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Editorial Letters – Week ending October 9, 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.

Electric Vehicles

To: Longboat Key Commission

Background: As an owner of an electric vehicle and a longtime technology player, I was knocked flat by the differences between gas-powered combustion autos and, in my case, a Tesla Model S. The future is not in doubt as every auto maker is investing billions to be competitive. But this is a long game as much has been invested over the last 100 plus years in the internal combustion engine, so the two offerings will co-exist for the foreseeable future.

Longboat and Electric Vehicles (EV): I do not have a count of EVs on Longboat Key, but one day while parking at the Longboat Key Club lot of 50 cars, 6 cars were EVs. I have been stopped by curious drivers at the Publix lot who either have an interest in EVs or are awaiting delivery of theirs. Given the driving characteristics of the “typical” Longboat Key resident, EVs are a near-perfect fit. I see Longboat Key EV ownership as growing very rapidly.

The Challenge: The EV ecosystem admits that the biggest challenge is keeping the vehicle batteries charged in areas where multi-family homes are common. Sarasota has an FPL agreement where the utility must install EV public stations each year as a “cost of doing business”. The State of Florida has passed a condo statute that allows any owner with a dedicated parking space to demand charging services to that parking space as long as the owner pays the cost of installation and electrical usage. Sarasota and new multi-family developments have paid charging stations in their parking garages. Tesla has, and the State of Florida has mandated more, supercharging stations near Interstate exits to accommodate tourism by EVs. Longboat Key has?

Where Should Longboat Key Begin: I suggest first becoming a member of Drive Electric Florida to better understand how other municipalities have acted. Second, I believe that all new structures, single and multi-family, have built-in charging infrastructures. Third, Planning and Zoning should become a resource for condominium communities in their requirement to provide charging facilities. Fourth, the Town should encourage and provide guidance to businesses to add and manage public charging stations. And lastly, the Town should become a participant in the EV movement with its vehicles, parking lots, and its relationship with FPL to ensure their distribution system on Longboat Key has sufficient capacity to meet increasing demands.

David E. Novak

Longboat Key

 

Non-payment of utility bills due to Covid

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Please let me know whether we have had any issues with non-payment of utility bills leading to potential shut-off of service,  possibly due to Covid-related financial strains.  Thanks.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Non-payment of utility bills due to Covid

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thanks for the email.  I checked with our utility billing staff today. They said we continue to have a pretty consistent level of monthly late payment notices- pre and post COVID- and were not aware of any trends/increases in late or non-payment issues due to COVID.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Certified Municipal Clerk

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please join me in congratulating Savannah Cobb (Shield) for achieving her Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation.  In her role as the Deputy Town Clerk Savannah continues to work on her professional development.  In addition to receiving her Certified Municipal Clerk designation, she has also earned her Certified Business Tax Official designation and is enrolling in the Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Central Florida.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Certified Municipal Clerk

To: Longboat Key Deputy Town Clerk Savannah Schield

Savannah- Congratulations and thank you for hard work and continued diligence with a masters in this field.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Certified Municipal Clerk

To: Longboat Key Deputy Clerk Savannah Schield

Way to go, Savannah!  Congratulations on your achievements!

Sherry Dominick

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Reserved parking through ParkMobile

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

ParkMobile might be a possible way of dealing with what will be increasing off-island pressure on our tax supported amenities such as beach parking and access.

Using ParkMobile’s new technology, used in St, Pete and many other municipalities, beach access can be easily managed without any need for costly parking meters or even unsightly parking space demarcations. Parking is managed by district. Enforcement is supplied with valid, current license plate numbers, as well as expiring parking sessions as well as their GPS location.

ParkMobile supports permits.

Perhaps a combination of resident of beach parking permits, combined with revenue generating paid beach parking might offer a revenue-neutral beach management funding program that would satisfy the needs of island residents to have access to beach parking, and turn a rich beach asset into additional revenue.

Additionally, ParkMobile may also be able to cost effectively manage the soon to be implemented RPP in the village, elevating the need for staff issuing stickers and supplying enforcement with valid current license plate numbers. One day permits might also be managed within the ParkMobile software environment. I look forward to discussing the ParkMobile solution with you.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

Reserved parking through ParkMobile

To: Longboat Key Commission

Using Google maps, it looks like the town center property lies just within the quarter mile radius required for “secondary” beach access parking.

Even if something is eventually constructed on that land, parking will be required. By situating the parking in the northwest quadrant of the parcel, the town may qualify for another 200-300 parking spaces, as the state allows 220 spaces per acre, for state beach management reimbursement funds.

Using a program such as ParkMobile, both residents and visitors are able to use their cell phones to see where there are available parking spaces as well as pay for parking. If there should ever be events on the property, a single simple sign would close the parking to the public and require an electronic town resident parking permit.

I can see wonderful possibilities to increase revenue, increase available of beach parking for residents and utilize presently non-performing town land.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

Reserved parking through ParkMobile

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Ed Zunz

Several residents have been looking for a way to reserve some beach access parking for the resident taxpayers who bear the major cost of maintaining our beautiful beach assets, while not negatively impacting state reimbursement funding requiring public parking. More and more, off-island visitors occupy all the available beach parking spaces. This will only get worse as the counties continue to grow.

Using modern technology, offered by companies such as ParkMobile, it may be possible to create a win-win parking program that enables residents to reserve parking ahead of time, satisfy the state’s requirement for public parking within a quarter mile of a beach access, lower the cost of enforcement and generate considerable revenue from paid public beach parking, which qualifies for state reimbursement funds I believe.

The same application may be able to manage RPP in the village at minimal cost to the town. I wonder how many village residents will need permit parking as most properties have ample on-site parking. Using a program such as ParkMobile, it may be possible to sell residents in the village, and perhaps in other neighborhoods, permits for a week or month, instead of an entire year, since all transactions are on-line, no town staff participation is required.

Since applications such as ParkMobile offer low cost automatic fluid management of parking resources, town residents may have an opportunity to have their parking spaces and save the community money too.

Modern parking programs require no parking meters of kiosks or attendants. Enforcement is also cloud based with automatic parking ticket processing. Customers are alerted about expiring parking sessions. I use ParkMobile when I go to St. Pete and Seattle and other places. It is convenient and easy to use.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

No exceptions to height code in R4 and R6

To: Longboat Key Commission

In 2017 we asked for no exceptions to the height since there are no TV antennas or satellite dishes mounted on roofs that exceed the code.  Ordinance 2020-05 was supposed to reflect that committee decision but did not when it was finally finished.  Please take this opportunity to fix this omission.  If you can’t do that or honor the draft from the June meeting today, please at least delay implantation of Ordinance 2020-05 until CCS to establish an overlay district.

There are so many residents who are counting on you.

Lynn Cook

Longboat Key

 

Town Ordinance 2020-05 Lightning Rod heights

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please listen to owners and residents not contractors on this issue and represent the will of the people. We as homeowners and residents of Longboat Key do not wish to increase structure height in R-4 and R-6 zones. This will affect the whole feel of the island and bring real estate prices down as we will lose a competitive advantage over other areas. Keep us unique and one of the few Florida places left that offer that “small town vibe” which promotes healthy tourism and real estate sales. Thank you.

Laney Pitt

Longboat Key

 

Town Ordinance 2020-05 Lightning Rod heights

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please listen to owners and residents not contractors on this issue and represent the will of the people. We as homeowners and residents of Longboat Key do not wish to increase structure height in R 4 and R 6 zones. A compromise we can live with is for you to please adopt the language you proposed at your June 30 Commission meeting and offered at your Sept 14 meeting which restricts lightning protection device height for single-family and two-family residential structures within the R-4SF or R-6SF zoning districts to not exceed 12” above the maximum height of the zoning district, and allowed for an applicant to request an increase, by Special Exception, up to a maximum of 6’ feet above the maximum height of the zone district.

Donna Mason

Longboat Key

 

Town Ordinance 2020-05 Lightning Rod heights

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please listen to owners and residents not contractors on this issue and represent the will of the people. We as homeowners and residents of Longboat Key do not wish to increase structure height in R-4 and R-6 zones. A compromise we can live with is for you to please adopt the language you proposed at your June 30 Commission meeting and offered at your Sept 14 meeting which restricts lightning protection device height for single-family and two-family residential structures within the R-4SF or R-6SF zoning districts to not exceed 12 inches above the maximum height of the zoning district, and allowed for an applicant to request an increase, by Special Exception, up to a maximum of 6 feet above the maximum height of the zone district Please support us all in maintaining our beautiful piece of paradise!

Linda Casey

Longboat Key

 

Building Heights and Lightning rod heights

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Would you please circulate this e-mail to the Mayor and all the Commissioners, with copies to the Town Manager, the Director of Planning and Building and to any others you deem appropriate:

We understand that this subject will come up again at the October 5th Commission meeting and, as residents of Country Club Shores we wish to convey our views to the Commission members.

As I understand it, in June the Commission chose to increase the maximum height for areas such as ours by 1 additional foot to allow for lightning conductors, with a proviso that that could be increased an additional 5 ft by applying for a special exception. Despite the fact that over 150 residents wrote to express their wishes to retain the current height limits and not allow any additional height without a special variance hearing, on September 14, the Commission changed their mind and voted 6-1 to allow 6 feet over the current height limit for lightning systems in small lot districts such as ours.

Talk about riding roughshod over the wishes of the people.  I also believe it was said by one or more Commissioners that if we did not like it, we could amend our Covenants. But this shows a distinct lack of understanding of just how burdensome is that process.  Country Club Shores IV, where we live, is the only unit that has extant Covenants and Byelaws. When these were rewritten several years ago, several areas of duplication with Town rules were deliberately removed, in the belief that we could rely on the Town to police its rules.  Was that faith naive?

Two or three years ago Country Club Shores and other similar districts worked very hard to persuade the then Commission (with support from at least the current Deputy Mayor) to reinstall a 30-foot height limit after some lax interpretations by the Planning Department had allowed taller buildings to slip through.  It would be a great pity if we now let the wishes of a fast-talking salesman drive more shortsighted Town policy.

Lightning safety systems can be installed satisfactorily and function safely within current codes and exceptions should only be necessary in rare and truly exceptional circumstances. In conclusion, we respectfully urge you to respect the wishes of the residents (rather than contractors) and preserve sensible height limits, probably by reverting to your June compromise consensus of one additional foot.

Ron and Kathryn Lee

 

Town Ordinance 2020-05 Lightning Rod heights

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please listen to owners and residents not contractors on this issue and represent the will of the people.  We understand the Commission is interested in property safety.  Because of this, we refer you to the most established method of lightning safety as per Professor Rakov of University of Florida.  While multiple rods are required per structure, the goal of safety is achieved with minimal impact on surrounding properties.  This system has been protecting structures for over 200 years with a well established track record.   

We as homeowners and residents of Longboat Key do not wish to increase structure height in R 4 and R 6 zones.  A compromise we can live with is for you to  please adopt the language you proposed at your June 30 Commission meeting and offered at  your Sept 14  meeting which restricts lightning protection device height for single-family and two-family residential structures within the R-4SF or R-6SF zoning districts to not exceed 12” above the maximum height of the zoning district, and allowed for an applicant to request an increase, by Special Exception, up to a maximum of 6’ feet above the maximum height of the zone district.

Ned Jewett

Longboat Key

 

Flooding on Lyons Lane

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

See update below from Public Works on their current efforts to assess and start to address some of the street flooding concerns on Lyons Lane.  They are in communication with representatives of the neighborhood and as they develop the proposed solution will be scheduling an outreach to the residents to discuss the current approach.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Lyons Lane: Concept Improvements Update

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I wanted to provide an update to the feasibility review of methods to mitigate on-street standing water that can happen on Lyons Lane during tidal events.  The standing water can, at lower elevations, pose a nuisance and at greater elevations, can hinder access on Lyons Lane.  This is due to the current elevation of Lyons Lane.

The Town hired DMK to review options to minimize roadway flooding.  Three options were evaluated:  shallow gravity/retaining wall, deep sheet piles, and raising the roadway.  We further asked DMK to bring on board a geotechnical engineer to review the shallow gravity wall and deeper sheet pile options.  The conclusion of the geotechnical report is that the shallow gravity wall will not adequately prevent groundwater from upheaving and undermining the roadway and base material based on the groundwater and tidal water dynamics.  The sheet piles would have be significantly deep and be cost prohibitive.

