20120706-6 Jul 12

‘None of the above’ wins city manager race

Lewis leaving interim post

Sarasota City Commissioners failed to agree on a new city manager on July 2, and voted to begin the search anew. It’s been nearly seven months since commissioners accepted the resignation of then-City Manager Bob Bartolotta on January 17. Read more….

Feral hog hunt discussion on County
Commission’s July 10 agenda

Sarasota County commissioners have received more email over the past month about a proposal for feral hog hunts in South County than they did regarding the legality of alcohol consumption on the beach, after a fatal accident on Siesta Key in January involved an allegedly drunken driver. Read more….

City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget starts $3 million
in the hole

Sarasota’s next city spending plan made its debut Friday afternoon, July 6. Finance Director Chris Lyons presented the $178 million budget. Of that amount, less than one-third lies in the “general fund,” with the other two-thirds sequestered away for debt service, utilities and other non-discretionary expenses. Read more….

SKA seeking enforceable noise standards
for Siesta Village

The president and vice president of the Siesta Key Association were scheduled to meet today, July 6, with Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid to discuss strategies for better management of noise issues in Siesta Key Village. Read more….

Osprey Bridge maintenance delayed until July 23

Maintenance on the Osprey Bridge, which was scheduled to begin next week, will be delayed until Monday, July 23, the City of Sarasota has announced. Read more….

Will another environmentalist replace Thaxton?

A little less than a month ago, five County Commission candidates, along with other notables, gathered at the Sarasota Garden Club for one of the first public events of the local 2012 campaign season: a debate hosted by the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations. By then, the qualifying deadline had come and gone, and these were the county’s finalists. Dozens of local activists as well as a healthy contingent of reporters were present, scribbling notes and paying close attention. Read more….

Emergency permit applications available to deal
with post-Debby coastal damage

Homeowners with damage from Tropical Storm Debby that occurred seaward of the Gulf Beach Setback Line can apply for emergency permits from the state to help them deal with it, Siesta Key Association President Catherine Luckner reported during the organization’s regular meeting on July 5. Read more….

‘Private’ beach rights dispute arises again
on Siesta Key

A dispute over beach property rights on Siesta Key has resurfaced, Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson told members of the Siesta Key Village Association this week.
About two years ago, Patterson reminded the 20 members present for the July 3 meeting, a resident living at Point of Rocks put up barricades, to prevent people from crossing what the resident viewed as private property. Similar issues had arisen at Shell Beach in years past, she added. Read more….

The day everything changed

Historians in the 25th century pinpoint Sarasota, Fla., as the start of America’s great collapse. Even journalists at the time pointed to the state’s southwest coast as the place where housing prices first collapsed, precipitating a national and then international credit crisis. Read more….

Thaxton, Dent trade barbs at first supervisor
of elections debate

Republican supervisor of elections candidates Jon Thaxton and Kathy Dent (the incumbent) took to the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club stage today to debate who’s better equipped to oversee Sarasota County’s voting process. Read more….

Beware the parking boot!

The city is about to begin an amnesty program for parking ticket scofflaws. But after Oct. 1, unpaid tickets will mean profound implications for drivers.
Mark Lyons, Sarasota’s parking manager, says the city is owed more than $700,000 in unpaid parking fines and is about to embark on a statewide search for those funds, backed with the power to stop the renewal of license tags and driver’s licenses by those who haven’t paid up. Read more….

Scenes from Sarasota summer fun

The Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival Boat Parade on the night of June 29 in downtown Sarasota kicked off an array of people-pleasing events for the 2012 July Fourth holiday, culminating with the many area fireworks shows Wednesday night. Read more….

Commissioner to check into timeline for awarding
Siesta maintenance contract

Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson told members of the Siesta Key Village Association July 3 that she would find out when a recommendation on the new vendor for the Village maintenance contract could be expected to come before the County Commission for approval. Read more….

Commissioners rate charter officials

So how are the city’s charter officials doing? Their ratings were released on July 2. City Attorney Bob Fournier was scored overall at 2.6 on a 1-to-3 scale. City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalni received a 2.3 “aggregate rating.” Read more….

Questions raised about single vendor for water meters

Voicing concerns about locking themselves into a five-year contract for technology available from just one vendor, the Sarasota County Commission voted 3-2 June 26 to approve a three-year, $2.7 million contract to allow continued replacement of water meters that can be read automatically by handheld devices. Read more….

After tweaks, EEZ program application approved

With the Sarasota County Economic Energy Zone Pilot Program having begun July 1, the County Commission on June 27 approved an application for firms to fill out so they can be considered for financial incentives to participate in the program. Read more….

PHOTOS: Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce
fireworks party

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce threw a very VIP bash at the beach Wednesday to celebrate the Fourth of July. Hundreds of participants swilled Buds, chomped on grub provided by Mattison’s and jammed to the Ted Stevens Band, before gathering on the beach to watch the fireworks explode. Read more….

County funding still the big question mark for
Siesta trolley, beach projects

Because county property values have decreased again this year, Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson told about 20 members of the Siesta Key Village Associationthis week that she did not expect a trolley to begin serving the Village before the 2014 projected timeline. Read more….

Clerk of Court’s Office reduces operating hours

As of July 1, the Sarasota County Clerk of Court’s Office has reduced its hours of operation, in the wake of the Florida Legislature’s $31 million cut in funding this year for the clerks’ offices across the state. Read more….

New College’s new president begins work

Donal O’Shea officially began his post as the fifth president of New College of Florida on July 1, following the retirement of Gordon E. “Mike” Michalson Jr. Before coming to New College, O’Shea was the dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. Read more….

Health care decision a vital first step

On June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States released its long-awaited decision in the several cases aggregated as Florida, et al v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. In a 5-4 decision, the majority, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld almost all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 — pejoratively referred to by opponents as “Obamacare” — including the controversial “individual mandate.” Read more….