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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Long Blog Posting About Sarasota County Term Limits

No one would deliberately shoot someone to create a portal to the stomach. But when Alexis St. Martin was accidentally shot in the stomach on June 6, 1822, he provided medical science with a literal window into human digestion. Likewise popsicles, chocolate chip cookies, and tofu are all rumored to exist as the result of unintended culinary mishaps. 

And no one would deliberately design an experiment to see what would happen if a community decided to have a rule preventing third and fourth terms and then somehow set the rule aside to see what would happen.

But that is what happened. In a primary election in 1998, Sarasota voters voted to prevent county commissioners from serving more than two terms consecutively. That charter amendment was challenged and a court ruled it should not be enforced. That created a situation where there was a clear mandate (greater than two to one), but no implementation or enforcement. How did the electorate react and what were the consequences? Would voters self-implement the charter amendment or behave in a contrary manner?