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Sarasota City News Letters – Week ending November 24, 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.

Lido Paviion plan bad for Lido

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

The decision by the city commission on Monday night was to give away the Lido pool pavilion for 30 years. You made the comment that the $1.25 million that was earmarked for Lido pavilion improvements will be used elsewhere in the City, I don’t understand why it cannot stay on Lido and go towards the beach legal fund or interim beach renourishment, or perhaps some other improvements here.

I hear from the residents out here all the time that Lido gets nothing. We just pay taxes to the City and County. I am assuming that this is the case once again. I await your response.

Carl Shoffstall

President

Lido Key Residents Association

 

To: Carl Shoffstall

Lido is an important part of the city, so my generic comments Monday evening about meeting other pressing community needs and priorities certainly include Lido.  As you know at some point and over the next few decades millions and millions will be spent stabilizing the shoreline.  We have been working hard and collaborating closely to make this happen.

As I understand it the $1.25 million dollars we are talking about must be used for facilities in what we generally call capital improvements.

We would welcome your ideas. We also have a big new challenge. Like the pool years ago, we just recently took the Saprito fishing pier back from the county, which is in a neglected and increasingly deteriorated condition. Many fisherman, including the handicapped also use this gem.

A recent structural inspection has revealed that urgent repairs are needed which are estimated to cost about $800,000.

I want to take this opportunity to also convey to you, Carl and the LBKRA that should the lease approved by the City Commission on Monday advance to implementation I am putting a team together to facilitate the work advancing as quickly as possible in such a fashion that the facility and its operations will also become a welcomed asset residents, especially Lido residents, will be proud of. As you know I too spend a lot of time on the beach.

As always, look forward to seeing you around town. Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for your thoughtful note.

Hagen Brody

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

To: Carl Shoffstall

I fully support using the funds for Lido which I agree has been taken for granted for too long. While we disagree with Lido pavilion (although I have a feeling I’ll see you there) I do think those funds should be used for improvements. I’m fully committed to use whatever resources necessary to complete Lido Beach renourishment but my hope is that the dispute will be settled soon.

I’d like capital or tangible improvements and would love to work with you Carl and Commissioner Alpert to figure out some options for the area. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for being involved.

Hagen Brody

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Lido pavilion plan

To: City Commission

During the past five years the City Commissioners have been trying to figure out how they will deal with the Lido Pavilion. A budget of over $1.25 million for the purpose of upgrading and maintaining the existing facilities has been frozen while they negotiate with a vendor for a 10 year lease with two 10-year extensions (30 years) to have a 200 seat restaurant, tiki bar, 12 cabanas, splash pad and performance stage. On November 2nd, the lease between the City of Sarasota and the LBRP, LLC was released. I have plowed through this vaguely written agreement. As a licensed realtor, broker and developer I have never seen such a vague and open-ended lease agreement.

– It is sorely lacking details and the lease rate is less than half the amount we are receiving from the current vendor.

– No impact studies have been conducted regarding traffic.

– There are no specific attachments to the lease regarding scope of the improvements or architectural drawings. Consequently there is no dollar amount associated with the improvements.

Five years ago when the Intent to Negotiate was advertised it was an entirely different marketplace. It is highly likely that if the City advertised today they would receive a much larger pool of qualified candidates.

There is a great resistance from the Lido Key Residents Association. If the City Commissioners insists on forcing this development upon us at their meeting Monday November 20th, at least enter into a clearly written agreement that is at market price.

David Riedlinger

Lido Key Residents Association

Sarasota

 

Sarasota Police Department investigations

To: Mayor Shellie Freeland Eddie

I heard some troubling information recently concerning matters at SPD. Supposedly two Seargent’s and a Lieutenant have been on paid administrative leave for a couple of weeks pending an EEOC investigation? In addition I’m told that two other officers are awaiting final adjudication with allegations of lying on unrelated matters in the next few days? If this information is correct it would seem that the department is in disarray. The City manager is in charge of the police chief who is in charge of the police department. The City manager is in your charge and I’d respectfully suggest that the question if this is true should be asked followed by (Assuming it is) an explanation of how 5 officers out of a relatively small department could be under investigation at the same time? In due course I think we the public would like to know what going on too?

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

To: Martin Hyde

I am not aware of this particular matter. Thanks for forwarding a summary of what you were told.  If there is a specific questions, please reply and I will forward it to both the City Manager and the SPD Chief to provide a response. I have copied City Attorney Fournier, who might be able to shed some light on your request. Thank you.   

Shelli  Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

Beach clean up

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Bill asked me about any info on the beach cleanup, so I thought I’d find out if there is any progress. The last cleanup we did with barrages from fishmen at Cortez. Unfortunately they are no longer in business. Let me know what to relate to Bill.

Joe Wisnowski

Sarasota

 

To: Joe Wisnowski

Thanks for getting in touch with me again about this.

I have copied the City Manager Thomas Barwin on this email and I am sure he can respond to your inquiry about storm debris clean-up after Irma on private properties located on the Bay.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

To: Commissioner Ahern-Koch and Mr. Wisnowski

Our local post Irma debris cleanup contract has been completed.

I am not aware of any other special beach clean ups at this time, with a couple having just be completed in 2017 with our City of Sarasota beaches in pretty good shape, albeit erosion is taking its toll.

I will copy some of our key department directors who may be aware of upcoming beach cleanup plans. If I have misunderstood the question please let us know.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

Unnecessary concrete

To: City Commission

I live on the corner of Alameda Ave. and Caloosa Drive. I am writing to ask you to squelch plans to install sidewalks on Alameda and Caloosa. I know most of my neighbors and no one I’ve spoken to is in favor of this project. I am at a loss to understand why it has even been proposed.

There are much more necessary projects waiting to be funded such as drainage improvements at Sylvan/Caloosa and Gulfstream/US 41. Hasn’t enough concrete been poured over the city? Isn’t percolation an issue? Why has someone arbitrarily decided we need to cover our front yards with concrete? This is a quiet neighborhood, not Main Street. These sidewalks are unwanted and unnecessary. Thank you for your attention.

Charlie Clifton

Sarasota

 

Speed Limits

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

I have a bone to pick with anyone that raise speed limits on our city streets. Our limits are way too fast for the neighborhoods. Even with the limits, drivers are increasingly going faster than the posted limits. We also have a lack of speed enforcement, by Sarasota’s finest.

I would like to suggest that something be done to curtail the the speeds to a manageable speed of not more than 35 m.p.h.

Peter Blue

Sarasota

 

To: Peter Blue

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I agree that we have speeding issues in some of our neighborhoods. I am copying City Manager Tom Barwin on this email so we can update you on City Staff’s latest efforts to deal with this issue.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you want to discuss this further.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Complaint regarding new yard refuse collection requirements

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

It is my understanding that the city workers recently replaced a private contractor for collecting yard refuse. As part of this change, loose palm fronds are no longer collected -they either have to be cut in 4 foot lengths and tied in bundles or somehow stuffed into plastic barrels. As a snowbird coming back to 5 months of overgrown foliage, these new procedures are a time consuming hardship. Also with storage space always an issue, buying and storing five or six 45 gallon plastic barrels is a hassle.

Please see if anything can be done to reverse these cumbersome and seemingly petty new rules.

Bill Buckland

Sarasota

 

To: Bill Buckland

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to follow up on your email and make sure someone from City Staff has responded to your inquiry. I have copied the City Manager on this email as well.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Time Line for Hillview

To: Dan Clermont

I am glad you and your contractor finally, now have your pool permit in hand.    In our email exhanges I noted that I would have a timeline prepared of your pool permit application.   I will be working from this timeline base to look into process improvements.  I wanted to share the timeline with you should you have any additional comments or insights.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

Impact fee app

To: Alexandrea Davis Shaw

All – You can find the final and production impact fee application at

http://srqgis.sarasotagov.com/impactfees

You can use this as a link in your department’s site, or embed it directly into your page so no citizens have to click the link and open a new window (I can help if you want to embed it).

Nick Alexandrou

GIS Coordinator

City of Sarasota

 

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

This link allows folks to find their MMTIF based on the parcel. Nick did a great job putting this together.

Alexandrea Davis Shaw

Sarasota

 

Impact fee app

To: Jan Thornburg, Kate Flexter

As you can see in the attached recently adopted transportation impact fee chart it appears that the CC has already addressed transportation impact fee’s for low income residential properties reducing them to $0 per unit for single family detached, multi-family apartments, and residential condo.

We will reach out to Joe Barnett to explain this and attempt to meet with them to be sure they understand this and or answer any related questions.

I will copy the CC as well and law department in case they also receive any media inquiries.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

Wireless Facilities Applications

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

Good morning. At this time, only Verizon Wireless has shown locations for wireless node installations in the public right-of-way. We are bringing their application to the City Commission for the December 4th meeting. Fibernet is also pursuing registration, but has not shown us any possible locations yet. Mobilitie is registered, but not has applied for a right-of-way permit. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please let me know.

