+ Police panel down to 10 members
After two Police Advisory Panel members resigned within the past two months, city commissioners were asked to decide whether to replace those two and bring the panel back to 11 members or leave it at nine.
Stewart Stearns, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, and Ed James, executive producer of ABC 7’s Black Almanac, both resigned their positions on the panel.
Stearns served as the representative of Sarasota’s foundations. James was one of two African-American community representatives.
Commissioners decided to fill James’ position only and appointed the Rev. Willie Shaw. The panel now has 10 members.
The Police Advisory Panel was created after an officer was caught on videotape in June kicking a handcuffed suspect. Commissioners want the panel to review the practices and policies of the Sarasota Police Department.
+ DID re-elects its current officers
Downtown Improvement District (DID) Vice Chairman Ernie Ritz was appointed to a second term this week. He was also re-elected as vice chairman. Chairman Larry Fineberg and Secretary Pat Westerhouse were also re-elected to their posts, as the DID enters its second year in existence.
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Siesta Key Association — 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key
• Police Advisory Panel — 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, Commission Chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
• County Commission — 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• County Commission — 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota