+ Brown case bound for shade session
Sarasota County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh held a closed executive session with county commissioners Jan. 30, to discuss the civil-rights lawsuit Siesta Key property owner Chris Brown filed against the county in 2012.
The meeting falls outside Florida Sunshine laws, and could result in a settlement with Brown, who has sued the county twice already for alleged selective tax enforcement.
Freshman Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines declined to attend the meeting because his firm represented Brown during a previous trial.
That means Hines will not vote on decisions regarding the case or the possibility of a settlement.
+ Board approves tourist-tax spending
Sarasota County commissioners approved a roughly $83,000 grant to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation and Florida State University Jan. 29, for four exhibitions and educational programs encompassing modern art.
The Sarasota County Tourist Development/Cultural Arts grant draws revenues from tourist development taxes, which the county levies on short-term rentals.
Tourist taxes also pay for tourist-related operations, such as beach cleaning.
Commissioner Christine Robinson cast the sole vote against the grant project. She has consistently criticized the program for neglecting arts and cultural organizations from South Sarasota County.
Meetings & Agendas
• Siesta Key Village Association meeting — 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar, 5250 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key
• Sarasota County Commission/City of Sarasota Commission joint meeting — 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, Administration Building, Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• ESLOC Advisory Board meeting — 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, Administration Building, Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• Siesta Key Association meeting — 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key
• Sarasota County Commission budget workshop — 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, Administration Building, Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota