Meet the candidate.
Name: Kennedy Legler
Family: Wife, Emmalee, and two daughters, Brynn (6) and Kennedy Paige (3)
Bio: I am a 30-year resident of the Manatee and Sarasota community. A graduate of Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, I went on to pursue my academic career at Stetson University for both my bachelor's degree and Juris Doctorate. I currently serve the state of Florida as an assistant state attorney in Sarasota County, within the violent crimes division. I am also a part-time professor at Sarasota County Technical Institute teaching criminal law and criminal procedure. I also volunteer with Teen Court and the Booker Law Academy Mentor Program and am on the Child Protection Center Advisory Committee. My wife and I met in college, and we have been married just shy of 10 years. We have two beautiful red-headed daughters, Brynn and Kennedy Paige, both of which were born and raised here and also attend local Sarasota schools.
Why do you want to serve on the Charter Review Board?
I believe it is important to both serve and engage with your local constituents. The Charter Review Board provides the incredible opportunity to do both while also ensuring to maintain the integrity of the charter and the goal of giving local government control to voters.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities during your term?
1. Protect the charter of Sarasota County that has allowed Sarasota to be one of the most desirable places to live and work;
2. Sit and listen to all ideas and proposals of citizens to ensure that their voice is heard; and
3. Be as transparent and up to date on issues that serve the best interest of the citizens of Sarasota County.
Where do you stand: Should the Charter Review Board be proactive initiating changes to charter, or should the board make recommendations based on voter desires and ideas brought to the board?
I believe the foundation of the CRB is that it listens to the concerns and recommendations of the citizens of Sarasota and initiates change only after careful thought, research and consideration on the impact to Sarasota County. It is the ideas brought to the board by the people that should initiate change.
What is your position on turning the Charter Review Board into an appointed position rather than an elected office?
I am against turning the board into an appointed position. It needs to remain a position voted on and elected by the people of Sarasota County.
What, if anything, in your view, needs to be updated/changed in the county charter?
Currently, I do not see the need for any immediate change to the charter. As I mentioned before, change needs to come only when absolutely necessary after careful thought, research and consideration on how it might impact Sarasota County as a whole.
The CRB has been discussing changes to the charter amendment process. What’s your position on that?
The CRB has been working on a process to add transparency to the petition process, so that people have a better understanding of what a potential amendment to the charter is, the cost associated with such an amendment and the overall impact the amendment could have. I would support any change that adds such transparency.
What are your comments about reforming the CRB, so it mirrors the State Constitutional Revision Commission — appointed members every 10 or 20 years to review the charter, rather than the existing system of elected members who serve four-year terms?
I believe the current process ensures that if change is needed, it can happen at any time (well before 10-20 years), so long as the proper protocols and procedures are followed. As I have said, I do not think the board should go to an appointment process; it needs to remain elected, so I do not support that change.