Sarasota News Leader

04/26/2013

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Sarasota News Leader April 26, 2013 OPINION Page 74 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CHAPMAN A DESERVING CANDIDATE FOR COMMISSION To the editor: Sarasota City Commission candidate Susan Chapman is a 23-year resident of the city of Sarasota and has actively participated in shaping the city's future, but she also recognizes the importance of preserving, protecting and enhancing Sarasota's heritage. Sarasota has a long history of inclusive community planning. As a result, the city has successfully guided, encouraged and approved many significant development projects and hundreds of new residential units in the core of downtown. In recent years, only a few examples of this success include the Ritz-Carlton, Whole Foods, Plaza at Five Points, City Place and the Rivo at Ringling. In addition, Palm Avenue, Golden Gate Point, the Rosemary District, Laurel Park and Gillespie Park are more desirable communities than ever. The people who live in these neighborhoods and new buildings (some with white hair) are customers for the many new businesses. These residents, simply by their presence, have enlivened downtown and improved public safety. Unfortunately, selective campaign rhetoric ignores how much successful development and redevelopment the city has achieved. Candidates who were not even living in Sarasota when the community planning occurred now present their "new" ideas, already adopted in the Downtown Master Plan, as a means to cure the city's financial "crisis." Ms. Chapman understands the city must continue to grow and embrace newcomers, but not at the expense of violating the public trust or ignoring the community development regulations that have successfully remade Sarasota into a great place to live, work and play. As a member of the Planning Board and as an attorney, Ms. Chapman will make a difference on the City Commission by bringing factbased decision making to the table. The city needs leaders — not politicians. Susan Chapman is a leader and the only candidate who can be trusted to shape Sarasota's future by being inclusive. Mike Taylor Sarasota LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to Letters@SarasotaNewsLeader.com, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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