20181116-16 Nov 2018



County Commission calls for workshop to discuss concerns about rising jail population and potential of hiring consultant to help with decision on building new detention center

Commissioner Moran points to fact that construction of new jail would be a years-long project

With Sheriff Tom Knight having appeared before them again in late October to reiterate concerns he expressed a year ago, the Sarasota County commissioners are planning a workshop in early 2019 to discuss the potential need for a new jail. (Read more »)

County ‘bed tax’ revenue manages to set another record, in spite of red tide, latest data show

The Tax Collector’s Office report shows the funds up 6.4% over the figure for the 2017 fiscal year

In spite of what can be characterized as the “red tide effect,” figures released by the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office show that in the 2018 fiscal year, the county once again set a new record for “bed tax” collections. Data collected through Sept. 30 — the last day of the 2018 fiscal year — show the total Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue was $22,726,759. (Read more »)

County’s supervisor of elections discusses voter participation and recounts during County Council of Neighborhood Associations meeting

Ron Turner also clears up misinformation spread on social media this fall

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner had been invited to the Nov. 12 meeting of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) to talk about details of the Nov. 6 General Election — the precincts with the highest turnout, for example. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota and Lido Key Residents Association say Siesta Key Association still has no grounds in Circuit Court for stopping Big Pass dredging

They seek dismissal of amended complaint with judge’s stipulation that no further action can be pursued in the case

In a joint filing on Nov. 13, the City of Sarasota and the Lido Key Residents Association argue that the Siesta Key Association (SKA) still has no grounds for recourse under the Florida Statute it has cited in its latest legal challenge to the planned dredging of Big Sarasota Pass. (Read more »)

With Decide the Date City of Sarasota Charter amendment approved, city election cycle moving to August and November

Current commissioners’ terms will be extended to facilitate the switch

As Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin pointed out in his Nov. 9 newsletter, “City voters gave overwhelming approval (63%) to the Decide the Date initiative, which means there will be new election dates for City elections.” (Read more »)

Rissler named director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department for Sarasota County

She had served as deputy director since May 2016

When Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department (PRNR) Director Carolyn Brown announced in July that she would be retiring in October, the county began advertising for her replacement. (Read more »)

A big jump in fines for violations among suggestions in county staff report on dealing with illegal short-term rentals of single-family homes

Staff research continuing, but County Commission guidance will be needed on scope of potential amendments to existing regulations, report says

Sarasota County staff is researching the legality of imposing a fine as high as $5,000 per violation in cases when people do not abide by the county’s ordinance regarding short-term rentals. The measure is just one element of a staff report that the County Commission called for on Oct. 9 — at Commissioner Alan Maio’s request. (Read more »)

American Course reopens at Bobby Jones Golf Club

Drainage system improved on all 18 fairways

The American Course at the City of Sarasota’s Bobby Jones Golf Club has reopened “with much needed improvements to the drainage system on all 18 fairways,” City Manager Tom Barwin has announced. (Read more »)

New construction seaward of county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line on Casey Key wins unanimous County Commission support

Chair Nancy Detert, who objected to a similar petition in 2017, voices no concerns this time

Typically, over the past several years, when the Sarasota County Commission has considered any petition for a Coastal Setback Variance, it has conducted a public hearing. On Nov. 7, however, the board members used their “Presentation Upon Request” option in addressing plans for a one-story, elevated residential structure with a garage and storage area, a new deck, walkways, stairs and a paver driveway at 811 Casey Key Road in Nokomis. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Siesta Key Association marks 70th birthday; Ramirez appeals Circuit Court decision in civil case; new Siesta substation sergeant introduced to SKA members; and no recent crime trends reported, but two incidents draw plenty of attention in Siesta Village

On Monday, Nov. 12, the Siesta Key Association (SKA) observed its 70th birthday. News about the celebration drew a big round of applause during the Nov. 8 SKA meeting. Back in 1948, SKA Vice President Catherine Luckner pointed out, the island had a number of beach cottages but limited other development. Yet, residents could envision big changes in the future, she continued, and they wanted to ensure that new construction would take place in an orderly fashion. (Read more »)

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Once again, Crystal Classic artists amaze visitors with their creations out of sand and water

Travel: From Hong Kong to Vietnam to Singapore, much to experience in terms of diversity of cultures and people

Portion of School Avenue closed to vehicles until Dec. 27 because of construction

Arlington Park to host Dec. 8 event for families to design and decorate gingerbread houses

Nonprofit announces more details about #GivingTuesday event to help fund federal lawsuit to stop dredging of Big Pass

Sheriff’s Office to host second annual holiday toy drive for children in Guardian ad Litem program

City of Sarasota offices to be closed Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 for Thanksgiving holiday