County Commission candidate wins County Commission appointment to advisory board

Republican Alexandra Coe named to Historic Preservation Board

Alexandra Coe. Image from her campaign website

A candidate for the District 2 Sarasota County Commission seat — which Commissioner Paul Caragiulo will vacate late this fall — has won appointment to one of the county’s advisory boards.

As part of the commission’s approval of its May 22 Consent Agenda of routine business matters, Republican Alexandra Coe won a three-year term on the Historic Preservation Board, effective through May 2021, according to a staff memo.

That board, as its webpage explains, “assists in the protection of significant historic resources within Sarasota County by reviewing historic designation nominations, Certificates of Appropriateness for historically designated buildings, and other duties assigned by the Board of County Commissioners.”

Two of that board’s members’ terms had expired, the May 22 memo explained; thus, two appointments were needed.

Coe and Garrett R. Murto were the only applicants, the memo added. Coe filed her paperwork with the county on March 13, while Murto submitted his on March 23, a staff worksheet showed.

No commissioner commented on the appointments before the vote was taken on the Consent Agenda.

In her application, Coe identified her membership category on the Historic Preservation Board as “Anthropologist.”

The requirements for the seven members on the Historic Preservation Board are that they be practicing or retired from one of the following fields: “anthropology; real estate; land development or finance; history; folklore; architectural history; conservation or curation; architecture or historical architecture; historical; historic preservation; land use or historic preservation planning; general or building contractor; professional engineering.”

A Sarasota resident, Coe noted in her application that her business is Gentle Storm Productions/Livable Planet Consulting on Bee Ridge Road.

Image from the homepage of Gentle Storm Productions

In response to an application question about her interest in serving on the board, she wrote, “I have studied Sarasota’s History for many years especially its agricultural heritage. I believe landscapes and ecosystems should be considered part of historic land use and valued as ecological assets.”

She also pointed out that she is a graduate of New College with a dual degree in botany and anthropology, and she earned a master’s degree in cultural sustainability. The latter, she wrote, “focuses on many aspects of the [importance] of preserving cultural elements as part of social structure.”

Coe further noted that she is a member of the Republican Women’s Club of Sarasota, the Republican Executive Committee and the Federated Republican Woman’s Club. Additionally, she wrote, she serves on the boards of the Suncoast Commission on the Status of Women, the South West Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Murto noted in his application that he is a curator and education programs manager for the Gulf Coast Heritage Association/Historic Spanish Point in Osprey.

Christian Ziegler is the other Republican candidate for District 2. Image from his campaign website

Coe filed for the District 2 County Commission seat on Jan. 24. However, she has not raised any money for her campaign, according to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office website. She filed her most recent finance report on May 8.

Her campaign website is www.alexandracoe.com. Below the banner, it says, “Corporate welfare, excessive taxation and destroying the environment — That’s the policy of our current government and it is the responsibility of your county commissioners to stop that.”

Coe will compete against Republican Christian Ziegler of Sarasota in the August primary. Caragiulo endorsed Ziegler after Caragiulo announced in January that he would not seek re-election. Ziegler filed for the race on Jan. 22.

As of his May 9 campaign finance report, Ziegler had reported raising $27,655.68 in monetary contributions and $400 in in-kind contributions. His expenses totaled $3,385.63.

In April, Ziegler brought in a total of $4,045.72 in monetary contributions, the report says. His largest single expense that month was $624.21; it was his reimbursement to himself for campaign business cards and buttons, the document says. His second largest expense was $350, which went to the Venice CPA firm of Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts. The Robinson in that firm is Eric Robinson, a member of the Sarasota County School Board whose wife, Christine, is a former county commissioner.

One Democrat has filed for the District 2 seat: Ruta Jouniari of Sarasota. As of her May 10 campaign finance report, she had raised a total of $6,820.16 in monetary contributions and $80 in in-kind services. She had spent $1,468.27.

Her April campaign income far exceeds what she raised in March. Her April total for cash and checks was $5,530.16, her report says. She contributed $100 of that, the report notes.

Her only expense in April was $89.96, paid to Vista Print for graphics.

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