Elected Mayor Voted Down

Mayor Lou Ann Palmer
Mayor Lou Ann Palmer
SARASOTA (2009-03-11) -

The move to have voters choose the mayor instead of being selected by city commissioners was defeated by a two-to-one margin. This makes it four times city voters have rejected an elected mayor in the past twelve years.

Current Mayor Lou Ann Palmer says she's in favor of the concept of electing a mayor, but rejected what she calls the "baggage" of adding two at-large city commissioners. That, she says, would upset the balance of power that neighborhoods currently have.

"And although I believe there may be strong support simply to have an elected mayor - particularly without all the baggage that came along with this particular proposal," Palmer says, "I think we'll probably head in that direction for the next month or year, or until we have another at-large election or the community decides it wants to go along and put it back on the ballot."

Palmer, who has been selected by her fellow board members as mayor several times since 1984, says there needs to be some continuity in the mayor's seat.

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