1 Mar 2019


Sheriff Knight continues to advocate for alternatives to construction of new jail

Following a March 11 meeting he and leaders of his Corrections Division already have scheduled, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight will provide county staff information about potential options for moving out of the jail people who are being treated for alcohol and drug addiction, as well as mental health issues.

Variety of ideas given to staff to research as County Commission continues focus on easing traffic congestion and parking problems related to Siesta Public Beach

With more than 1,000 comments having been submitted online, plus emails and the remarks of 14 speakers on Feb. 27, the Sarasota County Commission has asked staff to follow up on a number of ideas that potentially could ameliorate traffic congestion on Siesta Key. As they discussed the idea of paid parking following the speakers’ comments, commissioners made it clear that unanimity does not exist for implementing such a program at Siesta Public Beach.

Detert proposes redrawing of County Commission districts before 2020 Census results available

The last time the Sarasota County Commission adjusted the boundaries of the five districts of its members was in June 2011, in response to the findings of the 2010 U.S. Census. This week, Commissioner Nancy Detert suggested that the board not wait until the data come in from the 2020 Census to modify the districts again. Her reason? The Single-Member District Charter amendment that won approval of voters on Nov. 6, 2018.

Work continuing on transformation of former Sarasota Police Department headquarters site into new downtown surface parking lot

Over the previous two years, more than a little discussion has ensued at the Sarasota County Commission dais regarding a proposed settlement with the City of Sarasota over a Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Trust Fund payment dispute.

County Homeless Outreach Team program working well, but sheriff indicates its expansion should come only after South County beds secured

The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) the Sarasota County Commission approved last year has “worked very well,” Sheriff Tom Knight told the board this week. However, given the size of Sarasota County and the number of homeless individuals estimated to be living in South County, he recommended that the County Commission consider arranging for facilities in South County.

With contract approved, Elbrecht to become Sarasota County attorney on April 1

With a unanimous vote on Feb. 26, the Sarasota County Commission formally approved a contract making Deputy Sarasota County Attorney Frederick J. “Rick” Elbrecht the new county attorney, effective as of “12 a.m. on April 1, 2019,” as the contract says.

Illegal short-term rental fine up to $5,000 wins County Commission’s unanimous approval

First they listened to two Siesta Key residents talk about the travails of living near homes rented continually to visitors. Then the Sarasota County commissioners voted unanimously on Feb. 26 to approve imposition of a fine as high as $5,000 for violations of the county’s short-term rental laws in districts zoned for single-family homes.

Split City Commission approves design contract for renovations of Bobby Jones Golf Club

On a 3-2 vote, the Sarasota City Commission has approved a $1,053,400 amendment to its contract with a golf course consulting firm to enable the firm to proceed with designing renovations of the full 45-hole Bobby Jones Golf Club.

Myrtle Street improvements get boost from federal funding allocated through City of Sarasota

With unanimous votes of approval from the Sarasota City and County commissions, $631,513 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds will be available for improvements on Myrtle Street that city and county leaders have sought for many years.

OPINION (free):


Cartoon of the Day

OTHER NEWS (free):

Sheriff’s Office to close South County facility on March 4

Baltimore Orioles report more than $360 million in economic impact on Sarasota County since 2015

JFCS of Suncoast seeking donations of personal care items for homeless veterans in advance of April 13 event

2019 Beach University to kick off in March

Orioles name Diana Love of Sarasota the 1-millionth fan for Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium

Booker Middle School principal selected for Arts Schools Network board