Dan Ohrenstein

Assistant City Engineer

Sarasota Public Works Department

 

Wireless Facilities Applications

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

I would like to see Verizon’s requests today!

Tom Barwin

City Manager, Sarasota

 

Wireless Facilities Applications

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

Good morning. Please see the attachments. The first is a location map where Verizon would like to install wireless nodes. The second is a photo presentation of what their wireless nodes would look like.  They show some existing poles in other municipalities as well as poles with different box coverings photo-shopped into Downtown. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please let me know.

Dan Ohrenstein

Assistant City Engineer

Sarasota Public Works Department

 

Wireless facilities applications

To: City Commission

FYI….Verizon new technology installation proposal.  Over time this is going to become a serious challenge as more companies seek to install these systems in our ROW’s with little to no coordination or co-location requirements.  If we times just this starting Verizon proposal times 2, 3, or 4 when competitors seek to upgrade their technology via installations in our public ROW’s the ROW’s will become cluttered and increasingly unsightly, to say the least, not to mention the inefficient use of public space.

Although we have been restricted by state legislation I am asking staff to explore a pro-active strategy to minimize the pole and technology box pollution in our ROW’s.

Staff may need some legal guidance on this matter but I wanted to get this information to the City Commissioners to share a real, living example of how the loss of local control will begin to negatively influence the quality appearances and potential uses of public ROW in our communities, in case they run into any of our state legislators in their travels over the next few weeks. Thanks. And please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions?

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

Amenities at the Van Wezel

To: City Commission

I just returned from a concert by the Sarasota Orchestra, featuring a 40-minute first half, during which I suffered chronic sciatic nerve pain while sitting, which caused me to move about in a way that was likely disconcerting to neighbors around me. And since it wasn’t a rock concert, standing and jumping around wasn’t an option.

Since the Mahler Symphony to follow intermission was 70 minutes long, it was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it in my seat, without disturbing nearby concertgoers.

I sought out an usher in hopes of finding a TV in a lobby or lounge which would telecast the performance so I could enjoy the Mahler without distracting my neighbors and give me a bit of relief by standing up and walking around.

He pointed out a small (24”?) TV in the lower lobby showing the stage, but it had no sound! That TV, he informed me, was the only one, and that the reason was that the city provided no funds to the Van Wezel for such amenities.

I took a taxi home, leaving my wife to enjoy the Mahler.

Although this problem may be unique to me, it surely isn’t to hordes of older Sarasota concertgoers, not to mention attendees suffering from a persistent cough.  The Van Wezel’s layout doesn’t allow for easy exit during a performance.

Long story short: fund the Van Wezel with a few big screen, hi-def TVs with high quality sound systems in the lobbies and lounges, and earn eternal gratitude from Sarasota residents who may need to enjoy the performances outside the auditorium and those in the seats who currently have to suffer along with them.

Gerald Shaikun

Sarasota

 

Question on sound

To: Van Wezel Executive Director Mary Bensel

Could you read the above email and let me know your thoughts when you get a minute?

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Seems like possibly a great idea if technology can be worked out.  Haven’t really noticed this type of set up in other venues. Thanks for sharing.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

Sarasota

 

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

I am off this morning but frankly nobody has ever asked me for that. I will see if we have ever gotten any requests. Frankly the quality is never very good and given orchestras are not normally miked it may be an issue. I will talk with tech people regarding it and get back to you. Our ushers are volunteers who are told not to address questions they don’t know the answers to and refer them to paid staff but they really are only trying to be helpful. The city doesn’t pay for our capital improvements we do.

Mary Bensel

Executive Director Van Wezel

 

To: Van Wezel Executive Director Mary Bensel

Thanks for looking into this. I personally have seen where this feature was available and it was helpful to the organization. They do this at the Unitarian Church of Sarasota on Fruitville. When people would start to cough or had some issue where they could not sit, they would immediately leave, go out of the church where they could still hear the concert going on inside. This way, if they felt that they could not get their cough under control, they could still enjoy the concert and not disturb the audience. I know the audience appreciated it and the people who had to leave did as well. Just a thought.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

November 30th, 2017 Special City Commission Meeting

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

I want the draft of the code.

Not for discussion, as it relates to procedure.

When I requested the special meeting it was to discuss procedure. That hasn’t changed.  However, when discussion procedure, timing, number of meetings, format, etc., it makes sense that our commission has had an opportunity to review the draft.

