+ State of City address deliverer questioned
Originally, the Charter Review Board voted unanimously to have the city manager, not the mayor, give Sarasota’s State of the City address.
However, two weeks later, nearly every single board member had second thoughts and voted to remove all mention of the State of the City from the charter.
Board members voted 7-1 March 1 to strike any requirements related to the annual address, because they didn’t feel that it belonged in the charter.
But that decision didn’t come until after nearly an hour-and-a-half of debate over whether the mayor or the city manager should deliver the address.
The State of the City address is made once a year as a mayor rounds out his term and a new mayor is appointed.
Member Elmer Berkel originally preferred the city manager issue the State of the City, because the city manager leads the city’s day-to-day operations.
“It’s not written by the mayor,” he said. “It’s written by (city spokeswoman) Jan Thornburg. It’s given once during the day and is a swan song for an outgoing mayor.”
But member Hank Battie believed because the city manager already has input into the address, it doesn’t matter who got the honors.
“If it’s all a joint effort, why does it matter who delivers it?” he asked.
In the end, the majority of members decided the matter did not belong in the charter and that it should be up to the City Commission to decide who delivers the State of the City.
+ Jackson Lab pursues Sarasota County
The Jackson Laboratory picked Sarasota County as its location to build a 120,000-square-foot biomedical research facility, but several obstacles remain to make it a reality.
Jackson Lab employs more than 1,200 at its Bar Harbor, Maine, headquarters, and more than 100 at a research facility in Sacramento, Calif.
Before “The Jackson Laboratory – Florida” project breaks ground, the nonprofit biomedical research institution must lobby Gov. Rick Scott and Sarasota County voters to raise $160 million from taxpayers.
“We have a lot of hurdles to go,” says Teri Hansen, president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, a leading partner in the effort to land the lab. Other regional collaborators include the University of South Florida, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and Sarasota County government.
The County Commission approved two weeks ago a concept plan that would allow the construction of additional lanes and roads in Palmer Ranch.
Those projects, an expansion of Sawyer Loop Road and additional lanes on McIntosh Road, will only occur when, and if, new development in the area demands them.
Meetings & agendas
Parks Advisory and Recreation Council — 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, Twin Lakes Park, Green Building Auditorium, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota
City Commission — 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
Downtown Improvement District — 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 8, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
Planning Board — 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota