WHY, WHY, WHY Change The Date?


Our city of around 50,000 in a county of around 400,000 people is but a small potato in a big ole pot! Sure makes me wonder WHY those huge countywide organizations like the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Argus Foundation, Gulfcoast Builders Exchange, the State ACLU and a Realtors PAC, among other business groups, are so interested in promoting changing the city election date from spring to fall? Together they have raised over $108,000 to campaign for such a change. WHY?

They call it a grassroots campaign but they hired signature collectors to get people to sign a petition to get on the ballot. I thought 'grassroots' implied a citizens’ effort.

Again WHY?

If our city is 12.5 percent of the county population, then it can be assumed those orgs may only have a small number of city voters as members... again making me curious about the WHY?

When have we long-time city voters ever heard of those big business organizations being interested in voter turnout? 


The signature collectors didn't reveal to all signers that the petition included a first primary vote in August. That info is important for several reasons. One is many of our city voters are away all or most of the summer and would not be here to meet and hear the candidates or learn the issues.

What is going on? WHY?

Here is what I think. We residents own our city. We live in the city of Sarasota by choice. We pay the extra city taxes to support good urban infrastructure, and a wonderful police department. We enjoy fabulous amenities and we really love having our own local government that is accountable to us… city residents! It is very well known that our residents, the owners, have great influence in our city government. The Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations (CCNA) and Downtown Sarasota Condo Association (DSCA) and other prominent city groups have maintained a lot of power and influence in governmental decisions—as should be. Remember who the owners of our city are! There have been many occasions when business interests have been denied an activity because of the influence of our residents.

Maybe the WHY is a desire to take control of our city as the big business interests have more influence with our county commission.

A more serious concern is a political one. Our city commission is composed of five elected Democrats and the county commission five Republicans. One must consider an attempt to change the dynamics of our elected body may be of great importance to the big business folks.

The city of Sarasota is not really a small potato in a big pot. We do not need to be mashed or fried by interests contrary to our resident-voters!

Please VOTE NO on last item on Nov. 6 ballot.

Mollie C. Cardamone is a former Sarasota Mayor and City Commissioner.

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