- October 4, 2011
Voters will not have a chance to decide whether or not to approve a strong mayor proposal submitted by Commissioner Paul Caragiulo at the Sarasota City Commission’s Monday regular meeting.
The commission voted 3-2 not to place the elected mayor proposal on the ballot after more than two hours of discussion and 31 members of the public made their way to the podium for the last item of the meeting, which dragged on close to midnight.
While many speakers supported the initiative, a large contingent that showed up to speak also rejected the idea.
Speaking directly to Caragiulo, former mayor Mollie Cardamone said, “I did not vote to elect any commissioner to change our form of government. I feel duped and ashamed I didn’t see through you and I believe other voters will feel the same way.”
Caragiulo continually stressed a vote in favor of his proposal simply meant a vote in favor of allowing the public to vote on the proposal.
But Commissioner Terry Turner, who supported a charter amendment question for a strong city manager that’s already made its way onto the November ballot, said he couldn’t support it, noting it would be the fourth time such a concept would make it before the voters.
“How frequently do we have to put this to the people?” Turner asked. “Maybe we can have a standing amendment on every ballot…eventually voters might accidentally vote for it.”
Turner and Commissioners Willie Shaw and Shannon Snyder voted against adding the amendment to the city’s March ballot. Only Caragiulo and Mayor Suzanne Atwell supported the amendment.
In other news:
• Made plans to establish a domestic partnership registry in the city of Sarasota, which will provide rights for registered domestic partners within city limits.
• Expedited strategic plan initiatives that allow city staff to work on an administrative approval process for Laurel Park that would give residents the opportunity to be heard when large projects are built just outside the neighborhood's boundaries.
• Approved a $1.4 million proposed purchase and sale agreement with Benderson Development for property on the northeast corner of Fruitville and Beneva roads. Benderson has plans to build a shopping center there if it can overcome zoning and Comprehensive Plan hurdles.
• Urged the Sarasota Police Department to curtail a growing homeless population in the vicinity of Selby Five Points Park.
For more information, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Sarasota Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].