20150918-18 Sep 2015


City objects to county assessments

Attorneys threaten the County Commission with litigation if the matter is not dropped, citing case law and the County Code to support their stance

Mote Marine on Ken Thompson Parkway Google Maps Sept. 2015Attorneys representing the City of Sarasota say Sarasota County is violating its own ordinances and legal precedent by trying to levy assessments against 16 city-owned parcels, including three that comprise Mote Marine. If the issue cannot be resolved, the attorneys said this week, the city will have no choice but to file suit against the county. (Click here to continue reading)

School Board faces impact fee decision deadline of Oct. 20

Board members seek more funding scenarios for new schools and time for discussion before they reach consensus on the matter

Kathie Ebaugh School Board Sept. 15 2015 RBHIf the Sarasota County School Board wants to impose higher impact fees on the construction of new homes to help cover a projected $326 million expense for additional schools over the next 10 years, it must vote to do so by Oct. 20, staff stressed this week. Kathie Ebaugh, the Sarasota school district’s director of planning, pointed out that the School Board moratorium on the imposition of impact fees will expire on Dec. 14. (Click here to continue reading)

Sarasota CountySchool District seeing increase in high school enrollment

Venice High principal attributes growth at his school to new affordable housing and the fact his community ‘is a great place to raise a family’

Lori White Sept. 15 2015 Board workshopAs the Sarasota County School Board continued discussions this week about how best to handle projected enrollment growth over the next 10 years, members and staff voiced surprise at the increase in the number of district high school students this year.

“I’d like to find out where those kids came from that we weren’t expecting,” board member Shirley Brown said.

Staff projections called for total enrollment at the high school level, exclusive of charter schools, to be 10,665. The district’s five-day count was 10,857, an increase of 192 students. (Click here to continue reading)

School Board budget up about 5 percent for the 2016 fiscal year

Total millage rate of 7.763 percent is a 5.66 percent increase over the rolled back rate from last year

Sarasota School Board with art Hardy Sept. 15 2015 RBHWith no comments from audience members during a public hearing on the evening of Sept. 15, the Sarasota County School Board approved its 2016 Fiscal Year budget of $738,367,826, which reflects an increase of about 5 percent over its 2015 fiscal year spending plan.

Board member Caroline Zucker made all the motions and board member Jane Goodwin seconded all of them as the board approved its FY 2016 millage rates along with the budget. (Click here to continue reading)

County agrees to one last attempt at ownership of Little Salt Spring

Board members complain about numerous restrictions the University of Miami wants to impose, including one that might prohibit a new educational center on the site

little salt spring1bAlmost two years after negotiations began for a transfer of Little Salt Spring from the University of Miami to Sarasota County, disagreement over deed restrictions has led the Sarasota County Commission to call for staff to make just one more attempt to resolve the issues.

That direction occurred during the board’s Sept. 9 regular meeting in Sarasota, following an update from Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery. (Click here to continue reading)

Siesta Seen

A proposal for trash-bag dispensers at the beach garners attention; the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office substation in the Village will close; and a ceremony is set for Sept. 18 for the formal renaming of Bay Island Park

Seawall-at-Bay-Island-Park-March-5-2013-RBH-e1442348339111-480x720With complaints having been aired again recently about people leaving lots of garbage on Siesta Key Public Beach, the Board of Directors of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) will consider ideas that have been broached for keeping one of the county’s top tourism assets a cleaner place. Among those is the placement of dispensers at beach accesses stocked with plastic bags similar to those provided by grocery stores. People could grab the bags and use them to store trash they accumulate during their time on the beach. (Click here to continue reading)

Supervisor of elections schedules voter registration drives Sept. 21-25

Morgue file image of person voting in 2012In observance of National Voter Registration Day, which is Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections office (SOE) will conduct a number of voter drives during the week of Sept. 21-25, the office has announced.

“Every year, citizens forfeit the right to vote because they do not register or they register too late,” Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent said in a news release. “In recognition of the 2015 National Voter Registration campaign, we want to highlight the importance of participating in the electoral process and give people another opportunity to register or to update their voter records prior to the 2016 election cycle,” she said. (Click here to continue reading)

County business tax payments due by Sept. 30, tax collector announces

Barbara Ford-Coates Legacy Award Sept. 2013Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates is reminding all business owners that Wednesday, Sept. 30, is the last day for them to pay the 2015-16 Sarasota County business tax. After that date, the business tax will be delinquent, and additional money will be due, a news release from Ford-Coates points out. (Click here to continue reading)