+ Vice mayor seeks to delay paid parking
A staunch opponent to installing downtown parking meters in this economy, Vice Mayor Terry Turner implored his fellow commissioners May 16 to join him in asking that the paid-parking process be stopped.
Commissioner Paul Caragiulo was the only one who agreed.
“It’s not too late to stop,” said Turner.
But City Manager Bob Bartolotta said it was too late. The meters have been installed and are set to go online May 23.
“We have spent close to five years and $500,000 to $600,000 on this,” Bartolotta said. “We have an entire media and marketing campaign. If you put a stop to this, there are negative consequences.”
The rest of the commission did not want to stop the meter setup process.
+ Siesta Key bridge work schedule set
After hearing from five Siesta Key residents and business groups, the Florida Department of Transportation decided to heed their advice and avoid any daytime lane closures during construction on the Siesta Key North Bridge.
That work is scheduled to begin June 5 and end by Oct. 16. Bridge repairs will take place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and will require that one lane of traffic be closed during those work hours.
Construction will not take place during the Fourth of July holiday and Labor Day weekend because of the traffic anticipated at those times.
The Siesta Key Association, Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, Siesta Key Village Association, Bay Island Siesta Key Association and Siesta Key Condominium Council had jointly requested from FDOT nighttime work and no daytime lane closures while the bridge construction was conducted.
+ Senior Friendship Centers founder dies
Brother William Geenan, the founder of Senior Friendship Centers, died Saturday, May 14. He was 81 years old.
Geenan started the senior citizen centers in 1973, with the help of the first volunteer, Molleen Pust.
Nearly 40 years after that grand opening, Senior Friendship Centers help about 15,000 senior citizens in six different counties on the West Coast of Florida.
“His dedication to improving the quality of life and health for older adults has affected thousands of (seniors) on the Suncoast,” said Peg Palmer, Senior Friendship Centers communications director.
Meetings & agendas
â–º Bird Key Improvement Association — 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, Bird Key Yacht Club, 301 Bird Key Drive, Sarasota
â–º Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection — 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
â–º Independent Police Advisory Panel — 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
â–º County Commission — 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
â–º County Commission — 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota