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Longboat Key
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Letters to the Editor week of May 20, 2022

No Brain history

To: Editor

He opines, “Theoretical Racial Indoctrination” of our children is propagating hatred and social divisiveness resulting from the teaching “ bad things” in America’s history.

WW II

We interred Japanese and Italian United States citizens in camps, depriving them of their “Constitutional Inalienable Rights” and loss of wealth and human dignity.

Albeit, a cowardly sneak attack, Pearl Harbor was a military target. The “Fire Bombing” of Tokyo was a targeting of civilians (note: Russia/Ukraine), resulting in more deaths than the Atomic bombings.

This is not Hate history, it is factual history, and an intellectual guide, to not repeat that which was a transgression of our “American Values” so written in our Constitution.

“I know David McCullough, and you sir, are no David McCullough” (off quote).

Edmund Albright

Sarasota

 

Pickle ball courts

To: Editor

A few years back, there was a meeting about the Town Center after Ringling had decided to dropout.  At that meeting, a group of us proposed a public library and community center be built at the site using Sarasota and Manatee County to help with the cost.  I also mentioned that the Recreation Center in Bayfront Park had seen better days.  It could be incorporated into the Community Center part of the library at the Town Center.

I suggested a perfect place to build pickle ball courts would be where the Recreation Center now exists in Bayfront Park. It is an ideal location for the courts which already have some courts but not enough. In a park setting, away from housing with plenty of room for expansion if necessary. With all the concern about noise and housing this could be the ideal location. Solving two problems one what to do with an aging Recreation center and two the need for more Pickle ball courts with little noise inconvenience to the community.

Matt Costello

Sarasota

 

Asphalt Repairs SR 789 Bradenton Beach and the Town of Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Commission

See update on the FDOT asphalt work on GMD.  Two of the three sites that they are repairing are on Longboat Key and one is on Anna Maria Island.  They have indicated that in the addition to these repairs they also have a pothole contractor doing some follow-up work the 2nd week of June.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Asphalt Repairs SR 789 Bradenton Beach and the Town of Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Just wanted to give a quick update.

Crew completed two of three locations last night. Contractor originally intended on starting at the location near the RAB (which is the worst of the three) however, FPL was working on utilities at this location. The plan is to make the final repairs tonight.

As for some of the smaller potholes near the Sarasota County line, we will have a pothole repair contractor make those repairs. The pothole Contractor is scheduled to start 2nd week in June. Please reach out to me if any additional potholes appear and we will take care of while we are out there, thanks.

Lori Weakley

Contract Coordinator II

Florida Department of Transportation

Asphalt Repairs SR 789 Bradenton Beach and the Town of Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

The repair crews will be pushed back one night, starting Wednesday in lieu of Tuesday due to a conflict.

We are aware that the temporary patch on SR 789 near 3rd did not hold up over the weekend.

Our Maintenance inhouse crew will be out today to place cold patch in hopes that it will hold until Wednesday night, thanks.

Lori Weakley

Contract Coordinator II

Florida Department of Transportation

 

Asphalt Repairs SR 789 Bradenton Beach and the Town of Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Commission

Good morning, I believe I have included all concerned.  If I have missed anyone, please forward this email. Starting Tuesday night, the following asphalt repairs will be made.

Turtle Infrastructure Partners will be arriving on site to start work Tuesday night May 17th, 2022. The contractor is scheduled to work 7:00pm to 6:00am Tuesday 5/17/22 through Thursday 5/19/22.

Lane closure on SR789 at 3rd street south in the NB through lane which is just south of Cortez Rd. (Sr684). The Second location is just south of the entrance to Infinity Longboat Key, 4765 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228 in the NB through lane. The third Location is on SR789 in front of a condominium entrance named Aria located at Aria, 2251 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228 in the NB through lane. The contractor will be starting on the north side of the island and working their way south. The crews will be milling and resurfacing asphalt deficiencies.

In addition, if I have not mentioned a location that is a concern, let me know by no later than Monday close of business and I will have someone investigate to see if we will need to add it. If you have any questions, concerns or complaints please contact me, thanks.

Lori Weakley

Contract Coordinator II

Florida Department of Transportation

 

Property Tax Windfall Millage Adjustment

To: Bob and Shannon Gault

Thanks for your note. While assessed values for both portions of Longboat Key are expected to rise by double digits for the upcoming tax year, much of the impact will fall on new owners, new construction, those who have made substantial additions in 2021 and part time residents.  Tax increases for homesteaders cannot exceed 3 percent in any year.  As you point out, our first priority is and should be fiscal sustainability, and the Town will continue to experience increased costs just like our residents and local businesses.  Having said that, we do hope to be able to reduce the impact of increased assessments by lowering the Town’s operating millage in fiscal 2023; we will know more as final assessment numbers arrive in June.

You raise a good point as regards our counties.  The bulk of our property taxes go to Sarasota and Manatee Counties, their respective School Boards and other County agencies.  We will do our best to convince them to share some of the assessment windfall with their taxpayers as well.

Ken Scheier

Mayor

Longboat Key

Property Tax Windfall Millage Adjustment

Mayor Ken, we just read the Observer article regarding the upcoming impact of skyrocketing real estate values on property tax revenues to the Town and Counties.  A majority of this “windfall” in tax revenue should be considered as a good argument for reducing the millage rate obviously.

We urge the Commission to act with fiscal responsibility in adjusting the millage rate down within reason.

Also, please do your best in lobbying, on behalf of Longboat residents, with the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions to do the same.  We are getting hammered with rising County taxes. Given the huge increase in new mainland residents and major property improvements on the mainland and Longboat, in addition to increased real estate market valuations, there should be plenty of tax revenue growth to allow some of this tax windfall to remain with the taxpayers. Thank you for your consideration and service to our community.  You folks are doing a great job.

Bob and Shannon Gault

Longboat Key

 

Bayport crosswalk needed

To: Longboat Key Commission

I am a resident at Bayport Beach and Tennis Club (Unit 738). I strongly recommend and request that a crosswalk be installed at Bayport (across Gulf of Mexico Drive).

The crosswalk will not only help Bayport residents but also residents of the condos just to the south, at Beach Harbor, and the mobile home parks further south (and anyone walking or riding bikes on the east side of Gulf of Mexico Blvd). I believe these residents and everyone would use and benefit from the Bayport crosswalk, partly because residents of Beach Harbour and the mobile home parks have an obstructed view. Their complexes are located on a slight curve on Gulf of Mexico Drive, which makes it very dangerous for them to cross.

The Bayport location is perfect because it is a straight stretch of road which would allow pedestrians to see oncoming traffic and vice versa.

Also, I have noted that drivers on Gulf of Mexico Drive near Bayport are particularly distracted by the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, which water is highly visible in this area. There’s a tendency of the drivers to look to the gulf and not look at pedestrians.

The absence of a crosswalk in this area is a significant risk. I’ve seen many, many, very “close calls”.  Bayport and Longboat Key have an older population but also a high percentage of non-local residents, who are commonly unfamiliar with the rules of the road…and many have uncertain as to if pedestrians have the right of way or not. There are considerable “yield to pedestrians” rules to the south of us in Saint Armands and to the north of us in Bradenton Beach.

Additionally, I do not think that a crosswalk would slow traffic. The pedestrian who intends on crossing the road is going to cross the road; it’s just a question of whether they’re going to do so in an organized safe fashion or whether it’s going to be somewhat haphazard. In fact, it’s quite common for a car to stop and wave pedestrians across, which creates considerable confusion to traffic behind that driver, not to mention the traffic coming the other way. That creates a considerable risk to everyone.

I also note that when there is a crosswalk there tends to be a consolidation of pedestrians crossing at once. This creates a more efficient transfer of pedestrians across the Gulf of Mexico Blvd.

In summary, for efficiency and pedestrian and driver safety, I highly recommend the installation of a crosswalk at Bayport. Thank you for taking the time to review this email and consider this important safety issue.

Erik Abrahamson

Longboat Key

 

Bayport crosswalk needed

To: Erik Abrahamson

I couldn’t agree more, Bayport and the surrounding area need a crosswalk.

FDOT has limits what can be done there, and on much of GMD, but getting crosswalks in the right places to improve safety is something we are advocating and need to get done.

Maureen Merrigan

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Electronic media technology

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Mike Haycock

As a follow up to your question yesterday, attached is a copy of the Town’s Resolution 2021-15 that sets forth when Town Commissioners can/cannot participate via interactive electronic media technology in Town workshops and meetings.  Commissioners are authorized to appear and participate in regular and special workshops provided there is a physical quorum present and the other listed technology requirements are met.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Maggie Mooney

Town Attorney

Longboat Key

Property Appraiser

To: Longboat Key Commission

See note that I received from Brian Loughrey from the Sarasota County Property Appraisers Office regarding the follow-up the question that Commissioner Williams asked.  The question related to certain parcels on the gulf side of GMD that may be owned privately but do not have a value assigned to them.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

Property Appraiser

To: Longboat Key Commissioner Debra Williams

Commissioner Williams, it was a pleasure to address the Town Commission.  I have researched your question and have located what I believe to be the parcels you had asked about.  They all have a taxable value of zero because they are assessed as common element under Section 193.0235, Florida Statutes.  Any potential public improvements the Town may be contemplating would need to be addressed to the individual property owners.  Below is a list of the properties and a link that will show you their location visually on our GIS map.

Starting from the South end:

Buttonwood Cove Condo Association Inc.

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0000007567&slayer=0

Gulfshore of Longboat Key Inc.

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0003031179&slayer=0

Twin Shores Mobile Home Assn Inc.

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0003032092&slayer=0

Beach Harbor Association Inc.

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0000007185&slayer=0

Bayport Beach and Tennis Club Condo Assn Inc (Two parcels)

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0000007185&slayer=0

https://ags3.scgov.net/scpa/?esearch=0000007507&slayer=0

Please let me know if I am misunderstanding your question or if you have additional questions.

Brian Loughrey

Chief Deputy

Representing the Honorable Bill Furst, CFA, Sarasota County Property Appraiser

Support for the new pickleball

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I am writing this message in support of the proposed new Pickleball courts at the Longboat Key Club.

So many articles have recently been in the news (including in the Observer) of the rising popularity of the sport of Pickleball. It is said to now be the fastest growing sport in the U.S. One can definitely see evidence of this in LBK. Pickleball has become so popular that the Town built new courts at Bayfront Park and these courts are in constant use with long wait times in season. Additional courts at Bayfront would probably be on the wish list of everyone who plays there.

We have the same situation at the LBKC. The courts near the Marina are extremely busy and there is a definite need for more courts.

It seems that many of the residents of Winding Oaks have raised objections to the building of the new courts which will be located next to the tennis courts. It is understandable that these residents are upset because they did not seem to receive notice of this project in a timely manner.  They are also concerned about the lights and the noise.

As for the lights, the courts at the Tennis Gardens are lit and I have never heard that this has ever been an issue.

The courts at the Marina are located next to a condominium building and I can’t recall ever hearing any complaints from these residents. In fact, several other condo buildings on LBK have successfully converted their tennis courts to Pickleball courts with the approval of their residents.

I play tennis, Pickleball and I am an avid walker. The leaf blowers seem to follow me from court to court and along the sidewalks of Bay Isles. To me, their noise is a lot more disturbing than the noise from Pickleball!

I am sure that as a good neighbour, the LBKC will do its utmost to mitigate the concerns of the Winding Oaks residents and I am looking forward to a new Pickleball facility at the Club.

