Nancy Detert and Mike Moran join re-elected Commissioner Charles Hines and Commissioners Alan Maio and Paul Caragiulo on the board
After taking turns swearing their oaths before Judge Thomas Krug of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, new Sarasota County Commissioners Nancy Detert of Venice and Mike Moran of Sarasota, along with re-elected Commissioner Charles Hines, joined Chair Alan Maio and Vice Chair Paul Caragiulo on the dais on Nov. 22 in downtown Sarasota.
Detert and Hines ultimately faced no opposition in their races for the District 3 and 5 seats, respectively, winning election in the August primary. Moran defeated Democratic challenger Fredd Atkins — a past member of the Sarasota City Commission — in the Nov. 8 General Election for the District 1 seat. The terms are for four years.
An almost capacity crowd in the Commission Chambers at the County Administration Center on Ringling Boulevard applauded the remarks of the newly installed board members, as well as comments Maio and Caragiulo offered before the Nov. 22 regular meeting.
Detert was joined by her granddaughters, Stephanie and Lisa, as she was sworn in. Hines’ mother, Avis; his wife, Susan; and his son, Griffin, stood with him as he took the oath. Moran was accompanied by his wife, Lori, and his son, Mikey.
Having served four terms in the Florida House and two in the Florida Senate before filing for the County Commission seat, Detert told the audience she was “thrilled to be working at home, and I’m trying to blend in.”
Detert elicited laughter from the crowd at the outset of her remarks, noting the length of time she has known Hines: “We formed a strong bond when I sat in the bleachers and he played Little League.”
Taking a more serious tone, she said she was going to borrow from Sheriff Tom Knight’s logo: “I think all elected officials’ role should be to protect and serve — protect the beauty of Sarasota County, the lifestyle that we absolutely love, and to serve the public as they work their way through the labyrinth of government. … I hope you’ll never be disappointed in me.”
Moran told the audience, “There is absolutely now way these elected officials get where they are without the support of family and volunteers [and many other people]. I just can’t thank you all enough.”
He was disappointed, he added, that his daughter, Laina, could not be present, as she was instrumental in his campaign.
Moran then extended his appreciation to outgoing Commissioners Christine Robinson and Carolyn Mason, who were among those in the Commission Chambers for the Nov. 22 ceremony. (Both left the board because of term limits.) To Mason, especially, Moran continued, “I know while I’m while I’m replacing her and her administrative duty for the county, there’s no way I could replace her iconic leadership for the community.”
Hines told the audience, he is looking forward to continuing to serve the community and to taking Sarasota County to “the next level. … We have so many great things ahead of us.”
He added, “To know where we’re going , we’ve got to look back …” He commended Robinson and Mason, as well, noting the “incredible turnover in the last four years [on the commission]. But we’re in incredible shape,” he continued, thanks to the work of Mason, Robinson and recent former Commissioners Nora Patterson, Jon Thaxton and Joe Barbetta.
Hines pointed out that Patterson and Thaxton were present, though he was not certain Barbetta was there.
Then he sparked laughter by thanking Krug for breaking up the oath into short segments, with “no real long sentences.”
Caragiulo extended a welcome to Detert and Moran, saying, “This is a wonderful place to work.”
Maio also recognized Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw, Knight and Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates among the dignitaries in the audience.
Then, taking a humorous approach as he often does to lighten intense board sessions, Maio explained that whenever Caragiulo — as vice chair — failed to remember to slip him a note naming all the elected officials present who needed recognized at a meeting, Robinson had been accustomed to taking on that responsibility.
From her seat in the chambers, Robinson interjected that Mayor John Holic of Venice also was there, though Maio had overlooked him. After the laughter died down, Maio said, “Commissioner Robinson has not yet left the building.”
Later, during the part of the meeting set aside for board members’ reports, Detert apologized for not recognizing Robinson — whose seat she was taking — during the morning festivities. “She was so helpful to me during the transition period,” Detert said. “I wish I would have mentioned her publicly sooner.”
In wrapping up the Nov. 22 ceremony, Maio told the audience he had been fortunate to serve the past two years with four people he knew before his 2014 election to the board, and he again is blessed to serve with four people he had called friends even before joining them on the dais.
On a final note before tackling the agenda, Maio told Detert and Moran, “Now you don’t get to go home; you get to sit with us for the next six, seven hours.”