November 17, 2017 Edition


Final pieces of homelessness consultant’s recommendations to be put in place, thanks to County Commission’s unanimous votes

Quality of Life Ordinance to go into effect on March 31, after training has been conducted for Sheriff’s Office personnel and county staff

Almost exactly two years ago — on Nov. 6, 2015 — the Sarasota City Commission and the Sarasota County Commission held their last joint meeting to try to resolve continuing conflicts over how best to address community homelessness issues. (Read more »)


County commissioners debate March 2018 timing of special 1-mill tax referendum for the School Board

Commissioner Moran ends up casting the only ‘No’ vote on the 2018 date

After about 10 minutes of discussion on Nov. 14, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 to approve a resolution approving a special election on March 20, 2018 for voters to consider renewing a special 1-mill tax for the Sarasota County School District. (Read more »)


Jonathan Lewis a step closer to becoming Sarasota County administrator following Tom Harmer’s departure

County Commission votes to boost his pay when he assumes interim post on Dec. 8

For a moment on Nov. 14, it appeared members of the Sarasota County Commission might be prepared to take another step toward making Assistant County Administrator Jonathan Lewis more than interim administrator, following County Administrator Tom Harmer’s departure on Dec. 8. (Read more »)


County Commission votes 4-1 to approve purchase of parcel at 162 Beach Road on Siesta Key to broaden public access to the beach

Commissioner Detert said she felt the transaction would set a bad precedent

Although Sarasota County Commissioner Nancy Detert argued that the board would be setting a bad precedent, her colleagues on Nov. 14 voted in favor of purchasing the land at 162 Beach Road on Siesta Key for $1.4 million. (Read more »)


Tourist Development Tax revenue breaks another fiscal year record in Sarasota County

Total was more than $21 million

Once again, Sarasota County has broken a record for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue, based on the latest figures released by the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. Through Sept. 30 — the end of the 2017 fiscal year — entities that collect the “bed tax” had reported a total of $21,257,596.35 to the Tax Collector’s Office, surpassing the record $20,114,542.54 brought in during the 2016 fiscal year. (Read more »)


Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal agrees to consider whether 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge erred in ruling on part of North Beach Road vacation case

Mike Cosentino has appealed Judge Frederick Mercurio’s Oct. 2 order related to Cosentino’s 2016 lawsuit against Sarasota County

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal has agreed to hear an appeal of a 12th Judicial Circuit Court decision involving a Siesta Key resident’s attempt to overturn the County Commission’s May 2016 vacation of a 357-foot-long segment of North Beach Road. (Read more »)


New guidelines and pricing to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018 for private users of Sarasota County park facilities

Among higher fees will be those for pavilions at Siesta Public Beach

For the first time in about nine years, the Sarasota County Commission has approved a comprehensive overhaul of the fees and guidelines for private use of county parks facilities. One primary goal for the changes was to achieve alignment with policies of the Parks, Preserves and Recreation Strategic Master Plan that the board approved in June 2016, Carolyn N. Brown, director of the county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department (PRNR), explained during a Nov. 14 presentation to the commission. (Read more »)


2 feet to be added to height of seawall at Ocean Boulevard site planned for Oceane condominium project

Windward Passage residents win agreement of Oceane owner to add 2 feet of height to neighboring segment of their seawall, in effort to prevent potential for increased erosion

On a unanimous vote, the Sarasota County Commission has granted a permit for the addition of 2 feet to the height of the approximately 350-foot-long seawall on the property slated for the six-unit Oceane condominium complex on Ocean Boulevard on Siesta Key. The development will face Big Sarasota Pass. (Read more »)


Siesta Seen

Bay Island Siesta Association continuing to work with FDOT on safety issues; county crews clear last of storm debris before Crystal Classic; Siesta breaks sea turtle nesting record; wastewater treatment plant project a bit behind schedule; the SKA’s attorney offers a break on legal bills for Big Pass dredging challenge; and a couple of corrections

Safety issues on Siesta Drive — from Osprey Avenue to the Shell Road intersection with Higel Avenue — have been the focus of a group of Bay Island Siesta Association members since April, the association’s vice president recently told Siesta Key Association (SKA) members. (Read more »)


Early voting scheduled for Dec. 5 Florida House District 72 Special Democratic Primary

Three locations offered

Early voting for the Dec. 5 House District 72 Special Democratic Primary will begin on Saturday, Nov. 25, and continue through Saturday, Dec. 2, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner announced on Nov. 15. (Read more »)


Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation Plan for City of Sarasota available for review

Public comments accepted through Nov. 27; City Commission to address the draft plan on Dec. 4

The City of Sarasota Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan is available in final draft form for public review and comment at www.SarasotaFL.Gov/SGC, the city has announced. (Read more »)


Sandy Claws Beach Run set for Dec. 9 on Siesta Key

Early registration available online or by picking up forms at county facilities

Get in the holiday spirit with the annual Sandy Claws Beach Run, which will return to Siesta Public Beach for the 41st year on Dec. 9, Sarasota County has announced. With many of the participants typically wearing fun seasonal costumes, this annual event draws hundreds of runners, walkers and joggers to the No. 1 beach in the nation for a 5K run and 1-mile fun run. (Read more »)


Sarasota County School District Teacher of the Year finalists surprised at three schools this week

Dec. 13 event to recognize the winner

Teachers at three schools in Sarasota County were surprised on Nov. 13 when they were revealed as the district’s elementary, middle and high school Teachers of the Year and the 2018 Teacher of the Year finalists. The annual Teacher Tribute Tour team traveled to each school on a bus, a news release notes. (Read more »)


Sheriff’s Office to host Dec. 9 grand opening of new facilities on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota

Ribbon cutting, demonstrations and adoptable animals from Animal Services Section to be part of event

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will celebrate the agency’s relocation after 30 years in downtown Sarasota, with a free, family-friendly event at its new headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota, the office has announced. (Read more »)


Sand-sculpting winners declared during eighth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic

People’s Choice Award goes to Moonlight Over the Pond

International sand-sculpting champions have been declared for the eighth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, which drew thousands of people to Siesta Public Beach, organizers have reported. (Read more »)


Free parking app available in City of Sarasota

Sensors and other users of the app enable software to provide real-time map with information about open spaces

A free City of Sarasota parking app for iOS and Android systems has been made available for smartphones and tablets, the city announced on Nov. 14. The app, called Parker, has been designed to help drivers find public parking spaces in downtown Sarasota and Southside Village, on St. Armands Circle and at Lido Beach. (Read more »)


Thanksgiving schedule announced for City of Sarasota

Waste collection days to change

City of Sarasota administrative offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the city has announced. The offices will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27. (Read more »)