The annual event, which allows citizens to connect with their town, was online in 2021.
The town of Longboat Key hosted an open house out in the open on March 5. Residents and visitors wandered between 10 tables at Bayfront Park containing information about several organizations around town. The fire department served hot dogs and burgers, residents walked over from the beach or rolled up on bikes and organizations and town departments got to shed light on what they do.
Town of Longboat Key
The Town split into several tables. Support Services Director Carolyn Brown had information about volunteer and employment opportunities with the town, assistant to the town manager Susan Phillips educated residents about what the town manager was responsible for and Planning, Zoning and Building Director Allen Parsons had information about the turtle ordinance and code enforcement.
Employees from the Finance Department, including Finance Director Sue Smith, Accounting Manager Ronica Jackson and Budget Manager Sandi Henley, doled out information about direct billing for utilities and chocolate mousse to passers-by. They said there had been a steady flow of attendees, many of whom were interested in their free treat. The Finance Department also had their Code of Ethics and 40th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting on display.
Volunteer librarians sat in front of a table laden with free books. They had brought a selection from their used book section, which they build from books donated by members and residents. The nonfiction books and CDs went first, said Judith Berson.
Save Our Seabirds
CEO Aaron Virgin was educating visitors on the "Jar of Death," which is a jar of three months' worth of debris taken from birds rescued by the organization. The potentially deadly materials mostly consist of fishing line, which often gets wrapped around birds if it's merely cut loose into the Gulf of Mexico of Sarasota Bay and not properly disposed.
Longboat Key Turtle Watch
It's not quite turtle season yet, but the LBKTW is still taking care of the beach. Many of its volunteers are cleaning up the beach on a monthly basis, so Vice President Cyndi Seamon displayed a sand box filled with trash and recycling to synthesize a beach cleaning. Kids flocked to the educational toy.
The Public Works Department was educating passersby on the recently finished beach renourishment project and had charts and a sample of sand to illustrate the project.
Longboat Key Police and Fire Departments
The fire department mostly handled the food, as Fire Chief Paul Dezzi grilled up burgers and hot dogs for attendees. At the police department's table, Chief George Turner greeted residents, and other officers educated attendees about bike safety.
Longboat Key Bicycle Association
Members of the association educated residents about general bike safety and recruited new members.
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