A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jono Truth Squad #3: Gnawing Doubts

Earlier this week I told a group that I had lived in three of the five commission districts. But that statement (which suggests I have broader geographic experience in the County than my opponents) gnawed at me and I wanted to make sure that was the case. Upon further research, I concluded that wasn't true --that the total was only two.

The First District stretches from the shore of Sarasota Bay out east to Manatee County, and many say it is generally north of Fruitville Road and Palmer Boulevard.  I still think of that portion of Fruitville west of the railroad tracks as Third Street. 

When I stopped by the Supervisor of Elections Office today I took time to look at the more detailed maps and realized the First/Second District boundary is far more intricate than usually portrayed. 

During college I lived for awhile in what was known as "the Main Street house" -- probably the last residence on Main, just east of what was Saprito Brothers, a citrus stand, which is now a Michael Saunders office at the corner of Main and Osprey. So, invoking the Fruitville Road rule of thumb I (incorrectly) presumed that the Main Street House was in the Second District, since it was south of Fruitville. 

The map at the Supervisor's office showed that was not so. That indicated I had lied when I told the Civic League I had lived in three of the five commission districts and sent me here to the keyboard to clarify matters and atone.

Then things got more complicated. The First/Second District boundary starts at the Bayfront at 10th Street, heads east on 10th, then drops south down 41 to 4th, heads across 4th to Orange, then south on Orange to Main, and then heads east on Main to the railroad tracks where it jogs back up to Fruitville. 

That means that west of Orange, the boundary is not Third Street but Fourth St. 

After college I lived in two different homes on the north side of Third, homes I had previously assumed were in the First District. 

So my further investigation revealed that the two former residences that I thought were in District One were actually in Two and the Main Street house I thought was in Two was really in One.

So technically, I have lived in three out of five commission districts , due to minor wiggles in the district boundaries. 

The real significance is not so much the numbers game, but the fact that I have lived downtown in our densest (if not most populous) city, in suburban portions of the City of Sarasota (where we are now) and twelve years in the unincorporated county (District 4 near Riverview High School). 

And I do believe that represents broad experience in a variety of settings within the county -- experience that improves my qualifications to be a commissioner. 

Of course, I should have checked the detailed map before running my mouth. Assumptions can be dangerous. 

Here's to gnawing doubts. 

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