20181102-2 Nov 2018



In District 4 County Commission race, Maio already has surpassed his 2014 campaign contribution tally

Other three candidates for board seats well shy of Maio’s $133,751 total as of Oct. 26

Heading into the final stretch of the 2018 campaign season, incumbent Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio is well ahead not only of his opponent in fundraising but also the two District 2 contenders, according to records filed through most of October. (Read more »)

Early voter turnout already exceeds figure for 2014

Supervisor of Elections Turner and staff working to encourage participation in Nov. 6 General Election

Between early voting and the return of vote-by-mail ballots, 35.29% of Sarasota County voters already had made their choices for the Nov. 6 General Election by early afternoon on Nov. 1, the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office reported. (Read more »)

Challenge to county Comprehensive Plan amendment for Grand Lakes development to be focus of December hearing in Sarasota

Florida Division of Administrative Hearings judge schedules two-day proceeding, with exact location yet to be decided

A two-day Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) proceeding has been scheduled for early December in Sarasota to address a challenge to Neal Communities’ planned Grand Lakes development east of Interstate 75 and south of Clark Road. Florida Administrative Law Judge Francine M. Ffolkes has set the hearing for Dec. 4 and 5 “at a location to be determined.” (Read more »)

Opponents of Siesta Promenade raise due process issue, saying Planning and County commissions will not give them sufficient time to address facets of each project petition

County already contending with lawsuit that includes allegation of due process violation in similar situation

With the first public hearing on the Siesta Promenade development less than two weeks away, one concern that has arisen among project opponents is the length of time they will be given to address the Sarasota County Planning Commission and the County Commission. (Read more »)

SANCA CEO reports on new initiative to build Benderson Park boathouse, which could be rented for variety of purposes to improve park finances

Benderson foundation has established $4-million matching grant fund for the project

As Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) has struggled to become financially self-sufficient, one key piece missing from its original business plan has been a boathouse. Several years ago, as the first SANCA president and CEO, Paul Blackketter would report from time to time to the county’s Tourist Development Council about his world travels as he researched such facilities at top rowing venues. That was in preparation, he said, for construction of a boathouse at Nathan Benderson Park, which SANCA manages for Sarasota County. (Read more »)

Friends of Legacy Trail continuing education and advocacy for North Extension as Nov. 6 bond referendum approaches

Leader of nonprofit’s fundraising ‘Square Foot Campaign’ talks of enthusiasm among the public and hope for a majority ‘Yes’ vote

With less than a week to go before voters make a $65-million decision on the future of The Legacy Trail, members of a nonprofit advocacy group for the Sarasota County attraction are continuing to add contributions to their Square Foot Campaign in support of the trail’s North Extension. (Read more »)

Siesta Key Association pursues variation of its original argument in amended Circuit Court complaint filed to try to stop dredging of Big Pass

City of Sarasota has 20 days to respond to part of complaint, city attorney says

With the presiding judge having dismissed its original complaint on Oct. 12, the Siesta Key Association has filed an amended complaint against the City of Sarasota in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in an effort to prevent the dredging of Big Sarasota Pass to renourish part of South Lido Key Beach. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota gets official FDEP go-ahead to begin emergency beach renourishment project on Lido Key

Work expected to get underway by mid-November, weather permitting

With the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) having issued the formal Notice to Proceed on Oct. 17, City of Sarasota staff hopes its contractor will begin the emergency renourishment project on Lido Key Beach no later than Nov. 15. (Read more »)

Bids on demolition of G.WIZ building to be opened by City of Sarasota staff on Nov. 16

City Commission approved $200,000 expense of work during split vote on Oct. 15

With the Sarasota City Commission again having approved the demolition of the former G.WIZ building on the city’s waterfront, bids are due on Nov. 16 for the actual work. The bid package was advertised on Oct. 16, city Communications Specialist Jason Bartolone told the News Leader. Responses are to be opened at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, the package says. (Read more »)

County attorney earns high marks in annual evaluation

Commissioner Detert expresses frustration, though, with ‘glacial speed’ of Office of County Attorney on some issues

As in years past, Sarasota County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh received generally high marks from the county commissioners during their annual evaluation of him. However, in public comments during the board’s regular meeting on Oct. 24, Chair Nancy Detert did voice frustration with what she called the “glacial speed” at which DeMarsh and his staff handle some issues. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Speculation swirling around future of Bank of American property; county staff says Sand Dollar Key not in proposed Big Pass dredging area, but new questions arise; a new Sheriff’s Office substation leader has been named; the Condo Council announces its annual Holiday Lighting Contest; Duo Nova to perform at Siesta Chapel; Chamber extends gratitude to St. Boniface; and Siesta property owners protest Tourist Development Tax ordinance change

With the Bank of America branch on Stickney Point Road having closed on Oct. 16, The Sarasota News Leader has learned that the rumor mill already is in full swing, speculating on what will happen to the property. (Read more »)

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Travel: Latest stops for couple on Pacific tour include a former ‘French concession’ and Okinawa

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office launches new mobile app that can handle a variety of operations, including viewing progress of calls for service

CONA to celebrate 57th anniversary on Nov. 5

Sarasota Police Department collects 44.5 pounds of medications during National Drug Take-Back Initiative