I think Sarasota is one of the most fabulous places to call home on the planet but I have serious concerns about the future of our growing metropolis. Creating Government that is reflective of the values and culture of its people is the only true democracy. It's our Sarasota!
Creating a Livable Planet starts in our own backyards and Sarasota has the potential to be a definitive city of the future; green, thriving and sustainable. I believe in local solutions to local problems and the habit this county has of getting advise for out of town people is nonsense.
Smart Growth with a focus on how people actually want to live and not some academic theory on space usage is what Sarasota Government should seek. Many people do not like the path we are on and the Charter can give the people of Sarasota the power to create a Sarasota they want.
There are some important questions that I feel need to be addressed. What is the value of our last stretch of open agricultural land? Who has the right to determine that? Is it best used for shopping and houses or building a local food economy? What does it mean to protect our environment? Why have a comprehensive plan if its not being followed?And finally the ultimate anthropological question, what about the people who live east of I-75 who farm, raise cattle and have lived here the longest? Do we just push them out like we have pushed others out of areas prime for high density development and profit? Why more big box stores to drive the last small local business out of business? What is progress for the people of Sarasota? What makes our lives richer? What creates our extended community?
We can do better. There is a wealth of talent living in Sarasota that should be the driving force for sustainable development. Why isn't it?
Seeking the answers to these questions has propelled me into the political area because like many people I speak with, I want something better for Sarasota. This made me decide to seek the office of Charter Review Board member.
I am concerned about the Disneyfication of our landscape, is that what we really want? Now, I do not like to shop so maybe I am missing something but do we really need more department stores? Aren't there outlet malls and shopping plazas all down I-75? Can't we think of something more interesting to attract tourist and permanent residents?? Developing cities around consumer consumption is outdated and unsustainable. Sarasota has so much to offer that with the right insight we can be both a great place to live and a tourist destination without sacrificing what we value.
The Sarasota County Charter is the tool for democracy in action. We, the people of Sarasota, need to use the charter to determine how we want government to function. It really gives us that power. Personal Liberty and less government are the hallmarks of libertarian thought. The first step to having less government is to make local government more effective. So join the Campaign for Liberty and vote for me this November.
I thank you in advance for your vote and the opportunity to serve my friends and fellow Sarasotans.