I met Vanessa Baugh many years ago at a fund-raising event for a local nonprofit organization. She and her husband own a jewelry store in Lakewood Ranch and I, at the time, had a disc jockey business. Over 20 years I donated my disc jockey business to many nonprofit fund raising events. I was impressed that at the majority of these events Vanessa had donated jewelry to help raise funds for these nonprofit organizations. I am sure that her donations amounted to many thousands of dollars.
When she decided to run for a county commission seat, I met with her at a restaurant in Lakewood Ranch and shared with her some of the things she would be facing. I have always had a concern that business owners would get involved in local politics. The county commission would not be her only responsibility. She would become a member of the Port Authority, which is a business and having people with a business acumen would be the best case scenario. Various county commissioners become representatives on many boards, i.e.; the Sarasota Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, tourism, water management, etc. Then there would be invitations to attend many different kinds of events.
Being a county commissioner is a very time consuming position and she would be “stretched thin.” Being a county commissioner is no “cake walk.”
I, like many citizens, have signed up with the county’s vaccine program. I was disappointed that the governor, local business leaders and Vanessa designated thousands of vaccines be distributed to specific zip codes. However, even though I was disappointed, I am willing to cut the people involved some slack, especially Vanessa. I have a tendency to cut any commissioner some slack. They have so many responsibilities, are pulled in so many directions that they deserve forgiveness.