+ City names new finance director
John Lege III has accepted the position of finance director with the city of Sarasota.
Lege, currently the finance director for the city of Ocala, will begin work Monday, Feb. 4. Lege has served in that position for Ocala since 2010. His experience includes 10 years in city and county government and 21 years with the U.S. Navy, based in Jacksonville, including serving as a division officer and department head.
“I’m looking forward to John becoming part of our team,” City Manager Tom Barwin said in a press release Thursday. “Of the 50 persons recruited for the position, our five interview panels were unanimous in recommending him. He was referred to as ‘well qualified’ and a ‘perfect fit’ for the city of Sarasota.”
Lege will replace Chris Lyons, who worked for the city of Sarasota for 25 years, including five years as finance director.
This is the second department head position Barwin has filled since starting work as city manager Sept. 1. His first hire was Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.
+ Fugitive captured after 24 years on the run
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit, working in conjunction with the U. S. Marshals Florida fugitive task force, has located a sex offender who has been on the run for 24 years.
Richard Verboys, 60, was convicted in Sarasota County of Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a Child for sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl. In 1988 he was sentenced to probation and court-ordered mental-health counseling but fled the area a short time later.
+ Commissioners approve P.F. Chang’s main sign
Commissioners approved an adjustment that will allow the new P.F. Chang’s to put up three signs a few inches larger than allowed by in the Downtown Master Plan.
Typically, signs on downtown-zoned property are allowed are 30 inches tall. The restaurant requested its main sign to be 36 inches tall.
The larger size was necessary so that passing drivers on U.S. 41 could tell the building was a P.F. Chang’s, said Joel Freedman, a planner who is representing the restaurant chain.
“Because of the speeds on Mound and the setback, we believe it is a reasonable request, and a necessary one,” Freedman said to commissioners.
Commissioner Terry Turner supported the change because the larger signs were comparable with some of the signs already along the U.S. 41 corridor, near Osprey Avenue.
“The sign change will not impact the livability of the area,” Turner said.
Mayor Suzanne Atwell supported the adjustment.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. plans to open the doors to the new downtown Sarasota location in July, before the fall season.
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29 Light Up Siesta Village and Holiday Parade
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
30 Advent Procession
3 Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying Event hosted by The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
4 Ringling Holiday Splendor
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The gift of music
Riverview High School received a donation of $5,000 during a break in the Kiltie Band Fall concert on Nov. 20.
Coming together for the community
All Faiths Food Bank called on volunteers to help distribute 7,000 Thanksgiving dinners Saturday.
Observer on the hunt for displays
We’re making our list of the best holiday lights displays in Sarasota and checking it twice.