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Critical Times

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Local Amendments

Below are the Sarasota County and City issues that will appear on your November 6, 2018 General Election Ballot. They appear in the order they will appear on the ballot. You can find more information about each of these issues in this edition of the Critical Times.

Legacy Trail Referendum (County)

County Bond Referendum: Sarasota County General Obligation Bonds for Legacy Trail Extension with Enhanced Safety and Connections

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?


  • Yes, for Bonds
  • No, against Bonds


The Legacy Trail will take you from Venice to Sarasota. And this new referendum wants to expand the land of this biker friendly trail, adding nine miles north into downtown Sarasota. You can find a PDF of this proposed bond referendum here.


Local Coverage: 

Sarasota Observer

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sarasota Herald-Tribune


Citizen Initiated Petitions (County)

County Charter Amendment: Process for Citizen Initiated Petitions for Charter Amendments to be placed on the General Election
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 10% of registered voters provided tat signatures are gathered within a set genera election cycle timeframe, instead of having an unlimited time to obtain signatures of 5% of registered voters for placement of citizen-initiated amendments on a special election ballot that is held 60 days after certification of the signatures?

  • Yes, for the Charter amendment
  • No, against the Charter amendment

Charter Amendment Proposals (County)

County Charter Amendment: Charter Review Board Charter Amendment Proposals to be Placed on Next General Election Only

Shall Section 7.1 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?


  • Yes, for the Charter amendment
  • No, against the Charter amendment

Siesta Key Beach Road (County)

Charter Amendment to Reacquire and Retain Siesta Key Beach Road as Public Right of Way

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?


  • Yes, for the Charter amendment
  • No, against the Charter amendment

Park Preservation (County)

County Charter Amendment: Preserve County-Owned Parks, Preserves, Beach and Water Access and Waterfront Vistas

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?


  • Yes, for the Charter amendment
  • No, against the Charter amendment

Single Member Districts (County)

Sarasota County Charter Amendment: Change County Commission Elections to Single-Member Districts
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?

  • Yes, for the Charter amendment
  • No, against the Charter amendment

This is a proposed amendment that will change the election of County Commissioners from voters county wide, to only those in that particular district. 

Local Coverage:

New City Charter (City of North Port)

City of North Port Charter Referendum:

Referendum Regarding the Adoption of a New City Charter

Shall the proposed 2018 City Charter as set forth in Ordinance No. 2018-28 be adopted to replace the current City Charter in its entirety?


  • Yes, for Adoption
  • No, against Adoption

Decide the Date  (City of Sarasota)

City of Sarasota Charter Amendment: Change in Date of Election of City Commissioners
Changes City Commission elections from March and May in odd numbered years to August and November in even numbered years to coincide with federal, state, and county elections. No candidate shall be elected in the August election. The August election shall occur only when required by the number of qualifying candidates. Otherwise, the November election shall be the only election. Changes Commission appointment of Mayor and Vice Mayor to coincide with election dates.
  • Yes: for the Amendment
  • No: against the amendment.

This is a proposed amendment that seeks to change the dates of the City election from March/May of odd-numbered years to August/November of even-numbered years. 

Local Coverage: