Sarasota News Leader

02/08/2013

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CITY COMMISSION WRAP-UP Domestic violence measures narrowly win approval, while the city attorney wrestles with tangled legal questions — Stan Zimmerman A set of recommendations for the Florida Legislature won Sarasota City Commission approval by the barest of margins on Feb. 4. By a 3-2 vote, the commissioners agreed to seek other partners to strengthen their political clout to push changes to state law in the 2014 legislative session, which begins in March. The proposal came from the city's Independent Police Advisory Panel, and it concerned details of court-ordered injunctions in domestic violence cases. If a spouse petitions a judge for help from an abusive husband (in rare cases, it could be an abusive wife), the judge issues an injunction ordering the husband to stay away from the wife. However, if deputies cannot hand the husband the necessary court papers, the injunction dies because it was not served. Eileen Normile with the advisory panel also proposed the injunction be accompanied by a civil search warrant to seize threatening weapons in the home. (Full story here) MAKING THEIR CASES City Commission candidates shadowbox in front of their neighbors — Stan Zimmerman The City of Sarasota seems to conduct "retail" elections, through which an office is won or lost by a handful of votes. And many voters rely on their better-informed neighbors to guide them on their choices. Voters in the city who go to the polls March 12 will be able to cast ballots for two of the six candidates running for the City Commission's at-large seats. The top three vote getters will spar in a May runoff, when the odd person is forced out and the top two earn their seats at City Hall. On Feb. 2, the six candidates faced one of their most critical audiences, members of the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations. These are the men and women who are elected to lead their neighborhoods, and they often help their neighbors figure out whom to support in the elections. They know the issues and are passionate about their city. (Full story here) Click Any Headline To Go Directly To That Article AT A GLANCE TOP STORIES

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