As a former county commissioner, I am shocked by the petition being circulated to restrict county residents’ ability to cast a vote for all our county commissioners in the future.
This leaves all residents with four fewer votes (out of five) for the county commissioners, concentrating the focus of the commissioners and their public service and attention away from their districts and on the next countywide vote for “mayor” of the Keys.
From personal experience I can say that running at-large for the Monroe County commission and then serving the entire county was, to say the least, eye-opening, as I discovered that people throughout the Keys districts had different viewpoints, different problems but sensible solutions; and fair play solved many issues and served the communities well.
Politics on a five-member board can be contentious; however, nearly all situations and explorations of the problems facing the county bring out the best in the commission and if one particular commissioner does not perform or pay attention, then four years later the voters usually turn them out.
Please do not sign the petition to vote on this change in the way we elect our county commissioners. Keep our county strong and maintain leadership with diverse ideas and input.
Edwin O. Swift IV