In 1998 %68 of Sarasota County voters passed a change to the County Charter that applied a 2 term limitation on County Commissioners.
Later a Circuit Judge would apply a State Supreme Court ruling to say that this was unconstitutional. In a case starting in Broward County an Appeals court has held that this is not so. This would seem to indicate that the Charter change was, in face, legal.
When the first judgement was rendered, why did they NOT appeal the ruling? With such a large percentage of voters in favor, why did they not at least make sure that this would be the final ruling? Who knows what the appeals court might have done then? They might have even agreed.
The problem was that the politicians did not want to risk losing their jobs so, inspite of being elected to represent the will of the voters, and that will was voiced by the vote, they did nothing.
Now that I higher courts has overruled that decision, what have they done?
Instead of saying “we will follow the charter, and carry out the people will”, they are planning to put in another change that will allow them not only 3 terms, but will allow them to start the clock over again.
Think of it this way… What if the U.S. Congress put up another amendment that would allow 3 terms of the President, and negate the terms already served? An past President, still alive, could again run for office, and have a chance at 3 terms. Would we want repeats of Bill Clinton, George Bush II, or even Jimmy “Peanut” Carter?
Then again, we could just limit their terms at the voting booth. In the mean time, even if you believe we should have term limits on County Commissioners, you should vote against this change for the simple fact that we have limits IN PLACE that are being IGNORED, and even if we do pass it, what is say they won’t just IGNORE it when it is time for their terms to run out.
Think about this: We passed a State Constitutional Amendment some years ago having to do with setting up a bullet train. So where is it? It was also IGNORED.
So remember this. Not matter if it is the County Charter, the State Constitution, or the U. S. Constitution, it is only a piece of paper and means NOTHING if the people we elect IGNORE it…
Great point Joe. You and I know very well how corrupt the County Commissioners are in Sarasota. Heck, I know one (who will remain unnamed) that was selling cocaine through his children’s friends and keeping the Sheriff paid off. That is one reason I left Sarasota! Maybe someday I will return, but not anytime soon! See you later Joe.