On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Sarasota County citizens will be asked to vote on a number of amendments to Sarasota County's Charter.
SARASOTA COUNTY GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS FOR LEGACY TRAIL EXTENSION WITH ENHANCED SAFETY AND CONNECTIONS
Resolution No. 2018-046

To acquire and improve The Legacy Trail Extension railroad corridor as a safe trail for walking, running, and cycling with enhanced connectivity from North Port through Venice to downtown Sarasota, with additional improvements including safe crossings, overpasses, amenities, and increased accessibility, shall Sarasota County issue General Obligation bonds, not exceeding the maximum lawful interest rates, maturing within 20 years from each issuance, not exceeding $65 million payable from ad valorem taxes restricted to these purposes.
 
This amendment would fund the purchase of old railroad corridor to extend The Legacy Trail to Fruitville Road and make improvements to the existing trail, from North Port through Venice. It would construct crossings, overpasses and amenities.

 

PROCESS FOR CITIZEN INITIATED PETITIONS FOR CHARTER AMENDMENTS TO BE PLACED ON THE GENERAL ELECTION
Ordinance No. 2018-039

Shall Sarasota County Charter Section 7.1 be amended to place citizen-initiated Charter amendments on the next general election ballot upon receiving signatures from ten percent of registered voters, provided that signatures are gathered within a set general election cycle timeframe, instead of having an unlimited time to obtain signatures of five percent of registered voters for placement of citizen-initiated amendments on a special election ballot that is held 60 days after certification of the signature?
 
Currently, signatures collected for a petition drive are valid forever. This amendment would limit petition signatures to the relevant general election. It would increase the number of signatures required from five percent to 10 percent.

 

CHARTER REVIEW BOARD CHARTER AMENDMENT PROPOSALS TO BE PLACED ON NEXT GENERAL ELECTION ONLY
Ordinance No. 2018-039

Shall Section 7.I of the Sarasota County Charter be amended to allow Charter amendments proposed by the Charter Review Board to be voted upon only on the next general election, rather than on the next countywide election?
 
This amendment would place Charter Review Board charter amendments only on November general election ballots, rather than the next countywide election.
 
CHARTER AMENDMENT TO REACQUIRE AND RETAIN SIESTA KEY BEACH ROAD AS PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY
Ordinance No. 2018-036

The County vacated an approximately 373-foot-long portion of Beach Road on Siesta Key in 2016, which had been closed for some time. The vacated portion of Beach Road is accessible by all means, including pedestrian, but not including motorized vehicles. Shall the Charter be amended to require the County to reacquire this portion of Beach Road, and reopen it for vehicular traffic, as well as never vacate it in the future.
 
This amendment would require the county to purchase a vacated portion of Beach Road that is currently restricted to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and reopen it to vehicular traffic.
 
CHARTER AMENDMENT TO PRESERVE COUNTY-OWNED PARKS, PRESERVES, BEACH AND WATER ACCESS AND WATERFRONT VISTAS
Ordinance No. 2018-036

Presently, the Board of County Commissioners, as provided by general law, has the authority to sell any County-owned property and to vacate roads and rights of way. Shall the Charter be amended to prohibit the County from selling or giving away County-owned parks and preserves, and to prevent the County from vacating any road segments or rights of way abutting any beach, river, creek, canal, lake, bay, gulf access or waterfront vista.
 
This amendment would prohibit the county from selling or giving away any county-owned parks and preserves, and prevent the county from vacating any road segments or rights of way along any beach, river, creek, canal, lake, bay, gulf access or waterfront vista.
 
SARASOTA COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT TO CHANGE COUNTY COMMISSION ELECTIONS TO SINGLE-MEMBER DISTRICTS
Ordinance No. 2018-037

Shall each member of the Board of the County Commissioners of Sarasota County, Florida be elected by only those voters residing in the same district in which the Commissioner resides, rather than having each member of the Board of County Commissioners elected by voters County-wide as presently exists in Article II, Section 2.1 A of the Sarasota County Charter?
 
This amendment would require that commissioners be elected only by voters in the districts in which they reside.