Venice has a council-manager system of local government. This system combines the political leadership of elected officials in the form of a city council with the managerial experience of a city manager.
The council is the legislative body empowered to make policy decisions by the citizens who elect its members. The city manager administers the policy of the council. The city council hires and supervises the charter officers, which include city manager, city clerk and city attorney.
Mayor Ron Feinsod
Mayor Ron Feinsod was elected in 2019.
Mr. Feinsod was born in Coral Gables, Fla., and grew up in New Jersey. After graduating from Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, N.J., he joined the family business, The Camera Mart and Stereo Sound Center in Bernardsville, N.J. He was instrumental in growing the business into a very successful local chain. He went on to develop one of the state’s most successful camera specialty dealerships. He has also been a successful real estate investor and a stock market investor for over 20 years.
Mr. Feinsod has been a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, Photographic Research Organization, Photographic Marketing Organization, Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Club. Ron delivers Meals on Wheels and he and his wife Denise have supported food banks in the communities where they have lived for the past 20 years.
The Feinsods first met in high school and now have six children and five grandchildren. They came to Venice looking for a place to eventually retire and fell in love with the City immediately. They bought a vacation house in South Venice and have been visiting often for about 15 years before finally retiring here about five years ago. They now live in Pinebrook South.
Mr. Feinsod is the founder of Indivisible Venice, a nonpartisan political action group focused on issues that concern the general public such as health care, taxes and public education. He also hosted Indivisible Radio and podcast, producing over 50 shows discussing current issues.
Vice Mayor Chuck Newsom
Vice Mayor Chuck Newsom was elected in 2017.
Mr. Newsom finished school in Charleston, West Virginia, graduating from West Virginia State with a BS in marketing and a concentration in economics. His career began in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Kroger Company. He met his wife Betty of 32 years in Cincinnati; they were married at the Presbyterian church across the Intracoastal Waterway from Siesta Key. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Mr. Newsom visited Venice for the first time when he was working his way through college in the late 1960s. He and Betty purchased their first home here in 1989. They bought their current home in Waterford in 2002.
The Newsoms spent the last 20 years or so working with private equity investors, rehabilitating retail companies in the supermarket and drugstore industry. They have lived and worked in several cities in the eastern United States, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. They finished their career in Manhattan, where they sold the Duane Reade drugstore chain to Walgreens.
Rich Cautero, Council Member
Council Member Rich Cautero was re-elected in 2018 to serve a second term.
Mr. Cautero holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration, finance and investments from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York.
He has extensive experience in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors, including a 30-year career at Kraft Foods and its former corporate parent, the Altria Group. Some of his roles included vice president of finance for corporate planning and strategy at Altria, and chief financial officer and controller at Maxwell House Division at Kraft.
Before being elected to City Council, Mr. Cautero served on the city’s Fire Pension Board. He was a member of the All Faiths Food Bank Board of Directors and Finance Committee; and a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee for Ann’s Place, a cancer support and health services nonprofit organization.
Mr. Cautero serves as liaison to the Historic Preservation Board, the Sarasota County Coastal Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Venice MainStreet Board of Directors. He also served as Vice Mayor on City Council for 2017.
He and his wife, Linda, moved to Venice in 2006. They have two grown sons.
Mitzie Fiedler, Council Member
Council Member Mitzie Fiedler was elected in 2017.
Ms. Fiedler holds a Ph.D. in educational administration and two master’s degrees from UW-Madison, and a BA from Beloit College in Wisconsin. She spent over 30 years in education as a teacher and an elementary, middle and high school principal.
As president of the Board of Directors for the YMCA in Beloit, she helped build and maintain shelters for women and their children. As president of the Board of Directors for Wisconsin Council for Gifted and Talented, she helped create programs for children throughout the state of Wisconsin. She has served on many city advisory boards.
Before being elected to City Council, Ms. Fiedler served on the Venice Code Enforcement Advisory Board and the Venice Environmental Advisory Board. She is a member of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, Venice Rotary, Venice American Association of University Women, and Venice League of Women Voters. She serves as liaison to the Environmental Advisory Board, the Chamber Board of Directors, the ManaSota League of Cities, and the SW Florida Regional Planning Council.
Ms. Fiedler and her husband, Bruce, moved to Venice in 2010. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.
Helen Moore, Council Member
Council Member Helen Moore was elected in 2018.
Ms. Moore attended Indiana State University and St. Mary of the Woods College. She has spent almost 30 years as a Venice resident, community volunteer, and leader in the real estate business. She served on the Venice Planning Commission from 2013-2018, and on the City's Code Enforcement Board prior to that.
A Realtor since 1992, she is with Michael Saunders & Company. She is a past president and Realtor of the Year with the Venice Area Board of Realtors, where she serves as Treasurer. She has also held many positions of leadership in the Florida Realtor Association for over 20 years.
Ms. Moore is involved in Venice Area Beautification Inc. as a Board member and Treasurer. Helping build VABI's Urban Forest is also on her list of civic activities. She is a member of Venice MainStreet and the Venice Chamber, and is a charter member of the South County Tiger Bay Club.
Her family connections are still strong in her previous home town of Terre Haute, Indiana, where her son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters live, and in Baltimore, Maryland, where her daughter, son-in-law and two more grandchildren reside.
Dr. Joe Neunder, Council Member
Council Member Joe Neunder was elected in 2019.
Mr. Neunder moved to Sarasota County at the age of 13 from the colder climates of Buffalo, N.Y., to attend Pine View School and swim competitively for Swim Florida and Venice High School. After graduation, he continued his secondary education in the Florida public university system, before earning his Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine at Life University in Marietta, Ga.
Mr. Neunder and his family returned to Sarasota in 2009 in order to open his private practice and treat the community he considers home. This personal attachment to Sarasota County and its residents are reflected in the community service he has participated in -- Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch-YMCA Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club government outreach, Sarasota County Planning Commission and the City of Venice Historic Preservation Board -- and the way he practices chiropractic medicine.
Mr. Neunder is married to his wife Cindy, a teacher, and has three young sons, Joey, Michael and Ethan.
Nick Pachota, Council Member
Council Member Nick Pachota was elected in 2019.
Mr. Pachota moved to Venice in 1987. As a young man, he served as the chairman of the Venice Youth Advisory Board and was a Venice Police Explorer. Mr. Pachota has an extensive background in public safety. He attended college in Orlando, and became an EMT, a paramedic, a firefighter, worked in law enforcement as a SWAT medic, and was the EMS training program director, a tenured faculty, and the union president at Eastern Florida State College. He is a Deputy Team Commander for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a co-owner of Sharky's on the Pier, Fins and Snook Haven.
Mr. Pachota served on the City’s Fire Pension Advisory Board and Code Enforcement Board. He is a member of the Venice Theatre Guild, SunCoast Reef Rovers, Venice MainStreet, Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, Venice Aviation Society Inc., Florida Fire Chiefs Association, Florida EMS Association, and National Association of EMTs. He is a licensed Paramedic, certified Firefighter, and active EMS Instructor for Sarasota County Schools.