Lana Dorfman

Longboat Key

 

Correction to Area Identified as a Public Bathing Swimming & Swimming Area

To: Longboat Key Vice Mayor Maureen Merrigan

As we have discussed before, I am not attending meetings and I hope that you will represent me.  I have been constant in my effort to have the government to manage Beer Can Island or Greer Island in the best way possible.  For over 5 years we have had to deal with problems caused by the way that it has been managed.  I believe that the simplest and best solution is to dedicate the land as a nature preserve.  We are watching a rapidly changing situation with the spit of land growing and changing daily.  In another five years we will be trying to figure in the new planning for the new bridge.  I can only represent myself and I have lived at Lands End for 70 years.  I have an Environmental Studies background and worked for over 40 years as a Marine Environmental Consultant from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor.  I also have been a licensed boat captain and a lifeguard for Manatee County mostly at Coquina Beach.  Please present this aerial photo to the people at the meeting with designated areas added.

I believe that you need to look at the situation with a broad view which helps to solve problems that we have experienced over the past 5 or more years.  The aim should be to calm the area and to provide a place for the peaceful enjoyment of this natural resource by all of the people and the wildlife.  The police have had a difficult time patrolling this remote area and your choice should make the designated area clearly defined and easy to manage.  All of this needs to be done with the changes that we will face in the next 5-10 years in mind.  Remember that whatever plan with the proper signage will have to be enforced.  Thank you for what you do and please continue to represent the people who live at the North End of Longboat Key.

Tom Mayers

Longboat Key

 

Support for new pickleball courts

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I would like to express my support for the addition of new pickleball courts at the Longboat Key Club. Pickleball is a game that is accessible to many more players of different ages and abilities as compared to tennis. In particular, older players or players who perhaps are no longer able to play tennis due to injury can transition their racquet sport talents to the pickleball court. It’s active and social, and increasing in popularity.

To my knowledge, some of the condo communities have put pickleball courts on their properties without issue. Certainly, some landscaping can help with the sound. Additionally, there are different surfaces, balls and paddles that can be investigated which can dampen sound. We cannot be the only community who may need to allay these concerns.

Lisa Gordon

Longboat Key

 

Concern about pickleball courts

To: Longboat Key Commission

I am writing to express my disappointment and concern about both the LBK’s decision and location of the pickleball courts, as well as the way this process has unfolded.  This was recommended and approved by the Longboat Key planning board without any notification to the communities and homes that would be most affected. This is just wrong.

In the newspaper there have been two articles about four pickleball courts proposed to be built next to the tennis courts in the Harbourside area of the Longboat Key Club.  The original article in the Observer quotes people saying that the noise from pickleball won’t be a problem for the Sabal Cove community.  That person is exactly right—it won’t at all be a problem for them because the pickleball courts will be built on the other side of the water from Winding Oaks. How was it that those in attendance at this meeting would have failed to have noticed the proximity to the very quiet Winding Oaks community and homes and advocated for these citizens?

I love pickleball so this isn’t about whether there should be more pickleball courts—there should be (and ones that are accessible to the general public would be in order, too, but that’s another story.  If this is to be something for the benefit of the whole Bay Isles community as stated, then all of us who reside here should be able to partake in some way, not just those who can afford the astronomical fees of the Longboat Key Club.  Longboat Key Club, take notice—we all share Bay Isles).

There should be knowledgeable planning for these courts being built by the LBK Club that specifically addresses and considers the proximity to Winding Oaks. Sound waves move out and die more slowly over water. Making some plans for smartly relocating these proposed courts and creating some type of sound buffer would be in order at a minimum. We need a specific plan for preventing unobstructed sound of the pickleball game and the players.

Light shielding must be considered, too.

And (somewhat tongue in cheek) I would think as well that some type of peace offering might also be in order—allowing the Winding Oaks community some access to the pickleball courts because we are the ones that will be most affected by this.

This is certainly something that will be affecting the Winding Oaks community for a long time in the most negative of ways.  The Long Boat Key club needs to be a better neighbor and the town of Longboat Key must be the advocates for all the people who live in the beautiful, peaceful and quiet Winding Oaks/Bay Isles community.

