+ Town chooses its people over sea turtles
The Longboat Key Town Commission will pick Longboaters over sea turtles when push comes to shove. The commissioners expressed the need to voice for the safety of Longboaters over sea turtles at its Jan. 7 regular meeting.
Commissioners approved on first reading an ordinance that allows for a budget transfer of $25,000 to do a study along Gulf of Mexico Drive to determine which lights need modifications in order to stay on during sea-turtle nesting season.
Several commissioners, though, made it clear they want town staff to analyze how much light is needed to keep pedestrians safe.
“If I have to choose between lighting for turtles and residents, I choose humans every time,” said Vice Mayor David Brenner, who made a point to note a pedestrian was killed last year walking across Gulf of Mexico Drive.
The rest of the commission agreed.
“Human safety comes before the turtles,” said Commissioner Lynn Larson.
+ Firefighter contract still hangs in limbo
Neither the town of Longboat Key nor the Longboat Key Fire Rescue union has ratified a new three-year contract to which both sides have agreed. But that doesn’t mean the contract won’t be approved.
Attorneys for both sides are still reviewing the details and Town Manager Dave Bullock told the Longboat Key Town Commission Monday night he’s hopeful the commission can ratify it at a special meeting after the commission’s Tuesday, Jan. 22 regular workshop.
“As soon as the bargaining unit ratifies the contract, I will get it to you,” Bullock said.
+ FDOT announces New Pass Bridge work
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has announced New Pass Bridge work that is planned in 2013.
FDOT reports that crews will be working from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, Jan. 11, to perform routine maintenance on the bridge. The same type of work will also be performed on the Ringling Bridge this week in Sarasota.
Also this week, crews will replace worn traffic markings on Gulf of Mexico Drive between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
None of the work is expected to cause traffic delays.
Meetings & Agendas
• Planning and Zoning Board Regular Meeting — 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15.
• General Employees Retirement System Special Board Meeting — 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16.
• Longboat Key Town Commission Regular Workshop — 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.
• Longboat Key Town Commission Regular Meeting — 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4.
• Code Enforcement Board Regular Meeting — 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11.
All meetings take place at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road, unless otherwise noted.
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.