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Editorial Letters – Week ending May 24, 2019

Longboat Key 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 Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Requesting a town response

To: Town Commission

I am aware that my letter of May 14 (see letter below) was received by you and published in the Longboat Key News. I have yet to have any communication from the city. I would appreciate some response or notice that there is an investigation of my issue.

I also realized that I hadn’t attached the photos of the evening sky with and without the lights. I am attaching those photos so you can visualize the issue. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Warren Melamed

Longboat Key

 

Too many lights

To: Town Commission

Since 2013 we have enjoyed 6 years of winter vacationing on Longboat Key. We routinely stayed in a beachfront rental at Beachplace. We enjoyed the solitude of the evening, the moon and star gazing. We decided to purchase a residence.

I became a property owner, purchasing a condominium residence at the Sanctuary in August of 2018. When we came down for the season, to my dismay, I discovered that the property directly north of the Sanctuary, the Longboat Key Towers, had installed a series of six, 20 ft tall, pole mounted, very bright mercury lights, along the property line, where the beach and the vegetative dune meet. The lights are apparently on a cell which makes them come on as it gets dark and stay on all night until it is light. They are currently turned off due to turtle season since May 1. Four lights surround the pool area and 100 yds, north and south from the pool, there are pole lights on the very north and southern corner of the property where the dune meets the beach. This light shines onto the Sanctuary property.

The lights are extremely bright and when they are on. The view of the sky or stars are significantly diminished because they light up the whole beach. They have severely diminished the value of our nighttime view, which is one of my favorite things and part of the reason I purchased this beachfront property. I have walked the beach and viewed all developments starting north at Islands West south to the Longboat Key Club and there is no other community which has lights that are similar to the very intrusive mercury lights at the Longboat Key Towers.

I contacted the Longboat Key Towers community and was told that these are “pool lights”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The southern and northern most lights are 150 ft from the pool and do nothing to light up that area. Furthermore, there is no need for the incredibly bright mercury lights to be used for purposes of pool safety. There is also no reason for the lights to be on from dusk to dawn. I am certain that the pool is not open for use all night. I have no idea why this community was permitted to install these lights since they adversely effect myself and other property owners. I literally must draw down the curtains at night to keep from having the light from the mercury lamps shine into my condominium. It is only since May 1, that I have been able to properly enjoy the view from my balcony, which was one of the reasons I purchased this residence, and not have the light from these lamps shine into my residence.

I have spoken to Chris Elbon of the Codes Enforcement. He informed me that there was nothing he could do. That the codes didn’t encompass light pollution caused by these excessive lights. I would like to ask the Commissioners of Longboat Key, to help me find a solution to this problem. I am requesting that the codes enforcement division investigate these lights and have them permanently turned off, relocated, or significantly diminished, since their design is diminishing the value of my Longboat Key experience and value of my property.

Warren Melamed

Longboat Key

 

Pickleball discussion follow-up

To: Town Commission

Below and attached is additional information on “Pickleball” provided by the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.

At the May 20th TDC meeting, the topic of Pickleball was discussed with some questions specifically surrounding the existing inventory of and access to Pickleball Courts within Sarasota County. In order to help provide some background, Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) staff have provided the attached documents. The first attachment depicts the existing Pickleball Courts and their respective Park locations. The second attachment are two flyers with additional pickleball information.

PRNR began offering pickleball courts and programs starting in 2011. Sarasota County currently offers three different types of courts: indoor, dedicated outdoor and shared outdoor (with one or two pickleball courts per tennis court). As of February 2019, there were 77 pickleball courts throughout the County, including 54 outdoor courts (12 dedicated) and 23 indoor courts. PRNR currently offers indoor sessions for drop-in play for all levels at seven recreation centers, supports four leagues and conducts clinics and camps. PRNR also hosts eight smaller tournaments per year at the Englewood Sports Complex (ESC); participation is usually between 200-300 participants for those events.

The Parks, Preserves and Recreation Strategic Master Plan has identified pickleball as an emerging trend and highlighted the need for additional courts, and as a result a gap analysis was conducted to identify opportunities for additional outdoor dedicated Pickleball Courts. PRNR is planning several additional proposed capital improvement projects to address the pickleball court demands throughout Sarasota County. Staff evaluated numerous parks, seeking opportunities for additional dedicated pickleball courts. In the north county, Longwood Park has an approved capital improvement project and is scheduled for construction of six dedicated pickleball courts in early 2020. Based upon staff analysis, additional proposed projects include courts at ESC, Bypass Park, Nokomis Community Park, and the Pompano Avenue Park/Trailhead (former DMV site), for a total of 41 additional dedicated pickleball courts.

Should you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Damschroder with PRNR. Her contact information is edamschr@scgov.net or 941-650-3045.

Anna Madden

Office of Financial Management

Sarasota County

 

Pickleball piggyback

To: Town Manager Tom Harmer

I wonder if we can piggyback on this Sarasota County enthusiasm for pickleball to get some financial help with our Tennis Center courts, or maybe some additional courts at Bayfront Park?

Ken Schneier

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Opposed to Broadway Street ‘Vacation’

To: Town Commission, Town Manager Tom Harmer, Town Planning and Zoning Director Alan Parsons

We are in receipt of a letter from Icard Merrill, Attorneys & Counselors, regarding a proposed vacation of a portion of Broadway Street, 800 Broadway. We object to the proposed vacation for the following reasons:

1) It is not clear exactly what the vacation will be for.  The letter states: “to install and maintain the improved landscaping buffer and to accommodate more parking and valet services within the Subject Property and hereby reduce the historical impacts of parking from the restaurant on the residential neighborhood to the north.”    

a. However, the drawings do not show the proposed landscaping nor the parking.

b. There is no mention of how many more parking spaces might be provided on the vacated easement vs. how many are on the existing plan.  Is it to be diagonal parking, how many cars, and what is this landscaping?  Is the sidewalk gone, or is it still there?  We would need to see a drawing with the building, parking, landscaping and our questions answered before we can consider this.

2) We have no desire to have additional public parking on the street.

3) If the restaurant already has more spaces than required, why do they need more?   Are the current requirements inadequate?

Further, we want to ensure that if additional spaces are to be provided and approved, that this does not allow more seating in the restaurant, bar, or other areas of the building, now or in the future.  A line needs to be drawn.  One that future Commissions cannot overturn.  Also, in the future employee parking should be part of the parking formula. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Brian and Karen Feeney

Longboat Key

 

Shore ‘Vacation’

To: Karen Feeney

My concerns are beyond ‘the building’. ‘Other uses of the property’ as a whole need to be considered for the benefit of the whole neighborhood known as ‘the Village’. Please consider the consequences of over-use and over parking in this old neighborhood.

Carla Rowan

Longboat Key

 

Light pole height and antenna

To: Town Commission

I would like to add a perspective to the LBK Undergrounding Power and 5G Cellular Internet Public/Private initiative.

5G is the evolution of today’s 4G LTE cellular into tomorrow’s truly modern digital network.  Broadly speaking 5G encompasses the Internet of Things (IoT), smart homes, smart cities, smart cars, telemedicine & health.

This is being aggressively pursued by all telecommunication companies nationally and worldwide.  Any city or area that does not evolve their digital network to 5G will be left behind socially and economically.  It will directly affect the value of real estate, business competitiveness and quality of life issues. We cannot be left behind the modern digital world.  The decision should be made in the best interest of all citizens not a vocal few.  5G is being introduced into dense urban markets or cities first because of large startup costs.  LBK is not a dense urban market.  If we can reduce that infrastructure cost with a private/public partnership, we can be on the cutting edge with the significant market advantage it provides.  The city is pursuing this objective.

The upcoming decision regarding the lighting pole/5G antenna height should be based on technical requirements.  Of course neighborhood aesthetics, size of poles and lighting issues are important and must be considered as rightly pointed out by citizens.  Various manufacturers recognize this and a number of choices meet those objectives.  However, height is an issue to be decided on technical merit and cost.  If a minimum height of 30-35 feet is not chosen it will add approximately 25 percent or more poles and reduce technical efficiency and add costs.  Who wants a pole forest?  This decision is critical to the future of LBK local residents and particularly regarding the large seasonal visitors each year as noted below.  The height decision should be made in the best interest of all citizens not a vocal few. A maximum height of 35 feet should be chosen!  This reduces the number of poles, reduces cost and substantially contributes to technical efficiency.  Introducing cutting edge technology will increase property values and quality of life.  If a poor infrastructure is built our cellular, Wi-Fi, internet and fiber cable services will be worse than they are today.  The Internet of Things (IoT) and demand for media services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and movies will overwhelm the network.  This is happening today and getting progressively worse.

