20120713-13 Jul 12

Two city manager finalists drop out

The “frolicsome” race to be Sarasota’s next city manager took yet another Alice-in-Wonderland turn on – appropriately – Friday the 13th. Two of the four finalists have dropped out as of this morning. Read more….

To the City Commission: Enough is enough!

The commissioners for the City of Sarasota should make one action front-and-center at their meeting on Monday, July 16: Appoint Marlon Brown as the next city manager (assuming he still would take the job). Read more….

DID offers Moran big raise; Marina Jack
interested in parking deck

Sarasota’s Downtown Improvement District this week voted to give Operations Manager John Moran a whopping $10,000 raise, citing his excellent performance over the past 12 months. This compared to a $33,000 increase in DID revenues because of a positive shift in the district tax base. Read more….

Commissioner to argue for funding request
she opposed

Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson this week found herself in the minority on a split vote that she will have to try to sell to another board next week. Read more….

A host of heavy issues faces city on Monday

Several significant issues face the Sarasota City Commission on Monday, July 16. The top item is the selection (maybe) of a new city manager, but that is not the only thorny problem on the agenda. At least three long-boiling issues may be resolved, but at least two new problems are rising to replace them. As they are listed on the agenda, here’s a précis of the good, the bad and the ugly. Read more….

Federal funding sought to replace county
buses with trolleys on island routes

If the Federal Transit Administration approves $3.63 million in grant funds the Sarasota County Commission unanimously has authorized staff to apply for, public bus riders could be taking trolleys to Siesta Key by October 2013. Read more….

Sunnyside vote marks sunny note in stormy week

Amid such controversial topics this week as feral hog hunts and transfers of development rights, a rezoning discussion ended with praise from the Sarasota County Commission. Read more….

County Commission authorizes first steps
in TDR pilot program

Given the continuing fluctuations in the housing market, the Sarasota County commissioners agreed July 11 that it was too soon to put a price on any transfer of development rights from lands the county owns. Read more….

Webber Street to be closed west of the Trail

Webber Street between South Osprey Avenue and South Tamiami Trail will be closed temporarily beginning Monday, July 16, for traffic calming improvements adjacent to Southside Elementary School, the City of Sarasota has announced. Read more….

Living with tennis

We have often read the phrase, “living with …” Just about 100% of the time, the words that follow describe a dire medical condition, and the person who is living with his prognosis is to be commended for his bravery/survival instincts/willpower/courage. Read more….

Residential parking issue added to ‘list’
for Code Enforcement

The focus for code enforcement on Siesta Key shifted this week from noise to parking, as Commissioner Nora Patterson addressed neighborhood complaints during the July 10 County Commission meeting. Read more….

Sarasota Republicans give ‘Statesman of the Year’
award to non-statesman

On July 9, Republicans in Sarasota County announced that they would honor Donald Trump as their 2012 “Statesman of the Year” at a fundraiser dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here on Aug. 26, the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Read more….

Can Florida survive Rick Scott? (Part one)

Almost two years ago, Rick Scott used his personal wealth literally to purchase Florida’s top elected office, spending more than $60 million of his own money to win election as governor. Since then, he has distinguished himself as one of the least popular governors in modern U.S. history (let alone Florida history). This is the first in a series of analyses taking a hard look at his impact on the State of Florida. Read more….

When you hate to lose, sue

A $55,000 public art project that caused bitter infighting among the city’s public art specialists is now in court. On July 11, George Haborak sued the City of Sarasota to halt a project he can’t stand. Read more….

County Commission splits 3-2 on proposed
millage rates

With Chairwoman Christine Robinson and Commissioner Jon Thaxton voting “No,” the Sarasota County Commission on July 11 approved not-to-exceed millage rates for advertisement in advance of public hearings on the 2013 fiscal year budget. Read more….

County awaiting word from FDOT on new
No. 1 beach signs

Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid expects to hear from the Florida Department of Transportation by July 16 regarding the type of permanent signage it will allow the county to put up regarding Siesta Public Beach’s status as the No. 1 U.S. beach for 2011-12, Reid told the County Commission July 10. Read more….

County arts grants awarded as recommended

Jim Shirley still didn’t have all the documentation July 11 that the Sarasota County Commission chairwoman had requested.
Nonetheless, the executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County came away from the County Commission’s regular meeting with all the $1.3 million in grant awards a panel had approved for Fiscal Year 2013. Read more….

Heard on First: Modern matters raise
ghosts of the past

With a tip of my hat to the late, but never forgotten, Bob Ardren, I’d like to start an occasional column about some of the ins-and-outs in city government. Bob’s old column, “Muttered on Main,” was a must-read for those who loved downtown. It’s a high bar to which to aspire, but the happenings at 1565 First St. impact us all. Read more….

Commissioners say they had no choice
but to OK hog hunts

Although 10 county residents pleaded with them not to approve feral hog hunts they described as barbaric and inhumane, the majority of the Sarasota County commissioners on July 10 said they had no choice but to act to preserve environmentally sensitive lands in South County. Read more….

New voter information cards being mailed this week

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office began mailing new voter information cards to approximately 270,000 registered voters this week, the office announced. Read more….

New Library Foundation receives its first grant

The new Library Foundation for Sarasota County has received a $10,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to raise public awareness about the nine Sarasota County libraries and their value to the community, the foundation has announced. Read more….

Orioles’ 2012 attendance mark commemorated

Laura Williams, director of Florida operations for the Baltimore Orioles, accepted a commemorative plaque on July 9, recognizing the fact that the Orioles drew more than 100,000 fans to their 2012 spring training games in Sarasota. Read more….

Seventy-year-old Sarasota man reported missing

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing Sarasota man who was last seen leaving his home about 2 a.m. this morning, July 12. Read more….