+ Two companies decline audit
Two of the companies the town’s Firefighter Pension Board of Trustees solicited to perform a forensic audit of the firefighter pension have declined to participate.
Tom Lowman, of Baltimore-based Bolton Partners Inc., sent an e-mail to pension board attorney Pedro Herrera Friday, Sept. 3, explaining that he “has several concerns of the review that is being requested and would be more comfortable if the scope were scaled down.
“The net cast is so wide that we are uncomfortable with our involvement under this approach. Having an unfunded liability is not an uncommon situation and does not automatically come with fault on anyone’s part. We would rather focus people’s energy on how to move forward,” wrote Lowman, who explained that an audit of this size would cost at least $150,000 and could not be completed by the board’s Nov. 15 deadline.
Sarasota-based Benchmark also declined to participate, even though the company had already provided a fee quote to firefighters to perform such a study, according to Herrera.
Benchmark President Edward Sledle cited “concerns regarding the integrity of the fund’s decision-making process and conflicts involving its various advisers” as reasons not to participate.
At least three other companies have yet to respond to the pension board’s request for proposals.
+ Paving project delayed one month
The Sarasota County portion of a Gulf of Mexico Drive repaving project has a new start date.
The project is slated to begin Oct. 4, according to new informational signs placed along Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Heavy rainfall from a stalled low-pressure system delayed the start of the project, which was scheduled to begin Aug. 23.
Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Darren Alfonso said scheduling conflicts also delayed the project.
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Town Commission Regular Meeting — 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13.
All meetings take place at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.