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

Friday, August 22, 2008

Redding and Mason: Who will win?

I've enjoyed getting to know my two Republican opponents, Richard Redding and Carolyn Mason.  I don't detect any of the tension I sense in some other contests and I think all three of us (and John Mullarkey) accept the sincerity of each other's candidacy. 

I need to be careful here, not too glowing, because any over-the-top praise about them could come back to haunt me in the general election. I probably should avoid endorsing an opponent.

Of course, I'm remembering back in January when current District One Commissioner Paul Mercier told me privately and then repeated for the press his assessment that "Jono's a good man and would be a good commissioner." That's about as close to endorsement one is likely to get from an opponent, and I took it as a good omen.  For details about that statement and the full context of the quote please see an earlier blog entry.

But I don't think I'm giving anything away by stating they both Richard and Carolyn have a history of service. Having "served" with them on the campaign circuit, I can make a case that either one will prevail on Tuesday. 

Consequently I'm adding a poll to see what my blog readers think. Check it out in the upper right of the screen and then let me know who you think I will be facing Wednesday morning.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hurricane Prep

10:30 a.m. Sunday August 17th My wife started a list: charge all the batteries, test the generator, fill water bottles, fill vehicles with gas, prune branches away from the house, finish putting up the translucent shutters, pull together important papers, etc. I added a few items: put water in the canoes so they don't blow away, back up the computers, and we'll have to do something with hundreds of campaign yard signs which (if Fay is capricious) could end up instead in yards in Manatee or DeSoto Counties. 

So the campaign goes on the back burner, replaced in urgency and significance by a connect the dots line that this morning shows something that looks a lot like a hurricane running up the Myakka River to Brandon.

That means this can't be a long rambling blog, just a break to let some sweat evaporate and observe that the most sobering reality of becoming a County Commissioner is not the economy (which I believe we can approach with resolve and creativity and make some headway), but the possibility and responsibility of a Charley-like hurricane scrambling Sarasota -- buffeting already suffering neighborhoods with natural forces that would be seen to be conspiring with the recent downturn, burying our landfill in debris, and ironically jump-starting the economy with millions spent just to get back to where we were.  

Sarasota and the State in general are well prepared for Fay, but I know from talking with citizens (particularly South County citizens) that hurricane strategies are a major concern. The Englewood Interstate Connector (AKA River Road) is years from being built, but even if it existed today what direction would one turn at I-75?

Left (northbound) to head roughly along the projected storm track? Or right (east or south) traveling against the traffic flow from counties to the South? If there is an obvious answer, I don't yet know what it is.  This is something we'll need to learn more about.

(The eleven o'clock update shows it replicating Charley in terms of where it might make landfall- the intensity should be much much less than Charley.)

In the meantime, stop reading blogs, back up your computer, and get yourself ready for Fay. If all goes well the net result will be improved capacity to respond appropriately in the future, from households to regions.