After 24 years of public service in city and county government, Sarasota County Commission Chair Nora Pattterson says she will retire after her current term ends in 2014.
Patterson was elected to the Sarasota City Commission in 1991, and then re-elected.
In 1998 she was elected to the Sarasota County Commission, winning her fourth term in 2010.
“After this term, I figured it would be my last,” she said. Patterson hinted at her decision during last week’s debate over a charter change .
While voters approved a two-term limit several years ago, a local circuit judge ruled it unconstitutional. A ruled terms limits are constitutional, and a final decision is expected by the Florida Supreme Court.
“I thought it an appropriate time to let folks know,” she told Patch. “The decision has taken some stress away.”
Patterson said she considered not running last year. “But I always wanted to walk away when the county was in a good place,” she said. With county revenues plummeting 38 percent, Patterson decided her experience and conservative financial instincts were still needed.
With , and real estate values beginning to stabilize, she hopes by 2014 county government will return to an even keel and allow for her graceful departure.
“It is not an easy job,” she said. “We put in long hours and it’s stressful.”