20120727-27 Jul 12

City offers Barwin $175,000 for annual salary

The man selected as Sarasota’s new city manager has agreed to a $175,000 salary.
Tom Barwin’s contract will be reviewed on Wednesday, Aug. 1, by the Sarasota City Commission. Barwin has indicated he would like to start work on Sept. 1. Read more….

Seaweed cleanup on Venice Beach expected
to start no later than Saturday

Equipment problems have hampered Sarasota County workers this afternoon in their effort to start cleaning up a mix of red drift algae and seaweed on South County beaches, George Tatge, a county parks and recreation manager, told The Sarasota News Leader today, July 27. Read more….

Original judge’s removal from Siesta Key DUI
fatality case results in trial delay

The defendant in an alleged drunken-driving case that involved the death of a Siesta Key runner in January likely will not be tried before early 2013 because the original judge in the case was disqualified, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. Read more….

Re-registered Democrats want a say in who
their next supervisor of elections is

When Victoria Brill, the daughter of a local GOP bigwig, filed paperwork to run as a write-in candidate in this year’s supervisor of elections race, she immediately blocked more than 150,000 Sarasota County Democrats and independents (56% of registered voters) from playing a role in selecting their new supervisor. Read more….

Siesta Village crosswalk lighting demo a success

The three representatives of Siesta Key organizations present for a Siesta Village crosswalk lighting demonstration Thursday night, July 26, liked what they saw. Read more….

Wood stork a key character in stormwater
drainage project’s delay at Siesta Public Beach

A type of stork not known to local birdwatchers as a regular resident of mangroves near Siesta Public Beach nonetheless is proving a key factor in holding up final permits needed for the stormwater drainage project at the beach, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. Read more….

Sarasota County School Board joins statewide
initiative to change testing system

The Sarasota County School Board this week became the 28th in the state to approve a resolution calling on Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Legislature and the State Board of Education to improve the state testing system, Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida School Boards Association, told The Sarasota News Leader July 26. Read more….

School district taxes set to rise less than 2 mills

Because the Florida Legislature approved an extra $100, or about 3%, in base funding per pupil statewide for the 2012-13 school year, the Sarasota County School Board has no choice but to raise its required local millage rate for the 2013 fiscal year, Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner told the board July 24. Read more….

Buchanan deposition scheduled for Monday morning

If everything goes as planned, at 10 a.m. Mon., July 30, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan will walk into a U.S. Legal Support office in Orlando and be deposed under oath.
The action is part of the lawsuit filed against Buchanan by Sam Kazran, a former business partner who has accused the Sarasota Republican congressman of a wide variety of misdeeds. Read more….

Some Venice businesses without water today

Several businesses in the 1600 block of U.S. 41 Bypass in Venice have lost water service, Sarasota County has announced. Crews installing a tap in the watermain discovered a problem with the line, which has been shut down for repairs, a county news release says. Read more….

County building permits for single-family homes
up 160% from June 2011 to June 2012

The most recent Sarasota County business statistics show continued growth for the county, with the total number of building permits for single-family homes up 160% from June 2011 to June 2012.
Residential real estate sales are up 18.7% for those months year-to-year in the county. Read more….

New Siesta Village maintenance contractor
could be approved Aug. 21

If no bid protests come in by Friday, July 27, the Sarasota County Commission is expected to vote Aug. 21 on the awarding of a new contract for maintenance in Siesta Village.
The county Procurement Department announced on July 23 that it was recommending the contract go to Championship Landscape Maintenance Professionals Inc. of Fort Myers, which was the second-low bidder, at $97,417.70. Read more….

City parking citation amnesty program to get
under way Aug. 1

A driver with a past-due parking ticket will have a one-time only opportunity to pay the citation with the City of Sarasota forgiving the late fee, the city has announced. Read more….

New Riverview High program gets $100,000
boost from anonymous benefactor

A $100,000 anonymous donation will make it possible for students from all over Sarasota County to participate in the new Stars to Starfish program at Riverview High School. Read more….

Food for thought

There are many ways to preserve memories and, conversely, there are myriad varieties of memories we can preserve.
The obvious choices for the preservation side of things might be photos, diaries or scrapbooks, all excellent ways of communicating from the past with our loved ones and passing down mementos of precious and timeless events. Read more….

Early-voting schedule and drop-off booth for
absentee ballots announced

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office is offering early voting for the Aug. 14, primary election beginning Saturday, Aug. 4, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 11, the office has announced. Read more….

Sarasota County procurement official appointed

Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid named current county Contracts Manager Ted Coyman Jr. as the county’s new Procurement Department official, he notified the county commissioners by email on July 20. The appointment was effective immediately. Read more….

New group of Hermitage STARs to present
free program

The five latest winners of the Hermitage Artist Retreat’s State Teachers’ Artist Residency (STAR) will present a free public program on Friday, Aug. 10, at the Hermitage’s campus on the Gulf of Mexico on Manasota Key, 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. Read more….

Deputy county administrator receives award

Deputy Sarasota County Administrator Bill Little has been named the first recipient of the Community Visionary Award by First Step Sarasota and the Florida School of Addiction Studies. The honor follows his recognition last month as part of a regional program to help reduce prescription drug misuse. Read more….

Sample ballots begin going out this week

Official sample ballots for the Aug. 14 primary election were to be mailed to all registered voters beginning Tuesday, July 24, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent has announced. Read more….

Seaweed cleaned up on Siesta Beach

On Saturday, Sarasota County workers cleaned up seaweed that had come ashore on Siesta Key Public Beach starting Thursday, July 19, George Tatge, a county parks and recreation manager, told The Sarasota News Leader today, July 23. Read more….