All Sarasota city commissioners cite secondary sources of income for 2022

Annual financial disclosure forms required by state

This is a section of the form that all of the city commissioners had to fill out and file with the state. Image courtesy Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections

In 2022, as noted in their most recent financial disclosure forms, all of the Sarasota city commissioners have sources of income besides their municipal salaries.

In 2021, then-Commissioner Hagen Brody relied solely on his salary, he reported.

Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch continues to own a marketing, public relations and design firm, JAK Consults, as shown in her Statement of Financial Interests filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Commissioner Liz Alpert still practices law, her form says, and she also draws Social Security.

Commissioner Erik Arroyo, too, is an attorney. He and his law partner, Patrick McArdle, operate out of a business office suite located at 46 N. Washington Blvd., Arroyo’s form shows. Their areas of expertise, as stated on the Arroyo McArdle firm’s website, are estate planning, private client and concierge law, and business and corporate law.

Mayor Kyle Battie listed Birthright Family Limited Partnership as his other source of income, noting the address as 1415 Second St., Unit 1025, in Sarasota. Under the adjacent heading “Principal Business Activity of Source,” Battie added, “Real Estate and Business Development.”

In an online search The Sarasota News Leader found that on the OpenCorporates website that that company was incorporated in May 2002 with a registered address in Powhatan, Va. says the firm is categorized under “Private Estate, Personal Investment and Vacation Fund Trusts.” The Manta record adds that the company is estimated to have annual revenue of $111,289, and it has approximately two employees.

New Commissioner Debbie Trice, who won her seat last year, listed four primary sources of income on her form: Social Security; an IBM pension plan; a Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund; and her city salary.

In the form sections calling for documentation of real property, Ahearn-Koch, Battie and Trice wrote “n/a,” which the form called for if the individual had “nothing to report.”

Alpert wrote, “None,” while Arroyo listed both his house on Whispering Oaks Court, which he co-owns with his wife, and his law office.

This is a view of the exterior of the building on Washington Boulevard where Commissioner Erik Arroyo’s law practice is located. Image from Google Maps

This year, the market value of the parcel where Arroyo’s home stands is $524,100, the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website says. The market value of the unit where his law firm is located is $152,400, the Property Appraiser’s Office shows. Washington Square Land Trust, which is listed as the owner of the unit, bought it for $210,000 on May 31, the property record notes. The trust’s address on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office website is the same as that of Arroyo’s law firm.

The Property Appraiser’s website still shows Ahearn-Koch as co-owner of her Tahiti Parkway home, while the website lists Alpert as owner of a condominium on Gulfstream Avenue.

Ahearn-Koch and her husband bought their property for $133,000 in January 1997, the Property Appraiser’s Office records show. In August 2014, they took out an “open-end mortgage” for $125,000 from Fifth Third Bank, according to records maintained by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller. Another document shows that that mortgage was paid off in August 2014.

This year, the market value of the parcel is listed as $477,100 in the Property Appraiser’s Office records.

As the News Leader reported last year, records maintained by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller also show that Alpert paid off the mortgage on her Regency House condominium on Dec. 16, 2019; the loan amount was $61,000, the document says.

This year, the market value of that condominium is $544,900, the Property Appraiser’s Office notes. She paid $450,000 for it in August 20222, the record says.

The Property Appraiser’s Office records do not show Battie named as an owner of the property he included as his address on his form.

In regard to “Liabilities,” Arroyo listed student loans and two mortgages.

Neither Battie nor Trice listed any major debts.

Ahearn-Koch noted two creditors: Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati and Discover, which is based in Salt Lake City.

The red balloon marks the location of the Regency House condominiums in downtown Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

Alpert attached a separate page showing that she has three major creditors: Bank of America in Tampa; Nelnet Student Loans in Lincoln, Nebraska; and Firstmark Services in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On its website, Firstmark explains that it is an “operational division of Nelnet.” The website adds, “Since 1997, we have built strong partnerships and exceeded client expectations in managing the performance of private student loan and consumer loan portfolios.”

The Florida League of Cities has let all elected municipal officials know that they will have to file more detailed financial disclosure forms starting in 2024, thanks to a new state law. Those “Form 6” documents require filers to estimate their net worth.