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Sarasota City News Letters – Week ending October 27, 2017

Sarasota City News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to City Hall that address City of Sarasota issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Public records request for polygraph test

To: City Attorney Bob Fournier

It’s been five days since you said that you expected the Polygraph file to be with you. It always piques my interest further as you know when public record requests are delayed as it portents something worth hiding. On reflection I’d like to extend my request to any files on the subject as they relate to the formation of the questions themselves and any subsequent criminal investigation as well as the termination of employment. The redaction of the content of the Polygraph per statute might render that information limited but I figure the other files would tend to fill in the blanks so to speak. Thank you.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

To: Martin Hyde

The report of the polygraph examination was given to another attorney in the office late Friday afternoon when I was not here and I just received it this morning.

I can deliver it to City Hall for you to pick up this afternoon if that’s convenient.  I will leave it in an envelope with Kandy Lee in the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office and will let you know by email after it’s been delivered.

As I advised you previously though, the substantive material about questions and answers has been redacted as per Sec. 119.07(1)(a) Florida Statutes.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

Sarasota

 

Water Taxi update

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

As requested, here is the latest regarding the water taxi permitting requests. The sole operator of a request for water taxi permit, Sherman Baldwin of Paradise Boat Tours, indicated to me last week that he would resubmit his updated request for permitting this week. As of today’s date and time, I have not heard from him. He indicated that he was updating his vessels information and captain listings, along with his plan to prepare the northern seawall from Van Wezel parking lot for his operation. Mr. Baldwin restated the plan to start before Thanksgiving.

One other operator from the Tampa Bay area, Starship, expressed interest in operating from Paddy Georges in Longboat to somewhere in Sarasota. This operator has not previously submitted a formal request and suggested that he would be reviewing the opportunity and get back with me.

In addition, the County parks and planning staff have expressed some interest in seeing an operator connect Sarasota and north Siesta Key. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Mark Lyons

Parking Division Manager

Sarasota

 

Parking conversation interesting…

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

I trust things are going well, and that you are still able to find time to get in those jogs and bicycle rides in the delightful albeit hot Florida weather.  I know that Marlon is very likely keeping you in line.

I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I continue to follow the local news regularly and find the parking conversation interesting to observe from afar.  Since January, when a parking lot my agency manages switched from free to paid parking with a 2 hour maximum, the adjacent restaurant has seen an large increase in business.  People are now able to find a parking space so they can eat there (and then enjoy a stroll along the waterfront esplanade) instead of being frustrated with not finding a space due to others parking in the lot for extended periods of time.

As you may know, retail consultants such as Robert Gibbs recommend paid parking on busy downtown main streets in order to obtain the turnover required to increase greater customer access.  It’s disappointing to see that Council is seeking other alternatives instead of just trying meters out for a bit. Not sure why businesses are afraid of something that may actually allow customers to get into their stores. Just because the meters didn’t work out the last time doesn’t mean any meter won’t work.

Cheers and my best regards to everyone in City Hall.

Norman Gollub

Executive Director

Foss Waterway Development Authority

Tacoma, WA

 

To: Norman Gollub

Thank you for this observation, Norm truly necessary in present  conversation, and  who better than  you, wishing you well in the days to come.

Willie Charles Shaw

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Studying Irma response

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

According to local reports, the county, the school district, and two area foundations plan to review and analyze the steps local officials took before, during, and after Hurricane Irma came through Florida.

The City of Sarasota should be included in this study, and should provide a detailed summary regarding critical areas addressed by the city, such as debris removal, law enforcement support (both on the ground and in the emergency shelters), utilities impact (water main, etc.).

Tom/Marlon/Todd – has the county approached us for input?

Please reach out and ensure that our data is accurately included in this report.

The link to SHT article is below.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20171011/sarasota-county-foundations-to-study-irma-response

Please contact the county and advise of next steps.

Thank you.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

To: Mayor Shellie Freeland Eddie

I spoke with Rich Collins, the county emergency services director this morning. Currently the county is working out the details of how the process will work. Their plan is to bring in the municipalities (CM and EM) and other partner organizations for a meeting in November. December will be reserved for more detailed subcommittee type of work. In January, they plan to present to the group along with elected officials.