The remaining option is raising the roadway and tying in the properties to the new roadway elevation.  This will require temporary construction easements from property owners along the roadway due to very limited right-of-way on both sides of the road.  We are in progress with securing DMK to proceed with a design for raising the roadway; the plan is to stop at 30% design and “pulse check” with the Lyons Lane neighborhood to ensure the neighborhood is agreeable with the resulting solution elements and the required private property tie-ins, including additional drainage improvements for lower elevations residences.   We also plan to include a contractor for input at the 30% plan development phase to help mitigate any construction shortfalls and to provide a more accurate basis of cost.   We have been in regular contact with representatives of the neighborhood and continue to do so.  The public meeting at 30 percent design would be with the greater roadway residents, particularly to discuss easements and improvements that would be required to make it work.  If the citizens are not agreeable with this proposed improvements at this stage, the contract with DMK can stop at that point.  If residents are favorable to proceeding with the project, we will move the design development along.  The option to raise the roadway to a design elevation can also be a phased improvement that can tie into a potential future project as needed (for example, if there is an additional project recommended by the APTIM Sea Level Rise Study). Once the design engineering change order is finalized and signed, additional survey work will begin.  Our savings from other Street Drainage Projects is being used to fund this part of the project.

Isaac Brownman

Director Public Works

Longboat Key

 

Town Ordinance 2020-05 Lightning Rod heights

To: Longboat Key Commission

Please listen to owners and residents not contractors on this issue and represent the will of the people.  We understand the Commission is interested in property safety.  Because of this, we refer you to the most established method of lightning safety as per Professor Rakov of University of Florida.  While multiple rods are required per structure, the goal of safety is achieved with minimal impact on surrounding properties.  This system has been protecting structures for over 200 years with a well-established track record.   

We as homeowners and residents of Longboat Key do not wish to increase structure height in R-4 and R-6 zones. A compromise we can live with is for you to  please adopt the language you proposed at your June 30 Commission meeting and offered at  your Sept 14 meeting which restricts lightning protection device height for single-family and two-family residential structures within the R-4SF or R-6SF zoning districts to not exceed 12 inches above the maximum height of the zoning district, and allowed for an applicant to request an increase, by Special Exception, up to a maximum of 6 feet above the maximum height of the zone district. Thank you for your consideration.

Erica Simmons

Longboat Key

 

Master Utility Ordinance/Refinancing

To: Longboat Key Commission

As you are aware, on Monday’s agenda the Master Utility Bond Ordinance is on the schedule for 1st Reading. As mentioned during the Workshop earlier this week, the bank refinancing proposals were due on September 30th.  We received three responses and the Truist Bank proposal was determined to be the most advantageous to the Town.  Their proposal provides for a fixed interest rate of 1.43%.  The previous planning assumed an interest rate of 1.8% and a Net Present Value (NPV) savings of approximately $94,000.  The 1.43% proposal increases the estimated NPV savings to approximately $148,000, or in excess of 5% of the principal amount refunded.  The PowerPoint for Monday’s presentation has been updated to reflect the bank proposal information (Slide 6)- see attached.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Master Utility Ordinance/Refinancing

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Nice work and good result.  Thanks.  It’s good to be dealing with one of our island banks on this.

The rate should be a good sign for our beach bonds also.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Thank you

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thank you so much for spending time with us to bring us up to speed on all that is happening on Longboat Key. It was all great news. the budget on track, undergrounding proceeding on schedule, Phase 1 neighborhoods live soon! The right person is on the job leading us!

Thank you for all the time you devote to our town.  I know that this is time that could be spent with your family and is very precious time.  Please visit us often.

Lynn Larson

President LBK Kiwanis

 

Thank you

To: Lynn Larson

It was my pleasure. I enjoyed speaking to your group and would be happy to do a repeat engagement at some point.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Thank you

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Very soon I hope.  You did a great job on updating us.  Something we need in this time of uncertainty.

Lynn Larson

Longboat Key

 

‘Talk of the Town’ videos

To: Longboat Key Commission

We have been producing a series of videos “Talk of the Town” and posting them on our website.  The most recent one was just posted and covers the switch over process that we will be going through in the Phase 1 area of the undergrounding project.  We mentioned the video at the Undergrounding Update at your Workshop earlier in the week.  I copied the link to the video below.  Special thanks for James Linkogle, Carolyn Brown, and Barry Gaines on their efforts to help inform our residents.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Sun N’ Sea Development

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Interesting article in the Herald Tribune this morning that states the development team associated with the planned redevelopment of Sun n Sea property “has been working with the Town Commission to ensure the project follows the local building requirements.”

I assume they meant to say that they met with the Town staff to discuss the property’s entitlements before they purchased the site to review what approvals may be needed.

I checked with our Planning staff and they said they were not contacted by the Herald Tribune- we were contacted by the Observer this week and here is the statement that Planning provided them:

“Thanks for your inquiry. No applications for redevelopment of the Sun-n-Sea site have been submitted yet. We did have a preliminary meeting a few weeks ago with contract purchaser representatives to talk about their preliminary plans & process related questions.  Plans discussed included an 18-unit residential condominium development project. The site’s T-6 zoning does allow for 6 units/acre. Approval would require Site Development Plan approval, which would be heard, in a public hearing, by the Town’s Planning & Zoning Board,” wrote Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons.

We have reached out to the Herald Tribune to clarify the Town’s interaction with the developer at this point in their planning effort.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Emergency Order

To: Sarasota City Deputy Manager Marlon Brown

I think it’s a reasonable interpretation of the Governor’s Order that a local government’s inability to collect a fine during the state of emergency caused by the pandemic only extends through the emergency.  So, if you want to direct SPD and Code Compliance to still issue citations that the City will have to wait to collect until later (whenever that might be) when the state of emergency expires, I am okay with that and we can figure out how that will work

As far as I’m concerned the noise issue is a non-starter. Apparently, Miami wants to limit the noise so that people won’t have to yell and thereby spread droplets.  First of all, I think it would be easier to simply be able to keep a mask order in place or to not re-open the bars yet.  Secondly, based on the City Commission’s recent refusal to even increase the penalty for a first violation of the noise ordinance from $100 to $250, I don’t know what makes you think there would be any interest in such a regulation.  I’m certainly not going to propose it.  I have already been given the assignment to come back later with proposed changes to the noise ordinance for discussion.  I am not eager to lurch into an ill advised rush emergency regulation limiting sound that receives First Amendment protection with very limited legal resources and a budget that has been cut by ten percent.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Bathroom at Lido

To: City of Sarasota Commission

The Lido pool and park area was highlighted in the local media earlier this week showing a mural being painted on the building from virus relief money that had been designated by the County to the arts organization. I think this is the program that is supposed to help local businesses and put “people” back to work. The Arts then decided that an important first step to increase tourism to the area was by highlighting the history of Lido Beach on a mural and using some of their money to employ an artist to paint the scene. All with big press coverage and happiness about this event.

With all the excitement around the area, it would be interesting to examine the bathrooms where upgrading had been planned by the City many months ago. No luck. While the janitor was certainly doing his job cleaning, the same old dispensers were there (how many years now – 40 or so) and of course one bathroom stall was out of service.

As a resort community, I would think that all of our public bathrooms were a top priority to be ungraded on an annual basis, not only for tourists but for our locals as well, to show a pride in our community and its service buildings. Especially now with more attention to washing hands and sanitizers in demand. Yet we seem to have no process or procedures in place to systematically upgrade our public bathrooms, nor have an urgency to be sure all problems are fixed as quickly as possible. Perhaps we should call our Public Bathrooms an Art Venue!

Carole Nikla

Sarasota

 

Bathroom at Lido

To: Carole Nikla

Thank you for your email about the bathrooms at Lido Beach. It is my understanding that the bathroom upgrade is part of the next phase of Lido Pavilion work. I have copied the City Manager and Staff on this email to respond with details.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

The Mark Drain on Zini LLC Property – Lemon Avenue corner

To: Sarasota City Commission

This is an update on October 3rd, 2020.

I don’t want to think that whoever put in the bottle thought he solved the problem! I would like to know is there are any updates how to fix this big problem. I would like to see my property clean and not in this dirty and in such slippery condition! It is dangerous for my clients or anyone who walks there! If somebody slips and gets hurt I decline any responsibility!

Moreover, the wall of The Mark looks rot! I will be happy to meet someone of you on site to evaluate the terrible situation! I am sure this situation will be seriously evaluated by the City and the Mark.

Maria Alberta Borri

Sarasota

 

The Mark Drain on Zini LLC Property – Lemon Avenue corner

To: Maria Alberta Borri

Understand and thank you.  Please note this is not a water or sanitary sewer issue (i.e.- Utilities Department).  Nonetheless, the right folks from the City will follow up on Monday.

Bill Riebe

Utilities Director

City of Sarasota

 

The Mark Drain on Zini LLC Property – Lemon Avenue corner

To: Sarasota City Utilities Director Bill Riebe

Thank you Mr Riebe.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Question about a GIS map

To: Sarasota City GIS Analyst Jason Herman

Hi Jason. I know you previously worked with Sarah Warren on some maps for the City ADA program.  I have an unrelated question that I was hoping you could answer.

Do you know what the faint dashed lines on the GIS map are?  There is nothing in the legend to indicate what they represent.  Do they indicate a previous or original boundary of the City limits?  We’ve received a question from one of the City Commissioners asking what the dashed lines are. Do they have any significance?

Haley Bond

Certified Paralegal

Fournier, Connolly, Shamsey, Mladinich & Polzak, P.A.

 

Question about a GIS map

To: Haley Bond

Which map are we talking about? If you could provide a link or a screenshot?

Jason Herman

GIS Analyst

City of Sarasota

 

Question about a GIS map

To: Sarasota City GIS Analyst Jason Herman

See attached. The dotted/slashed line that runs kind of near the solid/bold City boundary line.

John K. Shamsey

Assistant City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Question about a GIS map

To: Haley Bond

So that dashed line is part of the background basemap provided by ESRI its likely an old or simplified city boundary line from TIGER files which are not very accurate. For example, I add the ESRI world topography layer and it shows a boundary line in the same area that is closer to our municipal boundary but yet still different from the dashed line you are seeing here.

If it’s a concern or distracting we can try and find a basemap to use that doesn’t have city boundaries in it. Hopefully the explanation will suffice. As a basemap it’s simply supposed to provide general familiarity with the area. The buildings aren’t correct or up to date either for example.

Jason Herman

GIS Analyst

City of Sarasota

 

Question about a GIS map

To: Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch

With regard to the question about the solid line and the dashed line on the map appended to the Municipal Services and Pre-Annexation Agreement, the bottom line is that the solid black line accurately represents the current City boundary.   The dashed line is meaningless and can be ignored.  I’m not qualified to provide the technical information, but apparently this is some remnant that shows up because of a peculiarity in the City’s GIS system.  Please see the email thread below for further explanation.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Political Caravan Disturbances on Saturdays

To: Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin

I received the email below from one of our business owners about political caravans coming through the Circle on Saturday’s that are apparently loud and stopping traffic.

I really don’t know if there is anything, at all, that you can do to help in regards to this but I wanted to bring it to your attention.  As you know, all of our businesses are trying their best to keep their doors open and we don’t need rowdiness and traffic disturbances that keeps customers away. I appreciate anything about your thoughts on this and for your continual support.

Diana M Corrigan

Executive Director

St. Armands Circle Association

 

Political Caravan Disturbances on Saturdays

To: Diana Corrigan

Thank you for the email. I have copied Mr. Fournier on this email to respond.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Political Caravan Disturbances on Saturdays

To: St. Armands Circle Association

It has been brought to my attention that for the last several weeks, there have been campaign caravans that come through the circle during prime time hours: Saturday, mid-afternoon. This past Saturday, there were 2 – one from the mainland, and one from Longboat. The caravans are: 1) loud and disruptive.  They honk and scream; 2) obnoxious – they wave big flags and signs and 3) most concerning – they clog the roadways so that traffic is at a standstill.  No one can get on the circle. It would seem to me that the above occurrences would require a permit? Especially if it is disrupting business?

In addition to that, this past Saturday, a law enforcement official got out of his car to wave at the campaigners instead of directing traffic, moving it along.

While I’m in full support of the people of Sarasota flexing their right to voice their opinions, I’m not in support of it preventing people from getting on the circle and clogging up the roadways for shoppers. Especially when we have had to face so many challenges this year.

I am reaching out to you for your guidance, as I imagine it will only get worse as we near the election, as this past Saturday certainly hinted as such.  Also, it is clear that we may have trouble getting law enforcement to remain impartial – as again, last Saturday, showed us. For what it’s worth – the party affiliation of the caravan has no bearing on this concern. No one should be able to be this disruptive in a struggling shopping district without a permit during prime shopping hours. Please advise.

Deb Goldberg

Sarasota

 

Martin Hyde comments

To: Sarasota City Clerk Shayla Griggs

I’d like to request the following urgently please.

1.The complaint concerning Elizabeth Trejo from Stephanie in parks and recreation. All emails and records pertaining to it.

2.Confirmation and details of the allegations of an officer watching porn’ on a government computer including name and date of incident with action taken including the performance review.

3.Full details of the text message sent by Robin Opalinsky to all permit staff including the letter from Ivey Shelley detailing the allegations complete with all response and action .

4.A copy of the 14 pages of text messages referred to by Ivey Shelley concerning proof of allegations regarding Macy Peeler.

5. If also like copies of all of the exit interviews for the last 12 months per Ivey Shelley’s suggestion.

As to allegations of gifts received by City employees allegedly witnessed by Kathleen Kelly these are serious enough to merit an investigation at State level which is where I’ll forward that issue to. Please no delays as these issues warrant immediate rebuttal or exposure.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

Martin Hyde comments

To: Martin Hyde

I agree with you that the First Amendment is very important. I also have to agree with your assertion that I’m not a mind reader.  However, unfortunately, the only way to stop out of bounds comments (by that I mean comments that are outside of the scope of the limited public forum that I referenced) is to interrupt.  But you were allowed to continue and to finish your remarks.   I know that you’re familiar with what the rules say on this because we’ve discussed the subject in the past.   I continue to believe that a prohibition against advocacy for or against anyone’s candidacy for the office of City Commissioner in the context of Citizens’ Input is a lawful restriction.  If you want to discuss further just let me know.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Martin Hyde comments

To: Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier

I’m not sure you can make preemptory challenges to what I “Might “say nor interpret my comments as being electoral in nature as they’re not. My comments go to the conduct of elected commissioners. I’d strongly suggest you get on terra firma before you interject next time lest it becomes expensive for the city.

The first amendment is very important and is not limited to speech that is conducive to your sensibilities. All that your ill-advised outburst will guarantee is that more people will now watch the video.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

Martin Hyde comments

To: Sarasota City Clerk Shayla Griggs

How are we doing on this? I have to say if the idea from some (Not you) that delay will make this better they’d be wrong.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

Martin Hyde comments

To: Martin Hyde

I am still awaiting further updates regarding inquiries number 2 and 5. I am told there are no records on file with Human Resources regarding numbers 1 and 3, and also that number 4 will likely be subject to confidentiality pursuant to Fla. Stat. 119.071(2)(K) (i.e. exempt until conclusion of any investigation).

I was hoping for official documentation regarding items 1 and 3 in the interest of fine-tuning searches (since, as you are aware, the results can be quite extensive depending on search terms). That being said, we could, of course, run a search on either of those inquiries provided search terms and a date range.

Arthur Mugan

Public Records Coordinator

City of Sarasota

 

City of Sarasota: Public Records Request

To: Sarasota City Public Records Coordinator Arthur Mugan

Not to take you to task but unless you’re telling me that the contents of #4 are subject of an open criminal investigation by SPD I don’t accept they’re exempt.

As to #1 and #3 the phrase “Pull the other one it’s got bells on it!” springs to mind.

I asked for five different sets of records based on a legitimate public interest and so far I have nothing.

I’m not sure how many times I have to repeat my observation that the bigger the cover up the greater my interest.

