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Image: Chad Spencer

Born and raised in Venice and a 1983 graduate of Venice High, Charles Hines returned home after law school and was elected to the Sarasota County Commission in 2012. “Growing up here, I was on the water all the time, boating, fishing, waterskiing,” he says. “Business interests recognize more than ever that our environmental features are a big part of our economy. Most people don’t realize that over a third of our county is publicly held. I’m very proud of our community and the things we’re doing.” 

Want To Make Things Better

“If you choose to move back to the area like I did, you want to make it better. I’ve been involved in many civic organizations, and I coached YMCA T-ball and soccer. It’s even more rewarding to serve on the commission, where we can do things like the deal with the Atlanta Braves, building and extending the Legacy Trail, developing Benderson Park and bringing the World Rowing Championships, redoing Siesta Beach, and the Cow Pen Slough project that’s improving the water quality of Dona Bay.”

We Follow The Kids

“My wife Susan grew up in Ocala, we met at UF and graduated from law school together, then two weeks later got married. We have three children. Preston is a sophomore at USF in Tampa, Bailey is a freshman at FSU and Griffin is a freshman at Venice High. We go to football games at FSU and at Venice High, where Griffin plays. We like to boat and tube, and we go snow skiing once a year. Mostly it’s ‘What are the kids doing?’ and that’s where we go.”

Go, Indians!

“I played football for Venice High and have been involved in the booster club for a long time. My first experience in fund raising was helping get the weight room built. We’ve added a lot of amenities that give it a small college feel.”

Another World

“It only takes 15 minutes to get out to the Myakka River, but it feels like another world. [The county] bought the land where Snook Haven is; we’re doing improvements to boat ramps and accessibility so people can get in a canoe and experience how unique that river is. Last week I canoed all the way from Myakka State Park to Snook Haven. It took about seven hours. We saw gators and all kinds of birds; it’s just a beautiful trip.”

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