Victors in 2018 County Commission races sworn in

Al Maio and Christian Ziegler take oaths of office from 12th Judicial Circuit’s chief judge

Chief Judge Charles Williams congratulates Commissioner Alan Maio as Maio’s wife, Nancy, looks on. News Leader photo

After about a 15-minute delay in the start of the ceremony because of a technical glitch related to the video production of the event, the two victors in the 2018 campaign for County Commission seats finally took their oaths of office on the morning of Nov. 20.

Chief Judge Charles Williams of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court first called up Commissioner Alan Maio of Nokomis, who won his second term on the board on Nov. 6, representing District 4. Maio was accompanied by his wife, Nancy.

When it was the turn of newly elected District 2 Commissioner Christian Ziegler of Sarasota, he walked to the front of the Commission Chambers in downtown Sarasota with his wife, Bridget, his two daughters — Reagan and Sloane — and his mother, Katherine Lindaman. Reagan held a family Bible as Ziegler took his oath.

Maio joked after he finished taking the oath that he was going to use his “whole two-hour presentation” to thank “a lot of people.”

Then he extended his appreciation to his wife, his three children and four grandchildren, “who agreed to let me do this again for four years and took me through the ups and downs of the campaign trail.”

Maio also talked of his “great thanks” for the work of county administration and the five county constitutional officers who — he noted — are elected separately.

“And lastly,” Maio told the members of the audience, “have faith in your government. There’s 3,300 employees, both in the county and in the constitutional offices. … Everything you see about this beautiful county and the way it works, and works wonderfully well, is because of those 3,300 employees.”

He mentioned deputies and firefighters, for example, as well as “the people that keep the water flowing, the traffic lights working and the roads paved. All the things that we, the County Commission, take great credit, consistently and constantly for, but, really, it’s all those 3,319 people that do all that.”

Having been elected for the first time in November 2014, a county news release points out, Maio represents the commission on the boards of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, Visit Sarasota County and the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, of which he is chair.

Maio received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from New Jersey’s Seton Hall University, the release says.

Commissioner Christian Ziegler takes the oath of office as his daughter, Reagan, holds the Bible and his mother, Katherine Lineman, wife Bridget and younger daughter Sloane look on. News Leader photo

After taking his oath, Ziegler told the audience, “This is an honor. I’m very excited.”

He, too, extended his appreciation to his family members for their support during the campaign.

Then Ziegler said, “This is a great opportunity. … We live in an unbelievable county. Sarasota County is one of the few places that people really want to move to.”

He called his new colleagues “an awesome board,” and, especially singled out his predecessor in the District 2 seat, Paul Caragiulo. “I have some big shoes to fill,” Ziegler said, adding that Caragiulo is “a good friend” who had agreed to be his mentor.

“My goal is to maintain what we have [in the county],” Ziegler continued, and to improve upon it.

The county news release pointed out that Ziegler holds Bachelor of Science degrees in criminology and political science, both from Florida State University. He and his wife will welcome their third child in March 2019, the release adds.

When Commission Chair Nancy Detert stepped up to the podium to announce the formal conclusion of the ceremony, she joked that someone already had referred to her as “the old chair.” She will hold the post through December.

Although board elections for 2019 will be on the commission’s Dec. 7 retreat agenda, the members decided in late 2017 to give Commissioner Charles Hines one last opportunity to serve as chair, in 2019. Hines will be facing term limits in 2020.

The entire ceremony is available via a county YouTube video: