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Editorial Letters – Week ending September 11, 2020

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 Longboat Key Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues as well as Sarasota City Hall that address Sarasota issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Mask report

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

Reading the Letters to the Editor in the 9-4-20 Longboat Key News, I gathered that Sarasota’s mayor received a very useful mask report from Dr. Manuel Gordillo of Sarasota Memorial Hospital and that you may have a copy. Can you please tell me how to obtain a copy? Thank you.

Rise’ Loshaek

Longboat Key

 

Important New publication re: masks

To: Rise’ Loshaek

Per your request to Commissioner Bishop, please see below:

Trish Shinkle

Town Clerk

Longboat Key

 

Important New publication re: masks

To: Sarasota City Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Hi Mayor, hope all is well. This is a new, well written addition to the literature supporting mask use during this pandemic. Some of the information reviewed is not easy to find. Thanks for all you do.

M Gordillo, M. D.

Sarasota

 

Important New publication re: masks

To: Longboat Key Town Clerk Trish Shinkle

Thank you for the speedy service.   

Rise’ Loshaek

Longboat Key

 

Lightning Rod Protection text amendment

To: Longboat Key Commission

Commissioners,  FYI. See note below from Allen regarding comments that the staff received regarding the privately initiated Lightning Rod Protection text amendment. The PZB staff will be prepared to discuss and answer any questions the Commission may have at the Hearing.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

  

UL certification versus NRTL certification

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Tom- Ahead of the Commission’s 2nd Reading consideration of Ord. 2020-05 (Lightning Protection Systems, Zoning Code Height Exception item), I wanted to take the opportunity to address some of the assertions that have been raised in Ms. Cook’s correspondence below.

In addressing these concerns, it should be noted that the points raised are highly technical &, as I’ve come to learn with this subject in general, easy to be confused by.  It’s important for the public to know that the draft ordinance deals with the potential to allow for an additional limited exception to Zoning Code heights. It provides an allowance for a very specifically limited type of roof-top device, a “lightning protection system” to potentially exceed a zoning district’s height.

To be clear to a reader what a lightning protection system is, the ordinance includes reference to devices that fall under a category of lightning protection components category from the range of organizations that are recognized for reviewing product safety. This is so items are not allowed to exceed a zoning district’s height limitations that are not lightning protection systems, such as a weather vane or a sculptural artistic element.   The ordinance would allow for a variety of lightning protection system types that are made by a variety of manufacturers. The ordinance does not include any particular manufacturer’s standards, which are addressed via building permitting & the Florida Building Code.

I’ve restated Ms. Cook’s points from the original emails below and have a provided a response (R) below to each.

“I have previously submitted documentation of the difference between workplace standards (OSHA) and US residential standards (NFPA).”

R: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes & standards address lightning protection systems for residential structures of 3 or more units & non-residential structures. NFPA does not address single-family homes.  NFPA generally addresses how lightning protection systems are installed.

And while OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does have an overall mission to “ensure safe and healthful working conditions,” OSHA also has a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program. This Program “recognizes private sector organizations to perform certification for certain products to ensure that they meet the requirements of both the construction and general industry OSHA electrical standards. Each NRTL has a scope of test standards that they are recognized for, and each NRTL uses its own unique registered certification mark(s) to designate product conformance to the applicable product safety test standards. After certifying a product, the NRTL authorizes the manufacturer to apply a registered certification mark to the product. If the certification is done under the NRTL program, this mark signifies that the NRTL tested and certified the product, and that the product complies with the requirements of one or more appropriate product safety test standards.”

There are 19 NRTL’s recognized by OSHA, including Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), which was also referenced in Ms. Cook’s correspondence below.

“I was shocked to read that neither NFPA 780 or UL 96 were used as safety standards.”

R: The draft Ordinance does not specifically address either of those references as NFPA standards do not address single-family homes.  And UL 96 is a standard for installation of lightning protection systems. UL is one of several Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (i.e. not the only potential testing laboratory where such products may be tested for product safety).

“The ordinance needs to include the standards for the US, not Canada, and that apply to residential property not to safety in the workplace.”

R: The draft ordinance, if approved, would allow for a limited height exception for “lightning protection systems.” The inclusion of language indicating that such systems be listed and labeled by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory was intended to be inclusive of multiple types and manufacturers of lightning protection systems, and was further intended to add clarity to the types of devices that would be allowed to exceed zoning code height limitations (e.g. one could not install a decorative weather vane, that exceeded a given height limitation, and call it a lightning protection system, if it was not manufactured for such purpose). NRTL’s certify products that have been evaluated for safety in America, including for use on single-family homes.

“What is troubling in the ordinance wording, in addition to the use of NRTL instead of NFPA, is “UL listed and labelled components”.   The applicable standards are: UL certified (as versus “Listed”) and the UL96 installation guide.  I have sent this information to both PZB and the commission.  It is very frustrating to know that the town hasn’t understood the standards that apply…neither at the beginning nor the end of the amendment process.  And the whole issue is supposedly about residential safety.”

R: The draft ordinance does not contain reference to “UL listed and labelled components.” The ordinance is intended to provide a height exception for lightning protection systems. Standards for lightning protection systems manufacturing & installation are not, & really should not be, addressed in the Town’s Zoning Code. Installation of lightning protection systems are required to be reviewed via building permitting and such systems would be required to be compliance with the Florida Building Code.

“The national fire protection associations guidelines for fire protection.  And, if you want to talk about lab standards…that’s what “components” are tested to.  The Installation Guide is how to make sure those three components work together in the field.  It is performed after the system is installed to make sure it protects that specific structure.  That’s why both those criteria are demanded in the FL Building Code for hospitals, schools and nursing homes.  It would be better to put no criteria in that to put inappropriate ones in.”

The draft ordinance does not include manufacturer’s standards or installation requirements. It is intended to provide a height exception for lightning protection systems. Standards for lightning protection systems manufacturing & installation are not, & really should not be, addressed in the Town’s Zoning Code. Installation of lightning protection systems are required to be reviewed via building permitting and such systems would be required to be compliance with the Florida Building Code.

The suggestion to remove the reference to lightning protection systems as being recognized by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory is an option. Staff would point out that the Zoning Code doesn’t have a definition of lightning protection systems. Absent a way to define what could be considered a lightning protection system, there could potentially be attempts to install systems or devices that would meet the dimensional standards of the allowable height exception, that are not traditional lightning protection systems (for example, a weather vane or other artistic sculptural feature). I have reached out to Ms. Cook to go over these concerns. Please let me know if I can add any further clarifications.

Allen Parsons, AICP

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

  

UL certification versus  NRTL certification

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

I just read the draft of Ordinance 2020-05 for the Sept 14th meeting.  I was shocked to read that neither NFPA 780 or UL 96 were used as safety standards.  I would urge you to reread Dr. Vladmir Rakov’s explanation of standards.

Also, I have previously submitted documentation of the difference between workplace standards (OSHA) and US residential standards (NFPA).  Here is a simple statement from a professional website (https://certification-experts.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-nrtls/) that may clarify the difference for you.

According to which standards do NRTLs carry out testing?

Electrical products intended for sale in the United States must comply with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. Products that will be placed onto the Canadian market must comply with standards outlined by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA). Please note that both UL and CSA standards differ from both the European Union’s CE marking and international CB certification scheme. These marks are not sufficient for selling electrical products in North America. They must bear the mark of an NRTL recognised to test and certify these standards.

The ordinance needs to include the standards for the US, not Canada, and that apply to residential property not to safety in the workplace.  Please, for safety’s sake, do not use testing and labeling by a NRTL as the sole criterion.

Lynn Cook

 

UL certification versus  NRTL certification

To: Lynn Cook

I am not an expert on testing standards, but it seems even from your note that NRTL standards in the US would include Underwriters Lab standards; including standards for lightning protection systems within the zoning code and requiring building approvals is a major improvement from where we were.  In any event, this issue was not discussed at our July hearing and the language remains unchanged from the staff’s original draft.  Only the height question was debated and it seems the staff has incorporated all Commission recommendations in the version placed on the September 14 agenda.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

UL certification versus NRTL certification

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thanks for getting back to me, you will remember that  this application was put forward by the applicant.  He chose the criteria that is appropriate from a workplace perspective rather than a consumer on purpose.  We discussed safety standards at length and Dr. Ravok clarified the applicable ones in regard to lightning. What is troubling in the ordinance wording, in addition to the use of NRTL instead of NFPA, is “UL listed and labelled  components”.  The applicable standards are: UL  certified (as versus “Listed”) and the UL96  installation guide. I have sent this information to both PZB and the commission.  It is very frustrating to know that the town hasn’t understood the standards that apply…neither at the beginning nor the end of the amendment process.  And the whole issue is supposedly about residential safety.   

I would like to have you ask Alan Parsons to call me. I have emailed him in the past but he personally has not called me back. I don’t think he understands the difference between the workplace and residential safety. I don’t think planning and zoning understand the standards necessary in this case. I can I am always grateful for all of your work.

Lynn Cook

 

UL certification versus NRTL certification

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Not laboratory standards….the national fire protection associations guidelines for fire protection.  And, if you want to talk about lab standards…that’s what “components” are tested to.  The Installation Guide is how to make sure those three components work together IN THE FIELD.  It is performed after the system is installed to make sure it protects that specific structure.  That’s why both those criteria are demanded in the FL Building Code for hospitals, schools and nursing homes.  It would be better to put no criteria in that to put inappropriate ones in.  The homeowner would then know that they must beware.  With the present wording, it sounds like the research into safety has been done.  It has but it isn’t being put into this document.  All one has to do is “Google” lightning protection standards and there it is.  Here is a link to Chicago that has a lightning protection code.  https://www.ny-engineers.com/blog/nfpa-780-ul-master-labellightning-protection-system-designs-for-chicago-buildings.  I guarantee you that every city that has a lighting protection code uses NFPA and UL96.  That’s why they were established.

Lynn Cook

 

UL certification versus NRTL certification

To: Lynn Cook

I think we are coming to agreement that it does not make sense to include building standards or guidelines into a height ordinance.  These are best left to the building codes where they belong, and where they can be updated by the experts when needed without requiring ordinance amendments.  Thanks for your valuable input.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Construction work for New Pass

To: Longboat Key Commission

Commissioners,  FYI. See update below on the construction work planned for the New Pass Bridge.  Due to COVID 19 the start has been delayed to October 28th.  The FDOT has advised they will maintain 2 lanes of traffic during the day through the 200 day contract period.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

New Pass Bridge

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I spoke to our FDOT contact for the project today, and the New Pass Bridge Repair project start date has been pushed back to October 28, 2020.  This is due to Covid related supply chain delays that the FDOT does not want to penalize the contractor for right at the start of the project. This new start date will allow their contractor to obtain project materials for the start of construction. The contract is a 200-day contract plus weather/other days, as allowed by contract.  Since the bridge already has additional width, the project intends to maintains 2-lanes of vehicular traffic at all times during the day throughout the contract duration; there may be some nighttime lane closures as part of the project work.  Once the contractor prepares to start work on the metal grates, a Notice to Mariners will be issued notifying closing of the bridge to marine traffic. Please let me know if any questions.

Isaac Brownman

Director Public Works

Town of Longboat Key

 

New Pass Bridge Construction Update

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

This guarantees it will take place at the height of season? Will they be working off hours to mitigate traffic issues? Will they suspend over Christmas?

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Traffic plan

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

Commissioner Bishop, thanks for the email.  We will find out more info on the Maintenance of Traffic Plan.  They have indicated that any lane closures will be in the evening and based on our previous conversations with FDOT would expect them to work around holiday and peak traffic times.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Covid-19 Executive Orders

To: Longboat Key Commission

Commissioners, FYI. The updated Administrative Executive Order is attached.  No changes in restrictions planned for the next two weeks.

In my conversation with the Sarasota County Public Health Official, Chuck Henry, we talked about the recent downward trend in new positives test results but he highlighted the vulnerable nature of our residents and that we still have active virus in the area.  In today’s Sarasota County Heat Map we continue to show zero active cases on the Sarasota County portion of the island, but in the zip codes in close proximity to Longboat Key there are 141 active cases listed-just within the last 14 days.  That includes zip codes 34234- 23 cases, 34237- 36 cases, 34237- 53, 34239- 18 cases, and 34236- 11 cases.  As of Friday, September 4th we did have one new positive case on the Manatee side of the island.

Obviously, the Commission has now extended the mask ordinance through November 30th and we continue to help communicate health precautions and preventive best practices to the community.

Mr. Henry and I also discussed the opening of schools.  Now that both school districts are open, public health and emergency management staff are monitoring for a potential spike in the number of positive test results over the next couple of weeks- that impact is not just on students, also teachers, parents, grandparents, and other friends and family.  We are monitoring that and any impact from the Labor Day weekend in our area.

We continue to take a very thoughtful safe and balanced approach to try to limit exposure and protect our residents and will re-evaluate the conditions in two weeks.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Enforce the codes

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

It is so sad that the town refuses to enforce the codes and ordinances that protect our community. Now anyone can use C2 zoned property for any use and point to this abuse, and lawfully argue they have the same rights as the town is granting to the Mar Vista. So far the town has come up with numerous excuses for allowing illegal parking on C2 zoned property. Saturday at 4 p.m.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

To: Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin

I would like to thank Mr. Kucharski for sharing this important article (link below).

I have copied Dr. Lisa Merritt and Dr. Washington Hill on this email, along with City Staff and others, to potentially assist in providing additional data and information on health disparity so that the Commission can, in the near future, have this placed on the agenda for a full discussion rooted on solid backup material. I had a conversation earlier today with Dr. Hill and he is hopeful that we can work together as a community, and, so am I.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Governments are declaring racism a health crisis. What comes next?

To: Sarasota City Commission

A very interesting article for your reading consideration: https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/us-cities-racism-public-health-crisis-milwaukee/584386/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202020-09-02%20Smart%20Cities%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:29455%5D&utm_term=Smart%20Cities%20Dive

This article includes Milwaukee County, the county where I grew up and worked in (City of Wauwatosa) before moving here to work for the City of Sarasota.  Also interesting is that there are no Cities or Counties in Florida that made a declaration on this issue. Take care, continue to stay safe and enjoy the rest of the day.

Todd A. Kucharski

General Manager

Public Works Department

City of Sarasota

 

Unconditional Surrender Sites with Aerials

To: Sarasota City Commission

Attached is the current list of possible sites for the relocation of the Unconditional Surrender Statue from its current location. As you will see staff has attempted to photo shop in the statue at each of the 9 sites under analysis. As of this writing the overwhelming public feedback has been to keep the statue on the Bayfront and/or near water as it includes a sailor celebrating the end of WWII and is therefore a natural combination according to most inputs. As I understand it, the Sahib Shriners would also welcome the statue to their property at 600 North Beneva at Circus, and contribute to the expenses of doing so. Others have also expressed an interest in donating to help offset the costs or a portion of the costs if the statue were to be relocated on the Bayfront.

We remain in discussions with FDOT in terms of when the statue needs to be relocated by David Smith has recommended an experienced local firm to prepare the foundation as they did a fine job with the foundation of the Jumping Fish sculpture at Cocoanut and Palm. David is working on finalizing timeframes but as of this writing he projects the foundation contractor will need 60 days to prepare the foundation, once notified where it will be going, which includes a 30-day foundation cement curing process before the sculpture can be relocated. The Seward Johnson foundation who will likely be retained to move both Unconditional Surrender and Complexus, will also need some lead time for their staff to make their way here from New Jersey and secure all equipment necessary for the move. 

Over the past week my office has received some very good ideas in terms of how to contextualize Unconditional Surrender if relocated in the city.  As we know, it has become a favorite and popular public gathering place for diverse people to express themselves.   It has reminded some of the famous speakers corner in Hyde Park, London, where folks can go to literally stand on a soap box type platform and speak to the air or anyone around who may wish to listen. Freedoms of expression was in part what WWII was fought over and what victory assured. And of course recently following the #metoo movement, some have now expressed more contemporary interpretations of the statue, which as of late, seems to continue to enjoy mass popularity with people posing under the statue most times of day and night.

Regarding the temporary relocation of Complexus, staff is finalizing an agreement to loan the stature to the new Ringling Contemporary Art Museum for a period of two years and featured in front of, on the south side of the Old Sarasota High. As of this writing the costs for the move are close to a 50-50 split.

Deputy Manager Brown has been in talks with FDOT in terms of timing of the move. With an enormous amount of public opinion anticipated, we are told thousands have signed petitions related to Unconditional Surrender’ future, which we are told will be presented when it appears on a CC agenda for direction.  Finding agenda time and space is a challenge, but we are working on it. Thank you for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or additional information needs related to this matter.

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Air quality

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Thank you Mayor. I must be honest, I am not super familiar with this new science linking asphalt to air pollution but reading about it makes me very interested to learn more and follow their future studies. I am well versed on the high greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete and then of course heat island effects of concrete/asphalt but the air quality issue is new to me. Given that it’s one of the first studies to make the quantitative connection between the gasses from asphalt and aerosol in urban air, I think it would be important to learn from their follow-up studies and also take into account trade-offs of any replacement material. I know my asphalt in front of my house on 5th street started peeling off and it showed beautiful red brick underneath and I couldn’t help imagine what a beautiful street it would be as a brick one! But I can imagine maintenance may be a challenge and of course if you have to make new bricks, what the environmental trade-offs are.

Just my quick thoughts but very interesting read. Thank you for forwarding.

Stevie Freeman-Montes

Interim Economic Development General Manager | City Manager’s Office

City of Sarasota

 

Air quality

To: Sarasota City Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Very interesting, another good reason for returning to brick streets. Most all of our old city neighborhoods and downtown have brick under the asphalt. In exploring the idea we in Avondale learned that chemical removal was a problem and scrapping damaged the bricks.  Oak St is a great example of what is in front of my house (under asphalt) and in front of Kate’s former home is a brick street trying to show thru with neighbors help!  Need to discover the perfect removal!

Do you remember our discussion about air quality when I told you my balcony had rubber and jet fuel on it?  You have to wonder if the rubber was asphalt.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/it-s-not-just-cars-make-pollution-it-s-roads-they-drive-too?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-09-04&et_rid=681354146&et_cid=3471353

Eileen Walsh Normile

Planning and Zoning Board

City of Sarasota

 

Air quality

To: Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin

Please see the link below and the comment from Mollie Cardamone (former Mayor) and let me know your thoughts.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Air quality

To: Sarasota City Planning and Zoning Board Chair Eileen Walsh Normile

Yes. My thoughts exactly. Per brick trade-offs, one positive side is that it is my understanding they are partially pervious. I don’t know the replacement cost and time frame and if there are environmental funds to off-set that. Many questions for sure, but an important topic, not only for beauty, but health and environment. The trade-off could be discussed once we have more information.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Air quality

To: Sarasota City Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Very interesting, another good reason for returning to brick streets. Most all of our old city neighborhoods and downtown have brick under the asphalt. In exploring the idea we in Avondale learned that chemical removal was a problem and scrapping damaged the bricks.  Oak Street is a great example of what is in front of my house (under asphalt) and in front of Kate’s former home is a brick street trying to show thru with neighbors help!  Need to discover the perfect removal!

Do you remember our discussion about air quality when I told you my balcony had rubber and jet fuel on it?  You have to wonder if the rubber was asphalt.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/it-s-not-just-cars-make-pollution-it-s-roads-they-drive-too?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-09-04&et_rid=681354146&et_cid=3471353

Eileen Walsh Normile

Planning and Zoning Board Chair

City of Sarasota

 

Legacy Trail Issues

To: Sarasota City Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

Just following up on our Zoom meeting, there were two items for follow up.

First, in conversations with other Commissioners, I have found one that says a “road diet” on Ringling Blvd is being planned by the City and actually in the CIP. As this has been flying under the radar, I suggest that you ask City Staff, particularly your transportation planners, if this road diet is in City plans.

Second, I wanted to let you know the identities of the planners/officials who told me, in November 2019, that City Staff had requested the County to stop the Legacy Trail extension at Ringling Boulevard.

I realize that Megan Lui says that she has called these folks and Megan reports that they say that City staff did not ask them to stop the extension at Ringling Blvd. But, I note that in emails about this, neither Lui nor McGue ever mention that City staff questioned this shortfall at all, which seems odd for City planning to just accept. My conclusion on this is that someone is embarrassed to have this shortcoming discovered. Thank you for your consideration in this issue.

Mike Lasche

Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates

Sarasota

 

Legacy Trail Issues

To: Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin, Sarasota Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown

Please see the updated information and question below per the Legacy Trail extending to Fruitville and not stopping at Ringling. I would appreciate some final clarity on this.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Moving statue

To: Sarasota City Commission

As your constituent, I am strongly requesting that the Unconditional Surrender statue, or better known as the “kissing statue”, resume its current or near current location after the roadwork is complete. It evokes a sense of American pride and is a blessing that the city owns this iconic statue. The cost of storing and then transporting to another location is costly. If the statue was placed in a permanent position close to the existing, many can still enjoy its presence as well as save the city a tremendous cost. While there are a few that oppose its existence, (those that opine it isn’t art or it speaks to sexual assault), they are a tiny minority. The majority of your residents as well as international and national visitors want to see it stay. The purpose of this statue was to evoke a sense of joy and happiness- something that is felt by so many as they take photos. The military personnel who have served feel a sense of pride when viewing the statue. We just celebrated the 75th Anniversary of this momentous day. To have it removed is a slap to all those who have fought for this country. Please do the right thing and keep it for all to enjoy.

Karyn Strauss

AICE chemistry teacher

Cambridge trainer

North Port High School

 

Homeless living outside restaurant

To: Paul Mattison

I’m a full-time resident of downtown Sarasota.  Not sure you’re aware of this, but the poor soul in the picture below seems to “camp out” in front of your restaurant.  When I wake up early in the morning for my daily walk, she’s still there on many occasions, obviously having stayed there all night.  I’m sure the City has better accommodations. On many days, I see other homeless sitting on the sidewalk, ten feet from your restaurant. I’m not sure the City Ordinances permit this, however, it seems to me that this would have a negative impact on your business.  Myself, and several of my neighbors, are uncomfortable eating at a restaurant when the homeless are staring at you while you eat. I wish the City would do more for these unfortunate people.

John Bordeaux      

Sarasota

 

Homeless living outside restaurant

To: John Bordeaux

Thank you for your email. This is a very complicated problem but the City and the County have been working together with the Continum of Care (COC) at the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness for the last four years towards Housing First and a Coordinated Entry Effort.

I have copied the City Manager, City Attorney, and City Staff on this email to respond with City efforts along with an outline of the laws in this regard. I have also copied the COC coordinator, Chris Johnson and the City’s Homeless Outreach Coordinators Krystal Frazier and Kevin Stiff. I have also copied the Chief of Police as well. I look forward to their response.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

10th Street Boat Ramp

To: Sarasota City Commission

The attached photos are from the parking lot at the 10th Street Boat Ramp.  I am inquiring as to why none of the lights in the parking lot are working, I find it very difficult bringing my boat back to the ramp and putting it on my trailer with no lights, let alone the safety issues that are attributed with individuals sleeping in the Boat Ramp parking lot.  Which I find could be detrimental to my safety with no lights in the parking lot.  There are plenty of lights but they are not working.  How do I get the lights turned on?