Alternatively, the table of contents (in draft form) can be provided to the commission in advance of the Meeting. Thanks in advance.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

To: Mayor Shellie Freeland Eddie

Are you referring to the code itself or the agenda item regarding the process? The agenda item on process will be submitted to the Clerk on Thursday for distribution.

If it is the code, our intent was not to get into the contents of the code at the November 30th special meeting because it will be too much to go through in just two hours. For November 30th meeting, you will have a draft schedule and calendar that will show how we intend to process the code which will include a series of community workshops, Planning Board workshops, City Commission workshops, Planning Board public hearings and City Commission public hearings, all to take place over the course of nine months. As proposed it will be very intensive. But that is why we are meeting with you to review. We can release a current draft of the code to you and the City Commissioners but please be aware that staff from all departments currently are in the process of weekly reviews as we speak and these reviews will not be completed until the end of January. Whatever is released at this time will/may have substantial changes week by week as staff continues its review. I do not want to cause confusion by releasing a document to the City Commission at this time that is subject to weekly changes but if that is what you are requesting I will provide. In the past when we released a document in draft and then provided a final draft, staff has had to go through and redline and strike-through changes so that the updates could be tracked. We really wish we can avoid that this early in the process since it is still in staff’s hands. Please let me know your request.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager

Sarasota

 

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

I am looking forward to receiving the draft of the code in advance of our meeting.

Tom/Marlon/Karin, please confirm that the commission will receive this draft in advance. Preferably one week prior to the special meeting.

Shelli Freeland Eddie

Mayor

Sarasota

 

Nov. 30, 2017 Special City Commission Meeting

To: City Commission

For the upcoming Special City Commission Meeting (Evening) concerning Form-Based Code scheduled to begin on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., please have staff enter agenda items and back-up material in eAgenda for final approval by the close of business on Thursday, November 16th, due to upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation in regards to this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of any assistance or if you have any questions.

Pamela Nadalini

City Auditor and Clerk/Chief Audit Executive

Sarasota

 

Puppy mill

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

Happy Thanksgiving.

Please see the below email… I think this is being addressed at the County level, correct? If you could get back to me when you get a minute and copy Ruthie Filozof, that would be very much appreciated.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Puppy mill

To: City of Sarasota Commission

I came across a Facebook post regarding a Petland store in Sarasota selling puppies- even after a law was passed making it illegal to do so. The post I saw was posted in the last week and contains a video of what appears to be a very sick Dalmatian puppy. I cross-posted the post on the Facebook group Dalmatian Owners of America, and one of the members said they visited the puppy this past Saturday and said that he is sick and scared and they held him for an hour trying to cheer him up to no avail. The same person inquired about him a second time and was told that they couldn’t see the puppy because he is in quarantine due to kennel cough, was seen by a vet and now on medication.

I am not an expert but I know when I am looking at a sick puppy. Some people mistakenly assume the puppy is dreaming but this puppy is shivering/trembling and I’m fearing the worst.

Can someone please investigate this and try to save the puppy’s life? I don’t understand how a store can usurp a judge’s order and continue to sell these sick pups to unsuspecting buyers. I also can’t understand how an innocent puppy must suffer like this for someone’s income.

If I had the means I would travel and bring this puppy back to Las Vegas with me but I don’t so I’m begging you to check on this or have it investigated as soon as possible. An innocent puppy’s life is at stake and doesn’t deserve to be suffering.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ruth Filozof

Sarasota

 

Medical marijuana dispensary needed

To: City of Sarasota Commission

I hope this finds you all ready for a very happy Thanksgiving!  We all have so much to be grateful for and on my list this year I am truly grateful for each of you and the work you do for our city.

I’m writing to see where we stand on proceeding with allowing a dispensary in the city. What are next steps? Where are we in the process and when will the next meeting be held to proceed? Thank you all and happy Thanksgiving!

Cathy Bryant

Sarasota

 

To: Cathy Bryant

Thanks for reaching out about this, I have copied Mr. Fournier on this email and he will be able to give us an update on staff’s progress and timeline.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner, Sarasota

 

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the subject on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The Planning Board will make a recommendation to the City Commission.

The City Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to allow dispensaries in the City on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.  If the ordinance is approved at this public hearing, it has to be voted on a second time at a second meeting, which will occur on Monday February 5, 2018.  If the ordinance is approved on “second reading” on February 5th, it will then go into effect.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

Sarasota

 

To: Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Thank you very much for this timeline. Might you please provide time and location for these planned meetings.

Cathy Bryant

Sarasota




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