King reappointed to county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee

Two other seats remain vacant

Helen King. Image from the Friends of the Myakka River website

In approving their April 23 Consent Agenda of routine business matters, the Sarasota County Commission reappointed Helen King of Sarasota to the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC).

As noted on that advisory council’s webpage, the ESLOC makes recommendations to the commissioners and provides advice on land protection in the county. The board has 10 members. (See the related article in this issue.)

King’s new term will be in effect through April 2027, a county staff memo said. She has been serving as vice chair of the board.

The terms of two other ESLOC members — Alyn Kay and Raymond Loraine — are coming to an end, the memo added, indicating that neither of them decided to seek reappointment. “The remaining vacancies for an environmental representative and a business and development representative will continue to be advertised until filled,” the memo noted.

In her application, King wrote that she wished to remain on the ESLOC because “I want to be involved in preserving environmentally sensitive lands in the county and feel as a long term citizen that I am aware of those lands that are critical to be preserved soon.”

Her undergraduate degree was in biology, she pointed out, and she is a “[b]ird trip coordinator” for Sarasota Audubon and a shorebird monitoring steward for Florida Audubon.

King also noted that she is a member of the Sarasota Audubon Society, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, The Jelks Family Foundation, and the Friends of the Myakka River. On the latter organization’s website, a June 2022 announcement reported King’s appointment to that nonprofit’s board of directors. The Friends’ statement added, “Dr. Helen Jelks King, the daughter of Friends founder Dr. Mary Jelks, and longtime Friends of Myakka River member, is recently retired from her optometry practice in Sarasota. She has a long and significant personal history with Myakka River State Park and the Myakka River …”

An attendance chart for the ESLOC, included in the commission’s April 23 meeting packet, showed that King was present 92% of the time for ESLOC meetings from February 2022 through Feb. 1 of this year, having missed only a single session — in June 2022.

No commissioner commented on her reappointment. Typically, unless a commissioner has concerns about a particular item, no discussion ensues about Consent Agenda business.

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