+ Mayor addresses Publix rumors
Mayor Lee Rothenberg is fed up with political opponents, who he says have painted a picture of decline and stated publicly that the future of Publix at Avenue of the Flowers is in jeopardy if the Longboat Key Club Islandside renovation-and-expansion application is not approved.
Wrote Rothenberg in a release: “I want to advise the community that based on communications I have had with Mr. Jeff Preston, asset manager of Publix Super Markets Inc., the company has no intention of leaving the Key and that they are currently evaluating options for the Publix store and redevelopment of the Avenue of the Flowers. Mr. Preston indicated that their real-estate committee will be meeting later this month and that they intend to announce their plans in April. This should dispel the innuendos by opponents of the current commission who have endeavored to create misinformation for their political advantage.”
Planning, Zoning and Building Director Monica Simpson says there has been no communication with Publix about expansion plans. Publix spokesperson Shannon Patten said Tuesday that no plans have been finalized yet.
“We love our Longboat Key location, and we have no plans to leave,” said Patten, who expects plans to be finalized for Publix and the plaza in the next few months.
+ Town-wide election to be held March 16
The town of Longboat Key will host a town-wide municipal election 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 16.
Manatee County voters must vote at Longboat Island Chapel, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Sarasota County voters must vote at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
Town-wide ballot issues include the District 1, District 3 and at-large commission races. Sarasota County voters will also vote on a school district ad valorem extension and a millage referendum.
The Town Clerk’s office reported Tuesday that 135 registered voters took advantage of early voting on the mainland and 399 voters have mailed in absentee ballots.
A picture with signature identification is required. For additional information, call the Town Clerk’s office at 316-1999.
NUMBERS IN THE NEWS
2 — The number of commissioners who paid for and approved a campaign mailer that urged residents to vote for three of the current commissioners in the March 16 municipal election.
$8,025 — The amount it costs to put on a single Smooth Jazz concert on St. Armands Circle.
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Resident keeps eye on the pie
Inspired by her mother’s homemade banana cream pie, Bird Key resident Kim Manning had a sweet idea: key lime with a twist.
Show us your spirit this season
This week, our reporters will make our final decisions on our favorite displays of holiday cheer for our “Spirit of the Season” contest. This year’s competition isn’t limited to lights.
Paint the town red and green
This year, we won’t just be on the lookout for the most festive holiday lights on the Key. We’ll be on the prowl for anything that embodies the happiness of the holidays with our new “Spirit of the Season” contest.