

Why do you want to serve on the Charter Review Board? I believe it is important to serve and be engaged with your with your community. The Charter Review Board provides the unique opportunity to accomplish both. Representing and serving this great community will be a privilege.

What would be your top three priorities, if elected? 1) Protect the Charter of Sarasota County that has allowed our county to be one of the most desirable places to live, work, play, vacation and retire. It is vital that we protect the charter in a way that represents the majority of the citizens of Sarasota County and keep it from being a mechanism of activism that only benefits a few. 2) Listen to the voices of the citizens to ensure that their voice is heard and that all citizens are represented when proposals are discussed. The charter review board provides a great forum for citizen ideas to be heard. 3) Serve as conservative voice for the citizens of Sarasota countywide to ensure that the Sarasota County Charters form and function remain as originally intended.

Do you think the board should take a more active or passive role in determining potential changes to the charter? In general, I believe the Charter Review Board represents the citizens of Sarasota County interests and in turn is active in considering all proposals put forth. The Charter Review Board Members vote based on the best interest of the majority of citizens of Sarasota County. The board has the ability to initiate proposals on its own and this may be considered if its believed that it would have the support of the majority of citizens of Sarasota County. Any potential changes to the charter would need to be thoroughly vetted as they may have lasting and potentially undesired consequences.

What makes you a better candidate for the office than your opponent? I respect my political opponent for running at a time when the political environment has become so divided across our nation. We vary significantly on our view of the form and function of the Charter Review Board. For many decades Sarasota County has had conservative leadership which has maintained our county as a premier place to live, work, play, vacation and retire. It is my goal to keep Sarasota County as the first place people choose to live, work, play vacation and retire. I will be the conservative voice that represents the majority and does rush to promote change where it is not needed. My opponents vision of political activism and change for sake of change would have a detrimental impact on our great community. One activism issue that my opponent and I certainly have different views on is single member districts. I do not support single member districts as our way of electing County Commissioners and Charter Review Board Members. This was tried before and failed. Currently all voters in Sarasota County get to vote for the (5) elected County Commissioners and (10) elected Charter Review Board Members. My opponent would like to reduce your representation to just (1) County Commissioner and (2) Charter Review Board Members within your voting district. As your candidate for Charter Review Board you can count on me not to gamble away 80% of your representation as my opponent has chosen to do. The known in this case is much better than the unknown. I know how great Sarasota has been to my family and I believe its worth protecting for future generations. We need to protect our charter and I thank you for the opportunity to serve Sarasota County.


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