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Atkins seeks return to City Commission

Former Mayor Fredd Atkins has filed to enter next year’s City Commission election, becoming the fifth candidate in the race for two at-large seats.

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  • | 1:43 p.m. December 22, 2016
Fredd Atkins has served on the City Commission from 1985-1995 and 2003-2011.
Fredd Atkins has served on the City Commission from 1985-1995 and 2003-2011.
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A familiar face hopes to return to the City Commission next year.

Fredd Atkins, who has served on the commission for 18 of the past 32 years, filed paperwork today to become a candidate in next year’s municipal election. Atkins served as mayor from 1987-88, 1991-92 and 2006-07.

“I think my knowledge and experiences are invaluable for the city of Sarasota, and I think they can be used to our greater advantage again,” Atkins said.

In his previous time on the commission, Atkins was elected as the District 1 representative. This time, he’s trying for a citywide at-large seat. After entering the race today, Atkins highlighted several issues he hopes to address if he is elected to the board.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to work with the County Commission,” Atkins said. “We’ve got to address our homeless concerns. We’ve got to create some jobs for the citizens of the city of Sarasota.”

Both on and off the city board, Atkins has remained a politically active member of the community. Earlier this year, he unsuccessfully ran for the District 1 seat on the County Commission, losing to Mike Moran in November.

Already, he’s ready to move onto another opportunity to help guide the direction of local affairs.

“I’m a lifelong lover of the city of Sarasota,” Atkins said. “I believe — being not only born and raised here, but having lived here for almost all my life — that I am more than amply qualified to contribute greatly to the future of the city of Sarasota.”

Atkins is the fifth candidate to enter the March race for two at-large seats on the commission. Incumbent Commissioner Susan Chapman, Hagen Brody, Jennifer Ahearn-Koch and Martin Hyde have previously declared their candidacy.

The deadline to qualify for the March 14 election is Jan. 13. If two candidates do not win a majority in the first election, a run-off will be held May 9. The two new commissioners will officially join the board on May 12.


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