Cutsinger the new chair
The new chair of the Sarasota County Commission is Ron Cutsinger of Englewood, who represents District 5, in South County, while Commissioner Nancy Detert of Venice, who holds the District 3 seat, is the new vice chair.
Their colleagues elected them to those posts during the annual planning retreat for the commission, which was conducted on Dec. 9.
Commissioner Michael Moran of Sarasota, who represents District 3 in the northern part of the county, was named pro tem, a county news release notes.
The three will hold those positions during the 2023 calendar year.
Cutsinger was elected to the board in 2020, while Detert and Moran won re-election bids the same year. Both Moran and Detert are term-limited; unlike Cutsinger, they are ineligible run again in 2024.
Last month, before the terms of Commissioners Alan Maio of Osprey and Christian Ziegler of Sarasota ended, the board members named Cutsinger acting chair and Detert, acting vice chair, effective from Nov. 22, when the new commissioners were sworn into office, until Dec. 9.
The interim positions were necessary, County Attorney Frederick “Rick” Elbrecht explained at the time, because Maio was chair and Ziegler was pro tem. The latter position allows the person to serve as chair of any meeting in the absence of the chair.
Maio was term-limited, while Ziegler chose not to seek re-election. Last week, Jacob Ogles, a reporter for Florida Politics, announced that Ziegler is running for the position of chair of the Republican Party of Florida. Ziegler has been serving as vice chair of the party.
State Sen. Joe Gruters, also a Sarasota Republican, has been helming the state party. In a Dec. 7 article, Ogles noted that Gruters “is launching a bid for Treasurer of the Republican National Committee (RNC).”
The executive board elections for the Republican Party of Florida are scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18, 2023, Ogles added, while the RNC elections are set for Jan. 27, 2023.
During the county commissioners’ Dec. 9 retreat, a county news release points out, the board members also identified their priorities, which “will set the roadmap for next year’s goals, projects, and initiatives,” the release says
“The board’s priorities focus on adding value to the community and building robust and diverse opportunities for residents, visitors and business owners,” the release points out.
The commissioners will continue to focus on critical initiatives, including improved water quality and better health for Sarasota Bay, affordable housing, South County regional park planning, recommendations for enhancing the county’s process for funding social services, and the widening of Fruitville Road, the release notes.
Affordable housing projects; conversion of the three county wastewater treatment plants to Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) status; streamlining communications between the commission and Health and Human services “subject matter experts”; and Fruitville road improvements also were priorities for 2022.
Commissioner Moran has led numerous board discussions over the past couple of years in regard to county funding for health care programs, including those established to help people suffering with mental health and substance abuse problems.
The board members will finalize their strategic priorities during the first January 2023 commission meeting, the release adds. “The Sarasota County Board of County Commission webpage will be updated in January 2023 to reflect these changes,” the release says.