20180622-22 Jun 2018


County commissioners blast School Board over lack of clarity with the Sheriff’s Office regarding security personnel for the next school year

Commission agrees to have county administrator accompany Sheriff Tom Knight if School Board will agree to a public discussion of staffing and funding issues

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight and members of the County Commission voiced vexation this week that they have no clear idea about the amount of funding the county will need to provide the Sheriff’s Office for the 2019 fiscal year. (Read more »)

FDEP secretary grants permit for dredging of Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key Beach

Sarasota city manager says goal is for the project to be begin in spring of 2019

Two days after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida toured severely eroded areas of South Lido Key Beach, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein granted the Joint Coastal Permit the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) need to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish a 1.56-mile stretch of South Lido. (Read more »)

Proposed change in City of Sarasota election cycle to be on Nov. 6 General Election ballot

On split vote, City Commission also agrees to extend current members’ terms by 18 months, if the measure passes

On split votes this week, the Sarasota City Commission approved the inclusion of a referendum on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot that will allow city voters to decide if they want to change the timing of city elections. Additionally, if the measure passes, the majority of the board members agreed to extend the terms of the three incumbents for 18 months. (Read more »)

With higher property values and more revenue than expected, Sarasota County’s budget outlook for coming years shows improvement

Expected passage of two state amendments on Nov. 6 would have less of an impact on future fiscal years, staff says

In late March, Sarasota County administrative staff showed the County Commission budget projections that included an estimated shortfall of $8,970,406 in the General Fund for the 2020 fiscal year, if two state ballot measures pass on Nov. 6. (Read more »)

More than $551 million added to county tax rolls as a result of homestead exemption and other investigations pursued by Property Appraiser’s Office

Litigation over property value adjustments also has proven fruitful, Property Appraiser Bill Furst says

Not only has the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office added more than $551 million to the tax rolls over the past three-and-a-half years through audits of homestead exemptions and other investigations, but it also has been successful in recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue through litigation over disputed property values. (Read more »)

Work group asked to continue discussions on new measures to reduce the number of people sent to jail

Sheriff Tom Knight cites latest statistics showing increase in jail population

Although arrests are down, Sheriff Tom Knight has reported to the Sarasota County Commission, the jail population continues to exceed the facility’s operational capacity. In late November 2017, when Knight addressed the board about the need for more jail diversion measures, he noted that 883 people were being held in the facility. On June 13, when he again stood before the commission, the figure had climbed to 976. (Read more »)

Siesta resident involved in lawsuit against Sarasota County Commission files for District 4 board seat

Michael Cosentino filed his complaint in June 2016 over a road vacation vote

Siesta Key resident Michael Cosentino, who remains embroiled in litigation against Sarasota County in a road vacation case, has filed as a Democrat for the County Commission District 4 seat held by Commissioner Alan Maio of Nokomis. Maio won his first term on the board in November 2014. (Read more »)

Sarasota County tax collector expects to return more than $12 million to county after current fiscal year ends

Barbara Ford-Coates’ budget covered by her office’s fees and other collections, she reminds County Commission

Thanks in part to continued growth in driver license services, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates expects to return more than $12 million to Sarasota County after the end of this fiscal year. That was part of the news she delivered to the County Commission during its June 19 budget workshop. (Read more »)

Library Foundation presents county $212,184 check

Funds raised for ebooks and audiobooks

Late last year and early this year, as the Sarasota County commissioners prepared to pore over department recommendations for paring their budget for the 2019 fiscal year, a number of people pleaded with them to spare the county’s libraries. If anything, members of the public stressed, the library system needs more money, especially for collections. (Read more »)

Casey Key couple wins Class II Emergency Variance to stabilize deteriorating cabana on the beach while they seek permanent solution to the situation

County commissioner pleased applicants were able to get staff help quickly

It took just under 24 minutes on June 12 for the Sarasota County Commission to grant a Class II Emergency Variance to a Casey Key couple so they could stabilize a cabana at risk of becoming debris on the shoreline. Howard Berna, the county’s environmental permitting manager, told the board members that the petition was only the third for such a variance that staff ever had brought before the County Commission for approval. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Siesta Drive traffic accident creates traffic pile-ups; red tide returns; rope-and-post system installed on county right of way next to Beach Access 2; Calle Minorga private parking lot underway; drowning reported near Access 2; work begins on Oceane; house fire linked to lamp; and snowy plovers continue to struggle with crows

Siesta residents, workers and visitors who needed to use the north bridge to get on and off the island on June 14 probably felt as though they were seeing seasonal traffic woes multiplied many times over. The Sarasota Police Department sent out an alert via Twitter that Siesta Drive was closed in the 800 block because of a single-vehicle crash with serious injuries. (Read more »)



Cartoon of the Day:


Drowning reported off Lido Beach

Sarasota Memorial cardiac surgeons receive top ratings from ‘Consumer Reports’ 

Two more Sarasota County libraries install Hearing Loop assistive listening systems