20170825-25 Aug 2017

Splitting 3-2, County Commission denies petitions for recycling facility near the Celery Fields

Commissioner Nancy Detert proposes that the county remove from its surplus list property it owns near the park, including a parcel the applicant has sought to purchase

Three motions; approximately five-and-three-quarters hours of public comments 73 speakers (out of 81 who submitted signed cards asking to address the board); and two extra rooms accommodating all the audience members who could not fit into the County Commission Chambers in downtown Sarasota. (Read more »)

Reconfiguration of traffic flow to three northbound lanes between Gulfstream Avenue and Fruitville Road wins approval of the City Commission

Sophisticated ‘HAWK’ crosswalk will be constructed at Ritz Carlton Drive and First Street, with traditional type of crosswalk put back in place at Fruitville Road

After a presentation by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) representatives and city staff, the Sarasota City Commission voted unanimously this week to approve a modified design for bayfront traffic that is expected to foster faster traffic flow and heighten pedestrian safety. (Read more »)

Public hearing set for Sept. 11 on new 5% Sarasota county Public Service Tax on utility usage

Residents in cities with the tax would not pay the county fees

With Commissioner Michael Moran in the minority, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 this week to advertise a Sept. 11 public hearing on implementing a 5% Public Service Tax on electricity, natural gas, L.P. gas and water usage by residents in the unincorporated areas of the county. (Read more »)

City Commission approves construction of off-leash dog parks in Whitaker Gateway and Gillespie parks

Staff says timeline for advertising bids and awarding contract means the facilities should be completed in a few months

With Commissioner Hagen Brody casting the sole “No” vote, the Sarasota City Commission this week approved staff’s proposal for constructing off-leash dog parks in Gillespie Park and Whitaker Gateway Park. The request for proposals for the facilities is expected to be advertised by mid-September, with a response time of 30 to 45 days allowed, Jan Thornburg, senior communications manager for the city, told The Sarasota News Leader in response to questions about the construction timeline. (Read more »)

Jonathan Lewis to become interim Sarasota County administrator, effective Dec. 8

County Commission asks that he be allowed to take on a larger role in the next couple of months, with the expectation he will succeed Tom Harmer on a permanent basis

Barring circumstances that Sarasota County commissioners indicated they do not foresee, Assistant County Administrator Jonathan Lewis will succeed Tom Harmer as county administrator. First, though, based on a unanimous commission vote on Aug. 21, Lewis will assume the title of “interim administrator,” effective Dec. 8, when Harmer finishes his last day with county government before joining the Town of Longboat Key as its manager. (Read more »)

Latest update on Barrier Islands Traffic Study shows peak period for traffic runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily

Longboat Key sees greatest increase in traffic of all the islands during the height of tourist season, report says

The peak period for traffic between Sarasota and Manatee counties’ barrier islands and the mainland on the north as well as the south generally lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, based on data collection and analysis for the Sarasota-Manatee Barrier Islands Traffic Study. (Read more »)

Once again, City Commission splits 3-2 on Tree Advisory Committee, with Commissioners Ahearn-Koch and Shaw opposing development interests

Applications for the board are due by Sept. 20

Reprising their votes and a number of the same arguments that they engaged in on July 5, the Sarasota city commissioners this week established an ad hoc Tree Advisory Committee in an effort to make the city’s Tree Protection Ordinance function better. (Read more »)

After learning firm has saved City of Sarasota about $7 million, commissioners renew financial services contract

Past City Commission candidate Hyde criticizes funds paid to Dunlap & Associates of Winter Park

Criticism from a resident who failed to win a seat on the Sarasota City Commission this spring did not deter the board from renewing a contract this week with a Winter Park financial advisory services firm. (Read more »)

Commissioner Charles Hines completes comprehensive certification program for county board members

Course work totals 45 hours

Sarasota County Commissioner Charles D. Hines has earned the Certified County Commissioner (CCC) designation following his completion of a comprehensive program developed by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

Public invited to City of Sarasota climate adaptation plan meeting set for Tuesday, Aug. 29

Event to be held at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

The public is invited to attend an Aug. 29 community meeting on the City of Sarasota’s climate adaptation plan, the city has announced. The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, which is located at 1845 John Rivers St., formerly 34th Street. (Read more »)

71 countries to be represented at World Rowing Championships at Benderson Park

First team expected for practice will be from Ukraine, event staff says

On Aug. 22 — with a month and a day to go before the beginning of 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park — the event staff announced that 71 countries are scheduled for the competition. “Multiple shipping containers with rowing sculls and shells” will be arriving from overseas in about a week, Max Winitz, media and public relations manager, announced in a news release. (Read more »)

Sarasota County Schools to host inaugural Digital Town Hall via Education Channel and Comcast

Event to be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 6

Sarasota County Schools will host a Digital Town Hall from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, the district has announced. The inaugural event will be broadcast live on The Education Channel on Comcast Cable’s Channel 20 and Frontier’s Channel 33, as well as the district’s website, sarasotacountyschools.net, and Facebook page, a news release points out. (Read more »)

Sarasota Police Department programs win honors from International Association of Chiefs of Police

Homeless Outreach Teams and volunteer ambassadors recognized

The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) Program and the Volunteer Ambassador Program of the Sarasota Police Department have been honored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the organization has notified Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. (Read more »)

Jah Movement the headliner for Aug. 25 Friday Fest

Event to start at 5 p.m. on Aug. 25

Back by popular demand, on Friday, Aug. 25, the Jah Movement will headline the third Friday Fest of the summer on the bayfront lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, the Van Wezel has announced. (Read more »)