Over the next two months, the Sarasota City Commission will see two members depart and another two members join. On Monday, commissioners will discuss the process for selecting those new members.
Two vacancies are slated to open in November following the scheduled resignations of commissioners Paul Caragiulo and Shannon Snyder. Caragiulo and Snyder both entered the race for the District 2 seat on the Sarasota County Commission, and resigned to comply with state law. The remaining city commissioners will select Caragiulo and Snyder’s replacements.
In September, the city accepted applications for candidates interesting in serving the final months of the District 2 and District 3 commission seats. Fourteen candidates applied — ten in District 2, and four in District 3. On Monday, the commission will consider a process for selecting two appointees from that field of candidates.
Vice Mayor Susan Chapman and Commissioner Suzanne Atwell both submitted a list of comments regarding the selection process in advance of Monday’s meeting. Mayor Willie Shaw did not submit any comments or questions.
Both Chapman and Atwell proposed a process by which each commissioner would submit their top two candidates in each district. Chapman’s comments suggested that, if the initial vote did not produce an agreed-upon selection, the commissioners could decide via a majority vote after a period of discussion.
Atwell suggested commissioners cast secret ballots with their top two choices in District 2 and 3. She also inquired about the possibility of using instant run-off voting, which would allow the commissioners to rank the candidates in order of preference.
Chapman also submitted a list of potential criteria by which the commission could evaluate the candidates. In an interview, she said that civility and experience were two of the qualities she most valued in potential appointees.
“I will look at temperament, experience in city issues,” Chapman said. “I'll look at whether they've served on advisory boards and their knowledge of the city.”
The remaining three commissioners are scheduled to select the two new commissioners at a Nov. 19 meeting. The District 2 and District 3 terms both expire in May 2015.
Also at Monday’s City Commission meeting:
+ During a public hearing, commissioners will consider amending the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning code and approving the Rosemary Residential Overlay District, which would allow for higher-density housing projects in the Rosemary District. Commissioners signaled their approval for the overlay district at earlier meetings.
+ Commissioners will discuss establishing an ad-hoc committee to guide the development of a master plan for Bobby Jones Golf Club.
The full agenda for Monday’s meeting can be found on the city website.
Contact David Conway at [email protected].