Andi Edson and Michael Spencer

Longboat Key

 

Support of pickleball courts

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I am a member of the Longboat Key Club and a Sarasota County resident.  I am writing to you in support of the club’s proposed pickleball courts.  I have been surprised and disappointed to hear about the objections made against the courts.  I understand everyone’s desire to live in a quite peaceful area and to enjoy the key.  The perception that these new courts will create a noise nuisance may be exaggerated.  Many of the condominiums on the key have pickleball courts and have not had any problems.  The existing courts at the club have condominiums near them and have not had any complaints.  The club is catering to a very real need for courts.  The sport has become very popular.  The lovely courts built by the township at Bayfront Park are very busy, too busy to accommodate everyone during the season.  The club’s new courts will help to alleviate that situation.  I hope that the club will be permitted to proceed with its plan.  I appreciate your kind consideration of this request.

Maria Levine

Longboat Key

 

Property Appraiser

To: Longboat Key Commission

It was a pleasure to address the town Commission this afternoon.  The Property Appraiser appreciates the working relationship we have with your staff, in particular Tom Harmer and Allen Parsons.  I believe it is beneficial to both offices when we can have meaningful discussions each spring prior to the completion of the tax roll.

You had asked about the 2021 value for the former Colony Beach & Tennis property.  The 2021 cumulative just value for the 244 parcels was $36,285,500.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Brian Loughrey

Chief Deputy

Representing the Honorable Bill Furst, CFA, Sarasota County Property Appraiser

 

Property Appraiser

To: Brian Loughrey

I agree completely.  Your update was very helpful and your clear explanation of appraisal methods will help us understand and communicate to the public information they need to know.  We look forward to future sessions.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

Swimmer Protection Zones

To: Longboat Key Commission

See update to the proposed Swimmer Protection Zone dimensions.  The staff intention was to make this zone consistent with the area that was previously agreed to with Manatee County. They verified the dimensions today and needed to update the draft ordinance and exhibit.  This is a workshop discussion so any input from the Commission on Monday will then be folded into the final ordinance that will come to back to the Commission for formal consideration.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Correction to Area Identified as a Public Bathing Swimming & Swimming Area

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Tom- In advance of Monday’s Town Commission Regular Workshop Discussion on a Proposed Swimmer & Resource Protection Zone (Item 5A), I want to share that staff discovered an error.  The error has to do with the area identified as a Public Bathing & Swimming Area, which was described & delineated in a manner intended to reestablish a non-motorized vessel area to the same extent of beach fronting area that had been previously delineated by Manatee County as being limited to Kayaks & Paddle-boards.

In reverifying that extent, it was discovered that the sign-post utilized for measurement was not the northernmost signpost of this formerly delineated area.  The northernmost signpost was actually 130 ft. further north. Therefore, the area identified as a Public Bathing & Swimming Area is recommended to be revised. The new dimensions will reflect an area of 180’ (north-to-south) by 50’ (east-to-west), instead of an area with dimensions of 50’ x 50’.

I’m attaching a copy of the ordinance change that will be recommended & presented to the Town Commission at the Workshop on Monday afternoon. The change involves a (highlighted) revision to the ordinance in Sec. 89.05(1) & its associated map.  I will be covering this change as part of the presentation.  Below are side by side comparisons of the proposed change in the extent of the Swimming Area. The revised Swimming Area is shown in the image on the right. I apologize for the confusion this may cause.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

Town Center Green

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

My concern is the proposed library at the Town Center Green location. What steps and assurances can you give that this will not result in a similar unsafe situation that surrounds the Selby library downtown.

George Molaro

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Green

To: George Molaro

To what unsafe situation are you referring?

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Green

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Selby library has a security guard stationed out front of the entrance. In the rear of the building, homeless gather. Just my opinion that libraries are not always a good choice.

George Molaro

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Green

To: George Molaro

Thanks for your input and concern.  Homeless have been a problem for some time throughout the downtown Sarasota business district, including the area around Selby Library. Fortunately, that has never been an issue anywhere on Longboat Key, and I doubt a community center including a library at the Town Center Green would generate one.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Green

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

You are probably correct in your assessment. But if we do end up with a library, please make sure It comes with a key.

Thank you for your quick response.

George Molaro

Longboat Key

 

Pickleball support

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

I have been vacationing on Longboat Key for over 25 years and recently bought a condo 4 years ago so that we could spend more time there.  As a member of the Longboat Key Club, I am an avid Pickleball player and play about 4 times per week.  I believe it is in the best interest of the Club to provide its members with Pickleball Courts, so I am in full support of the new proposed Pickleball Courts at the Tennis facility for the following reasons:

Longboat Key Club pickleball courts – pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and having pickleball courts available to members is a great attraction to both Club members and resort guests.  I exclusively play at Longboat Key because of the membership camaraderie.    

Noise Level –  With only 4 pickleball courts, the noise level is really negligible.  I live at Grand Bay and walk by the present pickleball courts near the Marina and I usually have to look to see if there are people on the courts to determine if someone is playing.  You cannot really hear the ball from a distance.  Even when we are playing and people are waiting on the sidelines, the noise is hardly noticeable.  We are more disturbed by the noise from lawn mowing, leaf blowers, and delivery trucks more than the balls on the court.  I believe the Club is planning on putting in some landscaping which will also help mitigate the noise issue.

Daily pickleball Play –  Most people are on the courts at a time when others are doing other activities, such as golf, tennis, bike riding.  I don’t think playing Pickleball would be any different than having all the tennis courts occupied at once.

I hope you will consider going forward with the proposed plans for the pickleball Courts at the Longboat Key Club as it will be a valuable asset.  Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

Linda Pike

Longboat Key

 

Pickleball in favor

To: Longboat Key Commission

I am a Longboat Key resident and Longboat Key Club member who is very much in favor of the proposed construction of pickleball courts alongside the tennis courts at the Tennis Garden facility. As a pickleball player, I believe that these courts are essential for the increasing demand by the Longboat Key Club members.  Other reasons include:

• Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and, while it’s a sport all ages can play, it has primarily attracted seniors who want another avenue for extending their healthy lifestyle.  The LBKC should be allowed to expand their product to their members and potential new members as a private club.  Their pickleball courts at the Marina are heavily used and additional courts need to be added.

• Allowing pickleball courts to be funded and constructed by a private entity places less pressure on the public sector to use land and funds on LBK.

• It is my understanding that there are around 50 complexes on LBK that have converted one or more of their hard tennis courts to pickleball courts for multi playing use or built dedicated courts.  These courts sit in the middle of condominiums where owners approved them.

• I understand noise decibels from playing pickleball does not exceed the town standards.  The LBKC already has 30 tennis courts, lights for night play and a premier golf course that surrounds Winding Oaks.  There must be noise created by all this activity.  There are already trees in the proposed area that act as a natural sound barrier and I believe that the LBKC will take additional steps to mitigate some pickleball noise issue as the courts are constructed.

It is unfortunate that the meeting is on June 7th since many LBKC pickleball players (like myself) will have left for the summer season and our collective voices cannot be heard.  I would encourage the mayor and commissioners to give their approval for the construction of the pickleball courts.  I, for one, am in favor. Thank you for your time and attention on this matter.

Mary Kay Strangfeld

Longboat Key

 

As a reminder, the law requires Public Officers and Employees as defined in Section 112.3145(1)(a), Florida Statutes to file Form 1 Statement of Financial Interests Disclosures for the calendar year 2021 with the Supervisor of Elections in the county where you permanently reside within 30 days of appointment or employment, and then annually by July 1st of each calendar year. Please find attached a copy of the financial disclosure form for completion, or you may obtain a copy of the form by visiting The Commission on Ethics’ website at www.ethics.state.fl.us, by clicking on the “Financial Disclosure” box on the right to download a form for completion.

Consequently, fines may automatically be assessed by The Commission on Ethics at $25 per day for late filing of disclosure form. Further, the fines may continue to accrue until the official either files the disclosure form, or the fine reaches $1,500—whichever comes first. For more information about the ethics laws and the Commission’s responsibilities is available at the Commission’s website, www.ethics.state.fl.us, which contains informative publications, rules, and other information.