Renee O’Dell

Longboat Key

 

10th Street Boat Ramp

To: Renee O’Dell

I have forwarded your email to Douglas Jeffcoat, Director of Public Works. We will be sure to follow up on this issue. Thank you.

Kathy King

Executive Assistant

City of Sarasota

 

10th Street Boat Ramp

To: Sarasota City Executive Assistant Kathy King

This circuit is tied into the streetlight circuits within the round-about construction, staff has been in contact with the contractor and they have someone looking into the issue.  Should be fixed today. Thank you

Doug Jeffcoat

Public Works Director

City of Sarasota

 

10th Street Boat Ramp

To: Sarasota City Commission

I wanted to send a thank you to the city for taking care of this issue so quickly, I was at the boat ramp this weekend and all the lights were working as they should when I got back from a great day out on the water. Thanks to everyone that was involved in taking care of this.

Renee O’Dell

Longboat Key

 

Outrageous to comprehend statue removal

To: Sarasota City Commission

I find it difficult to believe that the statue depicting the famous sailor kissing the dental assistant in Times Square at the end of WWII is under consideration for removal. The very thought of this makes my stomach turn.

Countless lives were lost from the “greatest generation” while serving in our armed services fighting in a war of historic proportions after we were attacked and bombed in Pearl Harbor !

The statue was created from the famous photograph shot by Life Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt of an ecstatic sailor that had just completed one and a half years of intensive sea duty.

The war was now over! The possibility of an invasion of Japan had been in every service member’s head! Now, with the great news breaking – everyone was relieved!     

I (like many others) would like to know “what” prompted the idea for its removal?

Why? Why not simply take a stand and say that it remains as a reminder of that significant moment in time. That’s it…it’s really that simple.

Stop…step back…and think (really think) about “what” those service members would think of this idea if they were alive today to witness this in the news.

This idea is disgusting and that is putting it mildly!

What’s next? The removal of any statues honoring those that lost their lives during 9/11?

Jeff McClure

United States Navy

 

Outrageous to comprehend statue removal

To: Jeff McClure

The City of Sarasota has received your email. To clarify the situation for you, the Unconditional Surrender located in downtown Sarasota, must be relocated this fall, from its current location, very close and adjacent to a major road, US 41, due to an upcoming road construction project. Vehicular traffic will be detoured over the site where the statue has been located for the past ten years.  The City Commission plans to relocate the statue during the construction project to another complimentary location within the City of Sarasota. As of this writing, 9 various sites have been suggested and are in consideration. A survey of the public is being prepared to provide additional public input prior to the Commission’s decision in terms of its’ temporary or new permanent location. Since we are a relatively small city all potential sites are fairly close to the current site, with a handful of possible locations within a few hundred feet of the statue’s current location.  I hope this clarifies the situation for you and puts you at ease. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and serving our country. PS. I am curious, are you a Sarasota City Resident?

Tom Barwin

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

No masks in Publix

To: Sarasota City Commission

On Sept 8th, at the Bay St. Location of Publix, customers were walking around the store without masks. I asked them if they were from out of town…they said “no” and when I mentioned that masks were mandatory, in front of Publix employees, they just brushed me off.  The Publix Employees did not want to get involved, even though this blatant refusal to safeguard public health actually hurts them as much as other customers. I can understand their hesitancy, because of violent outbreaks in Florida where rampant racism and guns seem to be everywhere.    

There are Publix Employees wiping down the shopping carts and they should not allow customers to enter the store without masks. Why isn’t this being implemented?

New York has brought down the Covid infection rate to one percent because the citizens comply and CARE about their fellow citizens. Unfortunately, the leadership in Sarasota and Florida has not helped any of this, since they are beholden to the lies of Trump who admittedly knew that this Covid Virus spreads through the air yet repeatedly mocks those who wear masks. Please make sure Publix is safe for us. We cannot rely on our Government at all.

Susan Berg

Sarasota

 

No masks in Publix

To: Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin

Please see the below email and let me know what the next step is, especially since this Public recently reported employee Covid cases.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

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