As things progress, I will keep leadership up-to-date. Thank you and have a great day.

Todd Kucharski

Public Works General Manager

Sarasota

 

To: Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski

Thanks for the update. As Mayor of our city, I’d like to be involved when the meeting occurs in November. Please keep me posted.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

Ringling Barrier Wall

To: Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski

Good news. The Department is programming $95,000 to repaint the barrier walls on the Ringling Bridge deck. Work is expected to start before this fiscal year ends in June.

Philip Catalano

Maintenance Manager

Florida Department of Transportation

 

To: Maintenance Manager FDOT Phil Catalano, Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski

That is great news. It needs some TLC. All the best.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager

Sarasota

 

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

This is great!

Liz Alpert

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Homeless making congestion on sidewalk

To: Vice Mayor Liz Alpert

We were just walking on Main Street about a half hour ago and found a woman sleeping in front of the now vacant, Sarasota Vineyard. I thought sleeping was not allowed by law. This seems to be happening a lot more on Main Street, homeless congregating in front of vacant storefronts in large groups, making it very difficult to walk get by.

Clare Gallagher

Sarasota

 

To: Clare Gallagher

Thanks for letting us know what you witnessed. We have an active and ongoing homeless outreach team that is working on solutions to the homeless issue in our community.  In addition, we commissioned an expert in homeless solution to come up with a game plan for instituting a “Housing First” initiative.  Further, we have hired a homeless coordinator dedicated to implementing solutions.  The good news is that even though the problem is not solved, and never will be solved 100%, we have made strides.  In our latest “point in time” survey, the number of homeless in our community was down by 200.

That being said, I have copied the City managers with your email to make them aware of what you witnessed.

Liz Alpert

Vice Mayor

Sarasota

 

To: Vice Mayor Liz Alpert

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the chronic homeless downtown Main Street. “Housing First” with game plan a huge start. Must be a priority in Sarasota.

But in the meantime, is there anyone from the homeless outreach team, that can help the homeless that are sitting, lying everyday in front of the now closed Sarasota Vineyards?

So appreciate your attention in this matter.

Clare Gallagher

Sarasota

 

To: Clare Gallagher

I am again making the City manager aware, so that he can get our homeless outreach team to that location.

Liz Alpert

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

A meeting is more appropriate, in the event that the commission decides to give direction or take action on this matter.

In a workshop session, no direction or action can be taken. Accordingly, I am requesting a meeting (not a workshop).

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

To: Vice-Mayor Liz Alpert and Ms. Gallagher

I forwarded the previous e-mail to our Homeless Team and copied here as well. We will look into this issue. Thanks for reaching out.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager

Sarasota

 

Special City Commission Meeting Request

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

Per our previous discussion, please accept this as my formal request that a Special City Commission Meeting be schedule during the month of November 2017 to address the following single item: Form Based Code.

Specifically, I am requesting that the meeting discuss the following matters:

The process for review of the code;

The length of time needed for review of the various chapters (e.g., how many hearings before the city commission);

The time frame wherein the commission will receive the chapters prior to the chapters being discussed;

The legal requirements for establishment/amendment/modification, etc. (e.g., judicial/quasi-judicial; via public hearing; planning board involvement);

When there will be opportunity for public input;

The appeals process (if any) and; any other relevant information that Ms. Murphy believes is critical to this preliminary discussion.

My request is that this meeting discuss procedure only, not proposed substantive changes.

Please confirm when this matter will be scheduled.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

To: Mayor Shellie Freeland Eddie

Then let me suggest a workshop. I have copied Karin so that we can get started on putting together material and Diane to find open dates. I will place on the next City Commission meeting for approval of the dates.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager

Sarasota

 

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

Ok. Thank you.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

Metered parking request for proposal

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

As related to our discussion this afternoon on ‘metered parking,’ please kindly provide me with a copy of the RFP for the parking meters for St. Armand’s Circle and Parking Garage before it goes out for bid.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 




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