Today LBK experiences cellular dead zones and poor Internet/Wi-Fi service.  Recently I had visitors that communicate with their businesses and friends via computer and smart phones.  They experienced considerable difficulty communicating and thought LBK was experiencing an “outage” and wondered when the repairs would be completed.  I explained that this was normal and they were shocked.  They ended up visiting Sarasota each day to conduct business.  Local residents and seasonal visitors deal with this poor service every day and it reflects negatively on LBK.  There have been numerous public news articles regarding this issue.

The “season” is composed of non-resident house/condo owners, high-end resort clients, and tourists.  All have one thing in common; they are part of a mobile society that uses their mobile phones, tablets and computers to access their businesses, homes, social networks, and entertainment.  Real estate and resort businesses and fulltime/seasonal  owners should be concerned that other regional competitors in the marketplace would have 5G modern digital services that increase their market and real estate values and diminishes ours making us non-competitive.  I am surprised that the Chamber of Commerce and big real estate agencies are not aggressively participating in the 5G discussion to protect future real estate and business values.  It will be hard to present LBK as a high-end destination spot with poor information services.

For example, IoT home and business automation, voice controlled Google Home and Amazon Alexa can control virtually every aspect of your home by voice or remote computer/smart phone access.  The lights, thermostats, cameras, locks, appliances can be controlled and notify you of any troubles.  Local and seasonal home/condo owner can monitor their property by cameras and change any of these items.  Today your new refrigerator will notify you that you are out of milk, your air conditioner can be called to cool down the house or business before you arrive; start the dishwasher, the washing machine, the coffee pot, and the list is endless.  One square mile of IoT communications will number in the millions a day. Added to this is the smart TV’s, the movies, You Tube, Netflix, Hulu and the demand for service is huge.  This does not count the cellular phones or internet use.  The need for 5G is clear and unequivocal.

I attended the recent excellent LBK Civic Academy.  The City manager and the Commission have recognized the need for an expanded Information Technology department for efficiency in government and implementing smart city concepts.  It is an impressive forward looking program and will prepare the city for the 5G explosion of services.  LBK citizens are already reaping the benefits of smart government in terms of improved service and cost reduction.

I am still reading the numerous documents the city provides to citizens regarding implementation of the 5G program and have no opinion of the local program yet.   My past involved, among other positions, being a Director of Products (digital) for a large telecommunications company and I understand that world.  Being on the cutting edge of technology involves trial and error, sometimes additional cost and changes that are often uncomfortable.  The 5G revolution is an upcoming staggering change to society and a leap into a modern digital world.  It is taking place nationally and worldwide.  No community can afford to be left behind. We cannot be luddites!

Sadler L. James

Longboat Key

 

Light pole height and antenna

To: Ed Krepela

Please find a series of two e-mails with pictures attached. It is a working example of the equipment shown at the workshop and painted black. I will leave it to Public Works, Mr. Linkogle and the vendors to identify the components. The top antenna may or may not be representative of the units on GMD, but will be used somewhere in the system. Eight pictures, four each e-mail. I do not have the Director of Public Works e-mail readily available and sent these e-mails anyhow.

Sadler L. James

Longboat Key

 

Light pole height and antenna

To: Sadler James

Sadler, you’ve been doing your homework my man. This first grouping is the Verizon 4G LTE installation better viewed at some distance as that one shot you have. Naturally the lollypop at top is the antenna radome with internal PC slotted arrays not unlike their 4G antennas displaced at 120 degrees.

Note they’re not very high because their line-of-sight designed for downtown configurations. From not that far away their pretty benign looking in black blending in quite well with the surroundings.

Ed Krepela

Longboat Key

 

Keep Payne Park Tennis Center

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

Several months ago you were tasked to collaborate with the Sarasota Orchestra to find a location in Sarasota for their new home. Months passed with no information until just before the plan for Payne Park was unveiled to the public. After much consideration I have grave concerns regarding your support of this site.

Payne Park was essentially gifted to the City of Sarasota in 1923 for the enjoyment of everyone as a public park. It’s taken a while, but he intent has largely been realized with improvements to the park over time by prior City Commissions. Payne Park’s importance and accessibility will only increase with the future connection to the coming Legacy Trail.

The Sarasota Orchestra has been vital to the fabric of our arts community since 1946. Since then, they have provided world class arts entertainment and youth musical education benefiting our entire community. The Sarasota Orchestra significantly contributes to the reputation Sarasota has built over decades as an arts and cultural hub.

Mr. Barwin, the choice between losing a significant portion of Payne Park or the Sarasota Orchestra is not a choice at all. We should not be putting supporters of both the arts and public park, as I am, in conflict. Please provide a list of the other options for consideration in advanced of the May 20 meeting for discussion as I cannot support your current vision.

Hagen Brody

Commissioner

Sarasota

 

Arlington Park needs police presence

To: Sarasota City Commission

I am writing this because I have experienced a very disturbing event in Arlington park where I walk my dog as a single woman every morning and every afternoon for the last 9 yrs. I have seen more homeless men migrating into the park- sleeping on the park benches and now masturbating on the paths walked by many.

This perpetrator not only positioned himself in the path as I was walking but when I turned around and began walking in another direction and found a friend to walk with he repositioned himself on the other side of the lake- for both of us to witness him again. I can call the police- but I wanted you to be aware of this as well.

I found this to be so disturbing and offensive- and realize now that this is an act of violence. I think about all the children and elderly that I see walking daily and know that they too may be exposed to this type of abnormal behavior.

I am going to invest in a personal alarm system and speak with police about other ways to manage my safety in this beautiful park.

I believe if police were assigned to walk through daily in the a.m. and p.m. – the visibility would be a strong deterrent.

I want to feel safe in this wonderful park that I consider a blessing to have as it offers me serenity and my dog some needed exercise. However, after this specific incident I will be much more nervous and anxious when walking.

Jessica

Sarasota

 

Arlington Park needs police presence

To: Jessica

I have copied the city managers, police chief, and deputy police chief with this response in order for the appropriate individual to respond to you and to make them aware of your concern.

Liz Alpert

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

To: Sarasota City Commission

Commissioner Freeland Eddie has asked for an update on Sarasota Orchestra’s current programming.  It appears the best source for this information is the Sarasota Orchestra web site, the link to which can be clicked on below. Concerts, Education and Festival located at the top of the toolbar, and at the view by series at the bottom provide the best over views.

Commissioner Freedland Eddie has also asked that I confirm what has been spent improving Payne Park following the closure of the trailer park after the 800 trailers were gone.   The Finance office has recorded $8,944,934 as being spent post trailer park closure, with the work having been completed by 2007. Much of that investment appears to have been spent in the trailer park area of the current park, beyond much of the former baseball field area where the tennis courts had I believe been previously relocated to from the Bayfront. I am working on double-checking this.   

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or informational needs. To inform the foundation for Monday’s agenda item regarding the Orchestra, in a separate email, I will also be forwarding the transcripts from the February 26th meeting. Thank you and best wishes for a great weekend.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Payne Park Master Plan

To: Sarasota City Commission

I have been asked by Commissioner Freeland-Eddie to provide a link to the Payne Park Master Plan which can be accessed via the attached document.

Commissioner Freeland – Eddie has also asked me how much is being budgeted to improve the current tennis courts at Payne Park. According to Director Fogel $38,000 is planned to be invested this year to upgrade six courts, and $38,000 is planned for next year to upgrade the remaining 6 courts.

Once all 12 courts are refreshed with new material and laser leveled, the Parks Department believes each court will be in good playing shape for up to four years. The Parks Department is building future budgets to refresh and re-level three courts per year as we move forward, hence each court will be refreshed at least every 4th year. We believe this is a more pro-active maintenance/upgrade plan than the facility enjoyed under county parks management.

Commissioner Brodie has also asked me for a list of other options for relocating the Sarasota Orchestra within the city upon their vacating the Bayfront parcel currently leased to them by the city. Based upon our request that the Orchestra remain in the City and the Orchestra’s sincere desire to do so, and our mutual affection, I believe the Orchestra has looked into every private, public and NFP parcel in the city. In doing so they have looked seriously into every parcel that appears to have the footprint size and other critical requirements they deem as essential to conducting their future operations/performances in the City of Sarasota over the next 100 years.

The Orchestra has a facilities and consulting team who conducted their site selection analysis and my impression is they have undertaken a deep analysis of every option. I have made Joe McKenna aware of Commissioner Brodie’s request and at this point believe protocol and practicality dictates that Mr. Mckenna speak for his organization and their future needs, opportunities, challenges and specifically site criteria. In terms of my working with the Orchestra related to possible relocation site options from one city site to another, staff has been open minded and has taken nothing off the table, as I believe that would have exceeded our authority. However, as of this writing I believe the Orchestra believes Payne Park is the best option, perhaps only currently viable option within the city, for a myriad of reasons and synergies, which they are best quipped to discuss, many of which I would echo. In taking the long view for generations to come, the Orchestra’s vision is a strong and compelling one, which also includes the potential and willingness to modernize, expand and improve tennis facilities at Payne Park.

Of course for any new facility to become a reality, my information is that perhaps $100 million dollars or more will have to be raised by the Orchestra to be invested in their future facility. To effectively gain traction and begin the campaign on that effort we are told a site must be secured, which is certainly logical. In terms of ultimately relocating from one city owned/controlled site to another, a new or revised lease and a site plan would also have to be considered and approved through regular city processes for any new facility to come into fruition.

In my view many of the emails we have received on this matter reflect a rush to judgment without a fuller more balanced, comprehensive discussion and a give and take having taken place, which is really and unfortunately a sign of the times.

To clarify, final decisions are not being sought on Monday. Monday’s agenda item was scheduled to follow up the Orchestra’s 2/26 meeting with the City Commission. At that session City Attorney Fournier noted he would research the legality of the possible Orchestra relocation to Payne Park in light of deed restrictive language, and report back to the City Commission, which he has done and is now prepared to present on Monday evening.

At the meeting on 2/26, Mr. McKenna was also asked to continue his outreach and research. Mr. McKenna has done so, and is also prepared to report back on that effort on Monday evening. Staff is also prepared to share some relevant context and updates since the 2/26 meeting if asked to do so.

The discussion on Monday is whether to keep exploring the potential for the Orchestra’s relocation to Payne Park, within the community and next steps. As a stellar member and cultural pillar in the city over many decades the relationship dictates a fair if not enthusiastic hearing on this important strategic and visionary matter. The Orchestra believes Payne Park represents a special and potentially spectacular option. As staff, we have remained open and supportive of exploring Payne Park for its enormous potential for further quality of life, recreational, economic and overall value to the entire community on multiple fronts, while remaining open to any other viable options which the Orchestra deems possible and/or which may be suggested or formulated by the City Commission. Thank you for your consideration.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Support the Orchestra in Payne Park

To: Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Let me begin by saying thank you for all the time, energy and talent that you give so selflessly for the betterment of Sarasota. Without your leadership on the City Commission we would not be the great community that we are today.

I strongly encourage you and all of the commissioners to support the plan to bring Sarasota Orchestra to a new home in Payne Park. Each week, you are faced with decisions that impact the growth and development of Sarasota at some relative level. The decision that you will make regarding a permanent home for the Sarasota Orchestra in Payne Park will be one that will impact the future of Sarasota for generations to come. We live in the “Cultural Capitol” of Florida today because of decisions that were made by leadership 50 to 100 years ago concerning the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Ringling Museum, Florida Studio Theatre and many others. These were big decisions that were also tough to make at the time. They took courage and an understanding of the bigger picture to make then as they do now. Fortunately, the government’s leadership in those decisions was was supported by the will of the people of the community just like it is today.

I was involved on the board of the Sarasota YMCA when we made the decision to eliminate the tennis courts at the Euclid Avenue Branch of the Y to make room for a new facility to better serve the entire community. There was a great deal of concern from the tennis community at that time. (Since I am a tennis player, one of them was me). Looking back,  everyone now agrees that it was the right decision to make for the future of the YMCA and the community. In the case of Payne Park, not only would we not be eliminating the tennis program, we would be getting a newer and better set up for the tennis community under the Orchestra’s plan.

As one who, like you, is heavily involved with the community, I am convinced that the support of the vast majority of the people in the community will be behind your support of the Orchestra’s plan. It will lead to a much more comprehensive use of public resources; it will breath much needed life into the eastern section of the downtown; and it will be a definitive statement that Sarasota is committed to building on it’s reputation as the “Cultural Capital” of Florida. I urge you to support the Sarasota Orchestra’s plan to make their new home in Payne Park.

Jim Shirley

Executive Director

Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

 

Alternative Route for the West Side Pathway

To: Sarasota City Commission

Please see the e-mail information below. At the request of Vice-Mayor Ahearn Koch, we were asked about scheduling a meeting to discuss an alternative pathway through the Sarasota Art Museum property rather than the widen sidewalk along US 41. Before scheduling any meeting, I requested that the School Board reach out to Ringling College (since it is both their property) to see if Ringling was willing to entertain. They are not willing based on their response below. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager

Sarasota

 

Alternative Route for the West Side Pathway

To: Ringling College Viron Lynch

On Monday, the City Commission voted 4-1 to move the School Avenue ROW Vacation application forward.  Before the application can go to second hearing a number of issues need to be addressed including finalization of the west side bike-ped path parameters.  In particular, the community has asked that the pathway be routed either through the center courtyard of the museum or along the front—not along 41.  We explained such a proposed route would have to be approved by Ringling College as this area is covered by a long-term lease.

As such, the City has asked us to inquire whether such an alternative route would be possible.  Please let us know your response.

Thanks for your support of our effort to develop this west side pathway.  We look forward to continuing our efforts to partner with you on this project.

Kathie Ebaugh

Planning Director

Sarasota

 

Alternative for West Side Pathway

To: Sarasota County Schools Kathie Ebaugh

As we have discussed, Ringling College is willing to work with Sarasota County Schools to provide a west side bike-ped path. We have evaluated the various scenarios to provide the bike-ped path and have found the following challenges and solution:

The two buildings (41 &42) have been joined at the north end with connector building (see attached drawing). Therefore the building is now in the shape of a ‘U’. This will not allow for a continuous path through the center of the facility.

The property is fully fenced. This is an academic facility with classes and other private events routinely conducted. The building and grounds are also part of the Sarasota Art Museum and will be used to display art both inside and out. Pedestrian-bike traffic along the front of the facility will be blocked by the fencing and would present a security and safety concern for Ringling College.

For the reasons mentioned above Ringling College, in discussions with the Sarasota County School Board is will to support the pedestrian-bike path is along 41 (Tamiami Trail) to Browning Street. The fence line has been moved to accommodate an 8-foot side sidewalk along 41 to support the pedestrian-bike path.

I understand there may be a request for a meeting to discuss the path, however, I do not believe that the Ringling College will alter its preferred path from the description noted above.

Viron Lynch

Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management

Ringling College of Art and Design

 

Alternative for the West Side Pathway

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

We would like a meeting please as requested with all parties in the room, including Mike Lasche and representatives from Alta Vista. Thank you.

Mary Anne Bowie

Sarasota

 

Alternative for the West Side Pathway

To: Mary Anne Bowie

I apologize but I am not willing to schedule a meeting unless either directed by the City Commission or both the School Board and Ringling are interested in having the meeting. There is a second reading of the City Commission’s approval and at that meeting you do have the opportunity to share any further thoughts about the issue. If you have any specific questions please share with the School Board or Ringling. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

Deputy City Manager, Sarasota

 

Alternative for the West Side Pathway

To: Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

Why is there fear around having a meeting?

I believe that Commissioner Jen Ahearn Koch requested an internal meeting to discuss my request to have a meeting with the Museum, the School Board, the Circus and the City, Arlington Park Neighborhood and Alta Vista Neighborhoods.

Community meetings are a healthy part of the planning process.

