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Locals grapple with possible voting change



NORTH PORT — North Port and Sarasota County officials and involved residents are pushing back against a proposed amendment that could change the way the Sarasota County Commission is structured.

A Democrat group called “Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections” (SAFE) is working to gather 15,000 petitions to add an amendment on an upcoming ballot, which would turn the County Commission into a singlevoting system. Currently, residents vote for any county commissioner running for each of the five districts. Under the proposed change, residents would only vote for the commissioner who lives in their district.

Kindra Muntz, president of the SAFE board, said the change would bring a multitude of benefits: reducing campaign costs, empowering neighborhoods and strengthen participation in local government.

“The county is growing and North Port is a great example of a place that’s growing by leaps and bounds,” Muntz said. “People of various districts feel the commissioners are not listening to them; they’re more responsive to big money interest that helped get them elected than people who go to meetings.”

However, North Port locals feel otherwise.

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson spoke with the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee on Thursday morning to discuss this possible change.

“The general sentiment is

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