Please take a moment to carefully read the instructions before filing your disclosure form directly with the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which you permanently reside. For assistance with financial disclosure, you may wish to contact the Commission’s Financial Disclosure Coordinator, Kimberly Holmes, at disclosure@leg.state.fl.us or (850) 488-7864. Address correspondence to P.O. Drawer 15709 Tallahassee, FL 32317-5709.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Shayla Griggs

City Clerk

City of Sarasota

 

Question

To: Melvin Sykes

Hi Mel,  hope all is well with you.  I am recalling a comment you made about 1350 being required to provide a unit (or more) of lower cost or ‘affordable’  that sold at market price.  Could you provide any details as to what was required and what happened?

The city is again trying to find a way to provide affordable but no mention how to manage/monitor what they do. Best to you, wish you were still in town!

Mollie Cardamone

Sarasota

 

Question

To: Mollie Cardamone

Hi Mollie! I apologize for not getting back to you yesterday. We are enjoying life in The Meadows and I hope you are happy and well.

In order to get bonus density 1350’s developer agreed to construct loft units, one bedroom, one bedroom under 1,000 square feet, adjacent to the garage on floors 2-5. I don’t know what the developer sold them for when the building opened in 2007, but one sold for about $500,000 before we left last fall. The problem was that once the developer sold the unit, subsequent sales were governed by the market i.e., what buyers were willing to pay.

Congratulations on defeating the plan to remove height from the Comprehensive Plan, but I have no doubt Cover and the development community will try again. Hopefully, Jen is re-elected and Brody is replaced by someone not in the developer’s pocket. I do very much miss working on civic affairs with you!

Melvin Sykes

Sarasota

 

Question….density bonus given

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Its just a matter of checking property records to see original selling price by developer of 1350 and sales of same units today.  Sure doesn’t look like we gained any ‘affordable’ units in downtown even with a big city density bonus consideration.

Below is letter from Mel, he granted permission to send his note.

Jen, the problem will always be monitoring……who monitors?  Answer: nobody!

Mollie Cardamone

Sarasota

 

Question….density bonus given

To: Mollie Cardamone

Thanks Mollie! I would like to chat with you, maybe tomorrow about your thoughts on all of this.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Question….density bonus given

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Anytime, home most of day tomorrow.

Mollie Cardamone

Sarasota

 

Increased Density and Height/Attainable of Affordable Housing

To: Sarasota City Commission

Last evening a group of friends, all residents of the City, were discussing the newest plan to develop housing for low and moderate income individuals.

We all wondered just how many developers/architects/attorneys that spoke for this proposal came to the City within the last 36 months asking for assistance from the Planning Department to implement a plan for providing this type of housing.

Would it be possible for Mr. Cover to provide this information?  Thank you.

Joyce Cloutier

Sarasota

Increased Density and Height/Attainable of Affordable Housing

To: Joyce Cloutier

I am treating this as a public records request and copied the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office to handle. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Increased Density and Height/Attainable of Affordable Housing

To: Joyce Cloutier

This will acknowledge receipt of your public records request.  My office will notify you when the search for responsive records has been completed and you will receive a response through our public records system JustFOIA. In the meantime, please note that we may contact you if we need clarification regarding your request.  We will further advise you if there are any charges associated with the retrieval of the records responsive to your request.

Please note: FL Statute 119, regarding Public Records, does not require a governmental body to create new information (only to produce existing records), perform legal research, or to answer questions about the public records (other than how to obtain them and the possible cost).

Shayla Griggs

City Clerk

City of Sarasota

 

IBSS development

To: Sarasota City Commission

I am writing to let you know as a resident of IBSS that the proposed Sapphire Shore, North & South, Developments will irreparably impact our quiet, tree-canopied, historic, old Sarasota charm neighborhood.  Our safety and quality of life being of prime concern.

These are only a few concerns:

1.  Bayshore Drive and Sarasota Avenue are currently being used as “cut throughs”  to avoid the already heavy traffic on US41, North Tamiami Trail.

2. Sarasota Ave and Bayshore Drive are already difficult to navigate under the existing conditions, with visibility conflicts, children, and the many residents who walk and bike here.

3. The proposed design with entrance/egress directly into the neighborhood will dramatically increase traffic on streets ill equipped to handle the proposed number of vehicles.

4. The revitalization of the North Trail and the progress that is coming is definitely welcome! However, sending the large number of proposed new residents out on already crowded neighborhood roads is counter-constructive to the quality of life we all treasure in our City.

Please, please consider keeping the North Trail development entrance on US41, which eliminates many safety hazards and concerns. This would help preserve our unique neighborhood while welcoming the proposed housing project.

Kirk Gustafson

Sarasota

 

IBSS development

To: Kirk Gustafson

I note that you have already copied Mr. Brown on this email, so I trust the appropriate staff will respond to your concerns.

Liz Alpert

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Thank you for writing this message, as it is vital for our commission to do its job with the thoughts of our residents in mind. Please continue to write and express your insight whenever possible.

Due to the high volume of e-mails received on a daily basis, we will forward your message to the appropriate department to address any concerns you may have and respond to your message.

If you would like to schedule a phone conversation, virtual, or in-person meeting with me, please write an e-mail to Christina.Wollenberg@sarasotafl.gov so that she can add you to my calendar at her earliest convenience.

Again, your message is greatly appreciated and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Erik J. Arroyo

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Sarasota Magazine- Statement about U.S. Ranking Accolade

To: Sarasota City Commission

Please see below and see if we can formulate an answer that works for everyone.

Here are some of my observations:

1. We received an overall score that was the exact same as the #5 rank recipient.

2. Many areas dropped out of the Top 10 from last year and this leaves us as the #1 best place in Florida.

3. Our city, residents, and staff are driven on the vision of making us the best community in the world. It starts with our staff that enjoys their public service and the change they make in people’s lives; followed by our residents who are involved and educated, constantly searching for new ways to push our city forward.

4. We have our eyes set on the #1 spot. Our recent exceptional internal promotions, record high morale in our police, record low crime rate, lowering of the millage rate, reduction in adjusted operating costs, investment in infrastructure and water quality, improvement of parks and environmental resiliency, implementation of arts initiatives, introduction of micromobility measures, policies that address affordable housing, partnerships that incentivize home ownership, and significant reduction in our homeless population is testament that what we are doing works. We live in the #1 area in the most desired state in America.

Hope to speak to you all soon, happy Wednesday.

Erik Arroyo

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Sarasota Magazine- Statement about U.S. Ranking Accolade

To: Sarasota City Mayor Erik Arroyo

I hope your week is going well. My name is Chloe Nelson and I am with Sarasota Magazine. I want to start by saying congratulations on your recent achievement for Sarasota! I am writing a piece about the city’s placement in the top ten best places to live in the U.S. for 2022-23 and I would love to grab a quote from you.

If you could give me some thoughts on how you are feeling about maintaining ninth place for two consecutive years and how you plan on climbing that ranking for a spot at the top for next year, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, a few words for the residents and your office of staff and management that helped make this happen!  Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Chloe Nelson

Editorial Intern

Sarasota Magazine

Vacation Rental Certificate of Registration Update

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Below are the vacation rental certificate of registration application numbers as of 5/13/22:

Total Pending/Active Registrations: 80

Applications Pending Initial Review: 2

Requested More Documentation (Waiting on Customer): 14

Approved and Pending Payment: 2

Inspections Scheduled: 45

Active Certificate of Registrations: 17

Outstanding expected applications: 46

Lucia Panica

Director of Development Services

City of Sarasota

Vacation Rental Certificate of Registration Update

To: Sarasota City Director of Development Services Lucia Panica

Thank you for the updated info on this. May we schedule a short meeting (30 mins) to talk through these numbers and the process? I would like to have a better understanding of how this is working.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

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