November 9, 2018 Edition


TOP STORIES:

On 3-2 vote, City Commission approves installation of parking meters for 11% of downtown Sarasota spaces

Free time in the two city parking garages to be reduced from three hours to two in January, with meter equipment expected to be operational by May 2019

On a Nov. 5 motion by Commissioner Willie Shaw, seconded by Mayor Liz Alpert, with support from Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, parking meters will be returning to downtown Sarasota by May 2019, if all goes as the Parking Division staff plans. (Read more »)


Although Cosentino’s Charter amendments won voter approval this week, their fate continues to be contested in Circuit Court

Constitutionality of the measures at the heart of the arguments

Siesta Key resident Mike Cosentino has talked many times over the past two years about how soothing he always found the drive along the length of Beach Road on the northern part of the barrier island. Even though the county closed part of the road to motor vehicle traffic in 1993 because of repeated storm damage, Cosentino said in a recent 12th Judicial Circuit case document that he continued to drive the stretch, with its unbroken views of the Gulf of Mexico. (Read more »)


Single-Member Districts Charter amendment wins voter approval to change method of electing the Sarasota County commissioners

Changes approved, too, for citizen-initiated Charter petition drives

Advocates for a significant change in how Sarasota County commissioners are elected were celebrating a victory this week along with other winners in the Nov. 6 General Election. After working for more than a year to collect enough signatures to get the proposed Sarasota County Charter amendment on the ballot, leaders of the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE), won 59.84% of the 193,439 votes cast on that measure. (Read more »)


Maio wins re-election to County Commission as Ziegler takes District 2 seat

Both Maio and Ziegler well out-raised their opponents, latest campaign finance data show

Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio won re-election to the board this week, and his margin of victory — 53.91% of the unofficial votes — was slightly higher than it was when he initially gained his seat in 2014. A Republican resident of Nokomis, Maio defeated Democrat Wesley Anne Beggs of Sarasota, who took 46.09% of the Nov. 6 votes, based on the unofficial returns posted by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office. (Read more »)


Attorney calls for county staff to continue upcoming public hearings on proposal for Siesta Promenade

Opponents of the project plan a Nov. 11 demonstration next to the site

With no response from the Office of the Sarasota County attorney to earlier letters, attorney Morgan Bentley of Sarasota made one more attempt this week to point out problems related to the process the county has been following on Benderson Development Co.’s application for Siesta Promenade, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)


Legacy Trail bond referendum passes with more than 70% of voter support

Extensions to downtown Sarasota and North Port could open in late 2024, county staff says

Sarasota County voters made it very clear during the Nov. 6 General Election that they are fans of The Legacy Trail. Of the 197,581 votes cast in a referendum, 70.57% supported the county’s issuance of $65 million in bonds to fund the North Extension of the Trail and connections through Venice to North Port, based on the unofficial results from the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office. (Read more »)


Public hearing on proposal for redevelopment of Lido Beach Pavilion and Pool set for Jan. 14

Confusion and disagreement ensue as City Commission addresses the agenda item

First they had to get past a disagreement about moving up the item on the Nov. 5 agenda. Then the mayor tried to prevent as much as 150 minutes of public comments that she said she felt would end up being unnecessary, depending on the outcome of a second board vote. (Read more »)


Lido Beach short-term emergency renourishment project getting underway

Work expected to take about 90 days

This week, crews began staging equipment at Lido Key Beach in preparation for an emergency renourishment project that is scheduled to begin as early as this weekend, the City of Sarasota has announced. The contractor for the City of Sarasota’s short-term project, Coastal Dredging Co. of Hammond, La., “will spend the next few days laying pipe and bringing in equipment, with the renourishment work to follow,” a Nov. 7 city news release said. (Read more »)


Longboat Key leaders focused on short-term and cost-efficient strategies to ease traffic congestion between island and downtown Sarasota

Concerns remain about design of roundabout at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue

With the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) not expected to complete the Barrier Islands Traffic Study until the spring of 2019, leaders of the Town of Longboat Key have been putting their focus on low-cost strategies that could be implemented relatively quickly to ease traffic congestion. (Read more »)


FPL giving city price cut to convert overhead electrical service to underground lines between Coon Key Bridge and St. Armands

Public Works general manager explains the reduction’s link to lower company expense in restoring power after storms

Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) is giving the City of Sarasota a 25% price cut on the expense of burying the electrical lines along John Ringling Boulevard between the Coon Key Bridge and St. Armands Circle, Public Works General Manager Michael DelRossi told the City Commission on Nov. 5. (Read more »)


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OTHER NEWS (free):

Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run scheduled for Dec. 8 at Siesta Public Beach


Supervisor of elections to discuss facets of Nov. 6 General Election during CONA meeting on Nov. 12


Ninth Crystal Classic to begin on Siesta Public Beach Nov. 9 and run through Nov. 12, with two nights of illuminated viewing


Public comments sought on artist’s painting of downtown Sarasota crosswalk


City and county administrative offices to be closed Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day


Road closures announced for Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade in the city of Sarasota


Sarasota County to celebrate America Recycles Day on Saturday, Nov. 17