We did this in June of 2018 and came up with a solution through the alley.  Then the plans changed and no one met again.

If we all get together, maybe we can resolve this issue before it continues to spiral downhill.

How can you come up with an interlocal agreement on $3 million implementation of a route that doesn’t even make sense. If we all meet on site — at the Circus and we walk the actual proposed route. Than we can go forward. Because now, confusion reigns.

Please City Commissioners, direct Mr. Marlon Brown to direct Steve Cover to meet with community on this.

Mary Anne Bowie

Sarasota

 

GWIZ request by the Vice Mayor

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

The Vice Mayor stopped me tonight before the CIP workshop and asked me to produce the historical write up that is required prior to demolition of a Florida Master Site File building.  I believe she is referring to the report that Dr. Cliff created and testified to, and she also wanted all of the pictures that were taken to accompany the report.  So if Dr. Cliff could produce that for her I would appreciate it.

She then asked me what happened to the plaques, the furniture, and the architectural features that were supposed to be saved.  I told her I was not sure what she was referencing as I was responsible for issuing the permit, but not documenting anything inside of the building or saving specific item.  So Rob, would you know what she might be referring to, or what happened to any of these items?  Marlon, do you have any thoughts on this or how to handle a response?

Timothy Litchet

Director Development Services

City of Sarasota

 

GWIZ request by the Vice Mayor

To: Sarasota City Commission

We removed a bronze plaque from the front of GWIZ and all of the glass and porcelain naming tiles (about 100) from inside the building and gave them to the Bay Park Conservancy for safe-keeping. In addition this week as part of the demolition process the contractor removed all the naming bricks from the paver walk way outside GWIZ (about 150) palletized them and delivered them to Public Works where they are being stored until needed. These items can be used by the Bay Park Conservancy at a later date within the park plan to memorialize GWIZ.

Rob Schanley

Facilities/Asset Manager

City of Sarasota

 

GWIZ request by the Vice Mayor

To: City Manager Tom Barwin

Good morning-agree with all that Rob said. In addition, our Sasaki team is working on a few elements of the phase 1 Park design that are inspired by the original Selby Library design. We will have more to show on that in the next few months.

Bill Waddill

Bay Park Conservancy

 

Requested Documents

To: Sarasota City Commission

Attached is the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Operations and Management Report review of SPD operations, which was received by my office today.

Although I have yet to review it, I am forwarding today’s report, along with an earlier working draft of the report. The working draft was sent back to the IACP to correct basic, unacceptable informational mistakes, including basic city demographics. The IACP attributed those mistakes to IACP staffing changes and staffing/management transitions which were occurring in IACP offices and operations throughout the initial phases of the review.

I am forwarding the report and earlier draft as we will be releasing both the draft and the report in response to public records requests.   

We have not yet slated any presentations related to the staffing review and city management staff has yet to go through the information with SPD and/or the IACP team.  I did want to get the report to you upon its receipt, so you have ample time to review it as your busy schedule permits, and certainly prior to SPD budget meetings and or any other discussion related to the report emanating from individual commentaries resulted from or reacting to the public records requests.

As you may recall the impetus to have the report prepared was the President’s Commission on 21st Century Policing, and the tenant stressing officer health and safety and public safety. In addition, modern policing and new technology requires and modernized contracts now allow SPD management to be more nimble and flexible in staffing alternatives to better fight crime trends and patterns in real time. The reports goal is to aid SPD and the city with future decision making related to staffing as we strive to marry intelligence led policing with trust building, community based/partnership policing.  While outside third party reports serve a valuable function from time to time, local circumstances, nuances, fiscal realities, challenges and opportunities, are best known by local policy makers in collaboration with SPD leadership on the street and on the beat 24/7/365.  I retain the highest level of confidence in our SPD leadership and members, and how they are evolving into the future, which I would summarize as carefully and with well-earned confidence.   

Although crime has gone down by approximately 30 percent over the past six years, we are always striving to do better. In my experience effective crime fighting requires both an exceptional police department, positive police community relationships and a balanced community with opportunity for all, especially our youth, as ample opportunity for positive engagement and community involvement reduces the need, temptation or desire to turn to crime. Thank you for your consideration and attention to this matter.   

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

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