February 22, 2019 Edition


TOP STORIES:

 

City Commission approves applicant’s withdrawal of proposal for Lido Pavilion and Pool improvements and agrees to $206,000 reimbursement

Over a period of almost three years — even as public opposition mounted — City of Sarasota leaders continued to work with a local company called Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners on plans for improvements to the city’s Lido Pavilion and Pool property, City Attorney Robert Fournier pointed out to the City Commission on Feb. 19.


Twice, Circuit Court judge strikes down Benderson Development attempts to throw out lawsuit over Siesta Promenade project

The plaintiff in the lawsuit fighting the Sarasota County Commission’s decision late last year to approve the Siesta Promenade project has agreed to allow an affiliate of the developer to intervene in the case. Nonetheless, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge presiding over the case has struck down two motions that the affiliate has filed in seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed.


Mayor rebukes Commissioner Brody over handling of evaluations of city manager and city attorney

Sarasota Mayor Liz Alpert rebuked Commissioner Hagen Brody this week for providing copies of his evaluations of City Manager Tom Barwin and City Attorney Robert Fournier to theSarasota Herald-Tribune before he submitted them to his colleagues, the city’s Human Resources Department director or, in fact, Barwin and Fournier.


$2.1 million to be used out of City of Sarasota Big Pass dredging ‘insurance policy’ fund to cover expenses of short-term and long-range renourishments on Lido Key

Sarasota City Engineer Alexandrea DavisShaw emphasized to the City Commission this week the need for extra funds to cover the short-term emergency renourishment project underway on Lido Key Beach, plus the city’s share of the cost for the long-range initiative it plans with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Acting chair of Republican Party of Sarasota awarded Sarasota County contract for feeding of personnel at Emergency Operations Center in event of a disaster

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s strike on Sarasota County in September 2017, county leaders were criticized about the county’s incurring a $130,000 bill to feed personnel at the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). With no contract in place at the time for such services, and the subcontractors of the previous vendor having been deployed to Texas to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, county staff has explained, the decision was made to work with Mattison’s of Sarasota to handle meals for up to 500 people a day at the EOC.


‘Unconditional Surrender’ vandalized on bayfront

About 12:53 a.m. on Feb. 19, officers with the Sarasota Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of North Gulfstream Avenue and Bayfront Drive in downtown Sarasota after someone reported that an individual had spray-painted “#MeToo” on the Unconditional Surrender sculpture, the Police Department reported.


A new facility for Fire Station 13, the Breeze’s route and illegal short-term rentals among top topics during county staff presentation to Condominium Council

A new two-story building for Fire Station No. 13, a means of tracking the movements of the Siesta Key Breeze open-air trolley and illegal short-term rentals were just a sampling of the topics senior Sarasota County staff members covered during the Feb. 19 meeting of the Siesta Key Condominium Council.


Another fatal accident reported in Siesta Drive/Higel Avenue curve on north Siesta Key

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department are continuing their investigation into a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 16 at the intersection of Siesta Drive and Higel Avenue, Genevieve Judge, the department’s public information officer, has reported.


Public comment changes made official in County Commission’s Rules of Procedure

With no further comment on the concerns that spurred the action, the Sarasota County Commission last week approved changes to the Open to the Public portions of its meetings. During a Jan. 29 discussion about the proposed revisions to the commission’s Rules of Procedure, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh indicated to the board members that their tweaks “could come back very quickly on a Consent Agenda.” Indeed, the Rules of Procedure item was the second one on the commission’s Feb. 13 Consent Agenda of routine business matters.


OPINION (free):

 

Cartoon of the Day



OTHER NEWS (free):

A&E: Martha Graham Dance Company exemplary in its Sarasota performances, especially in choreography created to confront the emotions


Youngsters invited to participate again in Big League Reader program sponsored by Baltimore Orioles and Sarasota County staff


Audubon Florida seeking stewards to assist with annual beach-nesting season


Feb. 27 public workshop to focus on half dwelling unit proposal for Sarasota County land regulations


Four areas of City of Sarasota designated ‘Opportunity Zones’ for investment


Voters still have time to request vote-by-mail ballots for Longboat Key and Holiday Park elections