The Longboat Key Town Commission will change its election date to March 12.
The town’s charter sets the date for the town’s general election as the third Tuesday in March, which puts the date for an election that includes three Longboat Key Town Commission races for March 19, 2013.
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, however, supports moving the date because her office is already handling three elections on March 12.
By sharing an election day with Sarasota, the town will also save advertising fees for the election canvassing board and could share early voting costs.
On first reading Monday night at Town Hall, the Longboat Key Town Commission agreed to make the change.
Commissioner Lynn Larson, a longtime Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections volunteer at Town Hall, told commissioners the move will reduce confusion among Longboat Key voters who sometimes come to Town Hall looking to vote on city of Sarasota ballot measures.
“Anything we can do to make it simpler for the voters is much appreciated,” Larson said.
The town will pay for early voting on the island a week prior to the election.
While the commission was scheduled to ratify a new three-year contract with the Longboat Key Fire Rescue union tonight, it’s not expected the contract will be ratified yet because attorneys are still reviewing it. Town Manager Dave Bullock said he expects the commission to possibly ratify the contract at a special meeting after the Tuesday, Jan. 22 regular workshop.
Also at its regular meeting tonight at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road, the commission:
Forwarded to second reading and public hearing:
• An ordinance that provides for a $50,000 homestead exemption for qualifying seniors.
• An ordinance providing for an additional homestead exemption of $250,000 for qualifying low-income seniors.
• An ordinance that allows for a $25,000 budget transfer for the street lighting modifications along Gulf of Mexico Drive needed during this past turtle-nesting season.
• A revised 2013 Town Commission meeting schedule.
• A resolution that allows for a $23,000 budget transfer to pay for a consultant to help make future changes to the town code.
• A resolution that provides a list of 2011-12 recommended budget transfers.
• A proposed resolution that allows for a budget transfer of $67,470 to cover Longboat Key Public Tennis Center expenditures.
• A proposed resolution that expresses Longboat Key Town Commission support for police and firefighter pension reform.
• A resolution that allows for a $100,000 budget transfer from the Town Commission contingency fund to pay for a planning consultant that will help make changes to the town’s codes and Comprehensive Plan.
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