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Manatee commissioners ready to talk 'all things Lakewood Ranch'

A commission meeting is being held on Saturday, May 18 at the Lakewood Ranch High School auditorium.
A commission meeting is being held on Saturday, May 18 at the Lakewood Ranch High School auditorium.
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Lakewood Ranch-area residents who can't get a day off during the work week to spend at a Manatee County Commission meeting will have a special opportunity.

On 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, the Manatee County Commission will hold a meeting titled "All Things Lakewood Ranch," that will be held in the Lakewood Ranch High auditorium.

Residents will have a chance to get some answers to their concerns at the meeting.

“It’s kind of like a pilot program,” Commissioner Ray Turner said. “We’re setting it up like a workshop, but it’ll be a little less formal.”

A similar meeting also is being held in Parrish in June with the date to be announced. The purpose is to inform constituents about the projects happening in their specific areas. 

“When constituents don’t know what our plans are, it creates nervousness,” Turner said. “We’re taking the long-range plan that we have and explaining it more.”

While there’s never an end time set on a commission meeting, Chair Mike Rahn said they’re aiming to wrap up the Lakewood Ranch meeting around noon. 

Manatee County staff members will be on hand, too, to give presentations and answer questions. As with all commission meetings, citizens are given three minutes each to make comments. Citizen comments are scheduled for the end of the meeting and can only be in regards to agenda items.

The agenda currently has eight items, but agendas regularly change leading up to meetings. 

Right now, the agenda is laid out like an informational session, where each department gives a presentation. And the title “All Things Lakewood Ranch” is slightly misleading because the Convention and Visitors Bureau will be discussing the water ferry, which is for the islands.

Of course, Turner lives in Lakewood Ranch and he knows his constituents would rather know when the potholes on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard between University Parkway and State Road 70 will be filled. 

“We’re not in Detroit. Why do we have potholes like that,” he said. “We’re repaving it. The original thought was that maybe we cut it into thirds because it’s expensive. I pushed to get the whole thing done at once.”

Other topics that will be discussed and are of interest to Lakewood Ranch-area residents include what’s happening at the Premier campus and several road projects. 

The Lena Road and 44th Avenue extensions are on the list, along with some state projects like the widening of S.R. 70 and developer projects like the widening of Bourneside Boulevard. 



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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