+ City keeps millage rate steady
City Hall had planned to raise its operational millage rate slightly in 2011 under the state’s rollback rate provision, but the City Commission suggested further cuts so that was not necessary.
The rollback rate allows local governments to raise the tax rate if property values decline in a particular year, so they can collect as many tax dollars as they did the previous year.
The current operational millage rate is 2.7771, and the city had proposed raising that to 2.8812.
City commissioners though cut about $500,000 extra from the $163 million budget in areas such as commissioner retirement contributions and police overtime.
+ Panel approves recommendations
The City Commission closed the book on the Police Advisory Panel, adopting the compromised recommendations reached between panel members, City Hall and the police department.
The two major initiatives coming from the panel are a Complaints Against Police Officers board, which will review all complaints against the department after the police department already rules on the cases, and a permanent police panel that is intended to help re-establish trust between the Sarasota’s officers and the community.
+ Simon appointed to DID Board
Because Andrew Foley resigned his seat on the Downtown Improvement District Board, city commissioners were tasked with appointing a new member.
Only two applications were received, and it was determined that one of those applicants was disqualified, because she did not meet the requirement of being a commercial property owner in Sarasota.
The other applicant was Pineapple Square developer John Simon. He was unanimously appointed to the DID Board.
In the Sept. 16 issue of The Sarasota Observer, Hospital Board candidate T.M. Hardt said he worked for Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The hospital wanted to clarify that Hardt was not an SMH employee, but instead worked for one of the hospital’s contractors.