September 21 & 28, 2018 Edition

Fall Double Issue


TOP STORIES:

 

With unanimous City Commission vote, resolution nears on years-old Downtown Sarasota CRA conflict with County Commission

Interlocal agreements to provide details of use of funding from county for several projects

In September 2015, as the Sarasota County Commission approved its budget for the next fiscal year, it formally voted to end its involvement in the work of the Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). Commissioners concurred with staff that that the CRA was established in 1986 for 30 years, and that period was coming to an end. (Read more »)


Judge issues final order to dismiss Mike Cosentino’s lawsuit against Sarasota County over May 2016 vacation of North Beach Road segment

Cosentino says he will prevail when he appeals the decision

A 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge has dismissed the last part of a lawsuit against Sarasota County that Siesta Key resident Michael Cosentino originally filed in June 2016. In that complaint — which Cosentino amended in February 2017 — Cosentino contended that the County Commission violated a policy in its Comprehensive Plan when it vacated a 373-foot-long segment of North Beach Road in May 2016. (Read more »)


Tourist Development Council members say promotional funding critical for county’s tourism agency to fight widespread negative publicity over red tide

County Commission to have final say about how to pay for needed repairs to Ed Smith Stadium

Given the significant downturn in business and resulting employee layoffs since early August because of red tide, the members of Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) this week voted to recommend the County Commission not reduce the marketing budget in coming years for Visit Sarasota County. (Read more »)


Emergency Lido Key renourishment project expected to begin by Nov. 15, city manager tells commission

Barwin authorized to sign contract with dredging firm after contract completed

With unanimous support from the Sarasota City Commission, a short-term renourishment project on South Lido Key is expected to get underway by Nov. 15, based on information provided this week by City Manager Tom Barwin. (Read more »)


EEOC complaint filed against city auditor and clerk

In separate matter, City Commission hires Sarasota law firm to determine validity of past employee allegations against Pamela Nadalini

It took almost exactly 71 minutes on Sept. 17, but the Sarasota City Commission finally voted unanimously to approve a contract with the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Sarasota to undertake an investigation into allegations regarding improper management practices on the part of City Auditor and Clerk Pamela Nadalini. (Read more »)


First step in process to build 10,600 new homes in West Villages wins County Commission approval

Winchester Ranch to work on Critical Area Plan study for project in South County

On Dec. 8, 2015, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously to approve two Future Land Use policies as the first step in a process designed to lead to the construction of about 10,600 new homes in the West Villages in South County. (Read more »)


Through July, Tourist Development Tax collections continue to show year-over-year climb

Red tide effect not expected to show up until August data is released

Although the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office report on Tourist Development Tax collections for the month of July shows little increase year-over-year, red tide does not get the blame, according to the president of Visit Sarasota County. (Read more »)


A total of 228 tons of red tide debris has been cleaned up since Aug. 1, Sarasota County reports

City of Sarasota emergency manager reminds business owners about state loan program and Small Business Administration assistance

On the night of Sept. 17, the City of Sarasota’s emergency manager, Richard “Todd” Kerkering, reported to the City Commission that, through Aug. 24, city staff had applied for $4,000 in reimbursements for expenses associated with cleaning up dead fish and debris related to red tide. (Read more »)


Split City Commission gives final approval to higher millage rate for 2019 fiscal year

Overall budget increasing 14%

With no comments from board members this week, the Sarasota City Commission took its second and final vote to approve a total budget of $228,971,436 for the 2019 fiscal year, which will begin on Oct. 1. On Sept. 17, Commissioners Shelli Freeland Eddie and Hagen Brody again cast “No” votes on both the budget and a higher citywide millage rate. They both have voiced opposition to staff proposals for increased spending. (Read more »)


Siesta Seen

Short-term rentals topic gets County Commission attention; three arrested in Higel Avenue incident; and report finally released on June 14 Siesta Drive crash that necessitated hours of detours

The Siesta Key Association is not the only organization pushing for enforcement of the county’s regulation prohibiting short-term property rentals in Residential Single Family (RSF) housing districts on the Key. (Read more »)


OPINION (free):

Cartoon of the Day


OTHER NEWS (free):

Photo essay: Patterns


Supervisor of elections schedules voter registration drives to highlight National Voter Registration Day


Volunteers invited to participate in event at Celery Fields on Sept. 22 in recognition of National Public Lands Day


Suspected skimming device found at Citgo on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota


City announces public meeting for Payne Park tennis players and other interested people


Sexual assault reported inside family restroom at Westfield Siesta Key mall