+ Planning Board reappointments on hold
With the threat of a lawsuit before them, three outgoing city commissioners decided against forcing through advisory-board appointments, including that of the Planning Board.
Mayor Kelly Kirschner, Vice Mayor Fredd Atkins and Commissioner Dick Clapp decided April 30 to go against city code and the advice of the city attorney and move ahead those appointments to their final commission meeting, which was May 2.
However, after hearing from attorney Casey Colburn, who told them there would be consequences for not following their own laws, the commissioners asked that the reappointments be put on hold.
City code requires a 90-day advertisement period before an advisory-board appointment. However, that rule had never been enforced.
Some citizens had complained that it wouldn’t be fair to anyone who wanted to apply for a board if the commission made the appointments without advertising them.
At main issue was the Planning Board, which had two members with terms expiring at the end of May, Susan Chapman and Chris Gallagher.
But Commissioner-elect Paul Caragiulo was also concerned that the new commission, which will be sworn in May 13, would not have a say as to who would serve on the board.
“We’re the ones who will be working with them,” he said.
There is no timetable yet on when the advisory-board appointments will be made.
+ Citizen sits during City Commission prayer
The Sarasota resident who complained to a group that monitors the separation of church and state about the City Commission reciting a prayer before each of its public meetings staged his own silent protest.
During a special commission meeting Friday, April 30, when Mayor Kelly Kirschner asked the room to rise for the prayer, Jim Lampl stayed seated. He rose when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Last month Lampl notified the American Humanist Association that the commission read a prayer before each meeting. He felt the prayer violated the Constitution. But the city attorney cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that he said supported the pre-meeting invocation, and the City Commission decided to keep the prayer in place.
+ Rep. Buchanan praises Osama bin Laden killing
Just hours after President Obama announced the special-forces mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, Rep. Vern Buchanan-R-Longboat Key, issued the following statement:
“The death of Osama bin Laden represents a historic victory in our fight against al-Qaeda and terrorism across the globe. I congratulate the men and women of our armed forces and the intelligence community for their perseverance in finding and killing bin Laden. I would also like to commend the Obama and Bush administrations’ tireless efforts in bringing the Sept. 11 mastermind to justice.”
Meetings & agendas
â–º Development Review Committee — 9 a.m. Thursday, May 5, Conference Room 2, 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota
â–º Siesta Key Association — 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key
â–º Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations — 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, Waldemere Fire Station, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota
â–º County Commission — 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice
â–º County Commission — 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 11, County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota