Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Marion County Florida Commission race: 4 of 5 candidates for District 5 would have to move if they won
moving company might pick up a new customer in November.
Four of the five candidates for Marion County Commission District 5 do not live in the district at the moment.
That list includes Republicans Earl Arnett, Pat Gabriel, Francine Johannesen and Democrat Jessica Hadley.
Should one of them ultimately prevail, that person would have to move into District 5 to accommodate the legal requirements for
On the other hand, the one candidate who already lives in the district, Republican Butch Verrando, believes his vantage point makes him better versed in the issues, and he hopes the
voters will save all of them the relocation expense.
Marion County’s commissioners are elected at large by all the voters. Yet under state law they must live in the district they represent “upon election,” which is generally considered the day the votes are certified.
A few months ago, a citizen pressed the current board to at least ask the voters in a November referendum if they wanted to switch to a system of single-member districts, as used by Congress, the Legislature and many other communities.
The board answered with a resounding no.
Current commissioners said they had no interest in revising Marion County’s system because they believe they represent all citizens equally and are committed to avoiding parochial bickering over providing services.
The current crop of would-be successors to District 5 Commissioner Charlie Stone largely share that philosophy.