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Issues and Voices that Matter January 13, 2011

Carey: 1-on-1

Carey: 1-on-1 title (photo - CMF Public Media)Seminole County Florida Commission Chairman, Brenda Carey has been elected by her fellow commissioners to serve as their presiding officer and official spokesman. Carey is only the second woman to hold the title of “chairman” since the county was created in 1913. Sandra Glenn, now deceased, held the position first – in 1982. Carey addresses issues facing the county. Feature length – 26:36

(Produced, reported and edited by Stephen McKenney Steck)

From the extended 68-minute interview (link below), we have selected 20-minutes of her remarks which feature issues she and the commission will confront over the next year of her term as chairman.

Those issues include economic development… the pending continuation, or not, of a county 1cent sales tax… budget issues including another predicted shortfall in property tax revenue and the specter of staff reductions or diminished county services… the hiring a new county manager and a new county attorney… whether or not in 2012 she will run for re-election as commissioner… and whether if nominated she would consider serving another term as chairman. The interview starts with producer Stephen McKenney Steck asking Carey to compare the issues present when in 2008 she first served as chairman to those she now confronts in 2011.

In the extended interview with Brenda Carey she adds more nuance and perspective to the issues heard in the feature, plus… hear her respond to Steck’s questions about her leadership style, the mentor in her life, her take on women in local politics, some of the issues her district 5 constituents face…and the initiatives the county is taking on addressing homelessness.

Below, we’ve posted a series of still pictures of Chairman Carey, plus links to information on issues she addresses in her interview. Steck’s interview with Carey was recorded in early January 2011, in her commission office, several weeks after she chaired her first commission meeting.

Bio & Extended Interview

Brenda Carey, chairman, Seminole County Board of County Commissioners (photo - CMF Public Media)
Brenda Carey
Chairman, Seminole County Board of County Commissioners


Brenda Carey and Stephen McKenney Steck
Extended interview (1:08:34)



Click on the picture(s) to enlarge.
MLK Blvd-Marker Dedication (photo - Seminole County government) 2006 Wekiva Cleanup (photo - Seminole County government) 2007 Howl for the Arts (photo - Seminole County government) 2008 EMS Fire Rescue (photo - Seminole County government)
2008 EMS Fire Rescue (photo - Seminole County government) 2008 UCF Incubator (photo - Seminole County government) 2009 Line Drive + Lipstick (photo - Seminole County government) SCC Altamonte Dedication (photo - Seminole County government)

Links to other podcasts produced by CMF Public Media featuring related issues

Commissioner Bob Dallari, Carey’s predecessor chairman

Election supervisor, Michael Ertel

Sheriff Don Eslinger

Seminole County school board chair DeDe Schaffner

Superintendent Bill Vogel


Facts: Seminole County government

The county has a manager/commission form of government so Carey’s vote and influence as chairman is presumably equal to that each of the other 4 commissioners who comprise the county’s governing structure and serve 4-year terms without term limits. As commissioners, each are elected county wide in partisan races, and each must live in and serve a particular geographic district of the county. Carey’s is the 5th district which includes the county seat, Sanford.

Commissioners earn $80,400 annually.

Carey was initially elected in 2004 and reelected without opposition in 2008, the same year, by the way, the then commission elected her as chairman. So this marks her second go-round in this honorary capacity. Commissioners are nominated from among themselves to stand for the position of chair and may serve an unlimited number of consecutive or non-consecutive 1-year terms in that role so long as they remain a commissioner and if willing, nominated and elected by their peers to serve as chairman. There is no additional monetary compensation to serve as chairman.

Spanning more than 3-decades, Carey has a long list of local community and public service credentials. She also has a career specializing in commercial real estate and business consulting as president of the Carey Company. She’s married and the Carey’s have 3 grandchildren.

As chairman, she presides over a general fund budget of 275 million dollars plus another 300 million in restricted funds. The population of the county is more than 423,000 residents, ranking it second among the other counties of Orange, Lake and Osceola with whom it shares the standard metropolitan statistical area.

Seminole County residents have the highest median household income compared to the state average and those three other counties.

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