LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch may only account for 2% of the total crime in Manatee County, but that hasn’t stopped the community’s district supervisors from continuing to keep safety a top priority.
In addition to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies who patrol through the community on a daily basis, each of the four districts within Lakewood Ranch has a contract with Wackenhut, a national security company.
Based on its contract, a member of the Wackenhut team should spend 40 hours a week serving each district. However in recent months, some supervisors have questioned whether their neighborhoods are receiving Wackenhut’s full attention.
“(Wackenhut) has shared responsibilities with (other districts), and that’s created some man (power) problems,” Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 1 Chairwoman June Stroup said. “We’re going to begin looking at other companies and proposals to determine if Wackenhut is (still) the best choice.”
During it monthly meeting April 16, the CDD 1 Board of Supervisors discussed whether to retain Wackenhut after its contract expires in December.
“The consensus among the community in general is that it wants to continue to have a safety patrol in district one,” said CDD 1 Supervisor Alan Roth, who chairs the district’s safety committee. “They feel the $30 a month they have to pay is worth it to have that feeling of safety.”
In the coming months, the CDD 1 board will develop a request for proposal based on performance objectives rather than a specific individual’s performance.
Because each district has its own security concerns, it’s necessary that the security provider recognize which services each district needs.
“You need to get away from the idea of individual (performance) and rather focus in on performance objectives — we really don’t care how it’s accomplished as long as it gets accomplished,” Community Manager Bob Fernandez said. “The performance objectives are an important part because they make sure your expectations are met.”
After discussion, the board maintained its desire to keep Wackenhut, with which it has had a contract with for the past six years, unless another security provider yields a more suitable offer.
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].
IN OTHER CDD NEWS:
• CDD 5 will host a budget workshop meeting from 4-6 p.m., April 23, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. CDD 4’s will follow from 6-8 p.m.
• The CDD 4 Board of Supervisors approved a motion to enter into a $37,850, five-month contract with Aquatic Systems to attack algae in Greenbrook’s ponds.
• The CDD 2 Board of Supervisors asked Operations Director Ryan Heise to gather estimates on the cost of excavating, cleaning and maintaining a ditch along University Parkway between Miramar and Boca Grove.
• The palm pruning process, expected to take two months, and the installation of the summer annuals has begun in CDD 2.
• CDD 1 recently erected two new concrete signs at the entrance of River Club Boulevard and Clubhouse Drive in Summerfield.