October 13, 2017 Edition


More trucks working on county storm debris collection, with completion of the ‘first pass’ anticipated in 90 days

Plan to hire a consultant to conduct ‘after action’ review of county hurricane procedures sparks commission debate

Sarasota County is on track to complete the “first pass” of storm debris collection within 90 days, Assistant County Administrator Jonathan Lewis told the County Commission this week. Additionally, County Administrator Tom Harmer reported that staff is working with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation on what he termed an “after action” review of the county’s readiness for and response to Hurricane Irma. (Read more »)


County Commission splits on adoption of ordinance to implement new energy-savings program

PACE allows owners of residential and commercial property to seek loans that they will repay as non-ad valorem assessments on their county tax bills

Chair Paul Caragiulo proved to be the swing vote on Oct. 11 as the Sarasota County Commission voted 3-2 to adopt an ordinance that will implement the state-approved Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) program. As provided for in the Florida Statutes, PACE gives the public another means of seeking renewable-energy and energy-efficiency options for their homes and businesses, as well as hurricane-hardening measures, Lee Hayes Byron, the sustainability manager with the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (UF/IFAS) program in the county, explained during the public hearing. (Read more »)


County staff asked to hone proposal for public parking lot on South Midnight Pass Road and seek information about parking management consultants

County commissioners review broad range of proposals to ameliorate parking problems at Siesta Public Beach

When it comes to a paid parking approach for Siesta Key Public Beach, the director of Sarasota County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department summed it up this week: “It’s complex.” On Oct. 11, in response to County Commission direction on July 11, Carolyn Brown reported to the board on the research staff members had pursued, offering a wide variety of options. (Read more »)


In spite of prime location, county parcel in downtown Sarasota remains unsold, vexing county commissioner

Latest offer turned down because of insufficient financing details and failure to provide other information county staff sought

A Sarasota County commissioner this week expressed frustration that “a phenomenal piece of property” in downtown Sarasota that the county owns and has been trying for years to sell still has not found a buyer. “Why?” Commissioner Charles Hines asked during the board’s regular meeting on Oct. 10, referring to the parcel at 20 N. Washington Blvd., just to the north of the historic Sarasota County Courthouse. (Read more »)


New Venice library to be named in honor of city resident contributing $1 million as endowment for it

William H. Jervey Jr. honored at County Commission meeting

When the new Sarasota County public library opens in Venice in 2018, it will bear the name of a city resident who has contributed $1 million to the county as the first step in creating an endowment for the facility. The County Commission voted unanimously on Oct. 10 to approve staff’s recommendation to call the new facility the William H. Jervey Jr. Venice Public Library. (Read more »)


Turtle Beach Campground expected to reopen Nov. 1, with completion of upgrades delayed by hurricane

Project entails burying of new utility lines and installation of Wi-Fi and cable TV access, among other work

Although Hurricane Irma has delayed the completion timeline from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, the Sarasota County project to move power and telephone lines underground is well underway at Turtle Beach Park, Manager Kyle Carson told about 35 people during the Oct. 5 meeting of the Siesta Key Association (SKA). (Read more »)


City of Sarasota auditor and clerk authorized to negotiate terms of leasing new space for records storage

Pam Nadalini wins board approval after discussion of continuing water leaks at 12th Street facility

Given concerns about continuing water leaks in the facility where the City of Sarasota stores its public records, the City Commission has given City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini full support to work with staff on securing another location for those documents. (Read more »)


Landscape company employee electrocuted on Siesta Key was experienced in operating bucket lifts, co-worker and supervisor tell the police

50-year-old Guatemalan native had been working with Sarasota firm for about five years

A 50-year-old native of Guatemala who had worked in Sarasota County for several years was the victim of the accidental electrocution on Siesta Key’s Freeling Drive last month, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. Based on a detective’s investigation into the incident and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s report, it appeared that the bucket lift in which Juan Alba Rodriguez was positioned struck a power line as he raised the lift in an effort to reach tree limbs in front of a wall at 684 Freeling Drive. (Read more »)


Siesta Seen

County has more than 1,200 acres of public water access, SKA members learn; new opponents emerge in response to another Coastal Setback Variance petition; lack of garbage cans on beach explained; SCAT provides latest Siesta Key Breeze stats; and Sheriff’s Office report has details on Oct. 3 Village incident

Sarasota County has a total of 1,218.84 acres on the water — beaches, bayside parks and other public water accesses — Shawn Yeager, manager of the Beaches and Water Access Division of the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) Department, told Siesta Key Association (SKA) members during their Oct. 5 regular meeting. (Read more »)


Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular returns Oct. 14 to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota

Halloween-themed games and showing of ‘Monsters, Inc.’ to be among activities for free event

For the third year, the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, the Baltimore Orioles and the Sarasota Film Festival have partnered to bring the family-friendly Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular to Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, the county has announced. (Read more »)


Archaeological interpretive panel dedication set for Oct. 14 at Phillippi Estate Park

Families invited to participate in event, which will start at 10 a.m.

A free, family-friendly dedication has been planned at Phillippi Estate Park on Saturday, Oct. 14, for the installation of interpretative signage about the Archaic Period, Sarasota County has announced. The event will begin at 10 a.m. (Read more »)


Committee seeking female World War II veterans and women who aided in the stateside war effort to participate in Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade

‘We Can Do It!’ the theme of this year’s observance

The Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee is seeking women who served in World War II, as well as women who supported the war effort at home, to participate in the annual Veterans Day Parade, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)


City of Sarasota Financial Administration Department earns another national award

Staff members mark fourth year in a row for winning ‘Trifecta’ honors, as well

For the fourth year in a row, the City of Sarasota’s Financial Administration Department has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)


First part of shoreline stabilization project completed at O’Leary’s in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park

Second phase to entail ‘living seawall’

A 240-foot-long shoreline stabilization seawall at Bayfront Park, adjacent to O’Leary’s Tiki Bar, has been completed, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin announced last week. (Read more »)


Ford-Coates once again earns Legacy Award for high level of achievement in financial operations for tax collectors’ offices in state of Florida

Distinction accorded after thorough review of specific areas of competency

Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates once again has earned the Legacy Award, a special designation for excellence in the field of financial operations, the Florida Tax Collectors Association has announced. (Read more »)


Two county employees recognized with high honors from Building Officials Association of Florida chapter

Kathleen Croteau named Building Official of the Year and Stan Dinwoodie named Inspector of the Year

The Gulf Coast Chapter of the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF) has honored Sarasota County Building Official Kathleen Croteau as the Building Official of the Year, Matthew Osterhoudt, director of the county’s Planning and Development Services Department, notified County Administrator Tom Harmer early this month. (Read more »)