Sarasota County anchors the middle of Florida’s western coast, approximately 60 miles south of Tampa Bay. It includes the cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port, and the Town of Longboat Key.

  • The county is home to approximately 390,000 permanent residents; more than 476,000 during the winter months.
  • The community encompasses 725 square miles of land and is surrounded by 37 miles of open shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Endowed with inspiring natural beauty, an appealing climate and world-class arts and culture, this coastal paradise has superior schools, significant medical research and education facilities, high educational attainment and a regional workforce of more than 350,000. 

In our annual Citizens Survey, more than 90 percent of respondents rate the quality of life in their own neighborhoods as excellent or good, and 93 percent are satisfied with county services.

  • Siesta Beach named “America’s Best Beach”
  • Sports Events Media Group: Best Sports-Friendly Vacation Destination
  • Forbes: “Best Cities for Jobs” (2013)
  • One of the “100 Best Communities for Young People”
  • KPMG Study: Tampa Bay Region ranks 6th in top 10 cost-friendly places for business
  • Fitch Ratings: AA+ rating, Utility System Revenue bonds
  • Standard & Poor’s: A- rating, Ad Valorem Tax bonds

Sarasota County Government

20150428_County Building_001_SD

 

Sarasota County was established in 1921 and adopted a Home Rule Charter in 1971. The Charter establishes a Commission/County Administrator form of government. Five commissioners are elected to four-year terms countywide, but each commissioner must live in a specific district. 

The County Commission appoints only two employees – the County Administrator and the County Attorney. The County Administrator is the chief administrative officer for the county and serves at the pleasure of the County Commission. The County Commission appoints only two employees – the County Administrator and the County Attorney. The County Administrator is the chief administrative officer for the county and serves at the pleasure of the County Commission.
 
All employees under the County Commission agencies, with the exception of the Offices of the County Attorney, report through an administrative structure to the County Administrator, who is solely responsible for hiring and dismissing employees. 
 
Sarasota County is a full-service county typical of charter counties in Florida.

 

  • The county provides fire protection and EMS service to unincorporated areas and some municipalities.
  • There are three utility service operations – water/sewer, stormwater and solid waste.
  • The county also operates typical infrastructure programs, transportation and facilities.
  • A countywide transit operation, with interconnecting routes in a neighboring county, also is a county responsibility.
  • A full range of community and human services is provided to residents – parks, recreation, human services, health-related services, planning, zoning, permitting and environmental resource management.