Please have Bob be specific as to #4 next week.

In an attempt to “Grease the wheels” of justice you can safely assume that it’s possible that I’ll read the allegations into the record at Monday’s public meeting. Have a good Weekend.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

City of Sarasota: Public Records Request

To: Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier

Thanks Bob. Seeing as you think it’s best to do this in full view of the Commission let’s do this in terms of my assertion and your reply at 1:30 p.m. today. Just a thought that using the term “Not a cover up” tends to suggest conscience of one.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

City of Sarasota: Public Records Request

To: Martin Hyde

Whatever.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

City of Sarasota: Public Records Request

To: Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier

Not very erudite of you Bob.

Martin Hyde

Sarasota

 

City of Sarasota: Public Records Request

To: Martin Hyde

I know I was being flippant and I apologize for that. At this point all I can say with regard to the responses to your public records requests is that I do not believe and I do not suspect that staff is engaged in any cover up and that I am certainly not participating in one.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Lido Beach

To: Sarasota City Commission

I would like to know why the new tables and benches at Lido Beach are not available for people to use? I understand the concession area will never reopen but that should not limit the use of the tables. The virus should not be an excuse as Siesta Key Beach seating area has been open for four months. Lido Beach is a public beach and while the local residents want to see it be for their exclusive use it should be open for everyone.

Janet Wadden

Sarasota

 

Lido Beach

To: Sarasota Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Fogle

Please see the input below, submitted through the website, to the commissioners. Would you please reply to Ms. Wadden, and copy the commissioners? Thank you.

Kathryn (Kathy) King

Executive Assistant City Manager’s Office

City of Sarasota

 

Lido Beach

To: Janet Wadden

I hope your day is going well.  Thanks for the email! The Lido Beach Concession will reopen to the public.  I apologize for the confusion about the reopening of the Lido Beach Concession.  We will continue to do a better job of communicating with the public about parks and recreation.  A new concessionaire has been selected for the Lido Beach Concession.  Chief Laszlo Bevardi is well known for his restaurant Bevardi’s Salute, which has been located in downtown Sarasota for the past 10 years.  Chief Bevardi tentatively plans to open the concession in December.  Chief Bevardi has been working with an architect and contractors to renovate the concession area and install new equipment.

When the furniture was installed, we removed the barricades to allow the public access.  Unfortunately, several pieces of the furniture was vandalized and needed to be repaired.  After the vandalism, we decided to keep the barricades around the furniture until the grand reopening of the Lido Concession.  There are a couple of reasons we decided to do this.  The reopening of the concession will activate the patio area, which makes vandalism more challenging.  Once the concession reopens, Chief Bevardi and his Team are going to be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the furniture.  This will also make vandalism more challenging, which will assist with protecting the furniture for everyone to enjoy.  We have placed several wooden picnic tables and benches around the Lido Concession area for the public.

Just in case you were not aware, we made several improvements to the Lido Pavilion.  We also plan to renovate the restrooms.  Please see the below update for the Lido Pavilion Renovations.  Please visit our website (letsplaysarasota.com) for updates pertaining to the Lido Pavilion, along with other City parks.

Lido Pavilion Project Update:

A new vent hood system has been installed.

A new blue aluminum roof has been installed.

A new concrete slab has been installed for the patio area.

New patio furniture has been installed.

A new irrigation system has been installed.  The Lido Pavilion area has been re-landscaped with Florida native plants.

A new shade structure for the patio area has been installed.     

A new concessionaire has been selected for the Lido Pavilion.  Chief Laszlo Bevardi is well known for his restaurant Bevardi’s Salute, which has been located in downtown Sarasota for the past 10 years.  Chief Bevardi plans to open the concession in the next couple of months.  Chief Bevardi has been working with an architect and contractors to renovate the concession area and install new equipment.    

Food truck vendors will continue to service Lido until the concessionaire is ready to open.   

Hall Architects has finalized the design for the restrooms.  The tentative plan is to finish the restrooms early next year, which will complete the Lido renovations. Please feel free to call me with any questions or suggestions at (941) 263-6563. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your day!

Jerry Fogle

Parks and Recreation Director

City of Sarasota

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