Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 9 & 16, 2013 Page 52 THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AGREE THAT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT NEED TO SEE SUCH BIG SIGNS ANNOUNCING INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Although the Sarasota County Commission's budget workshops have not been a fount of levity this year, one brief discussion in late June drew more than a few chuckles — and resulted in one of the solid decisions made so far on future spending. how the revenue they had approved was being spent — on capital projects — "so they'd vote for [the tax] again the next time." Voters approved the latest penny surtax in November 2007. "Make it a smaller sign," Barbetta responded. The board members were talking about pracPatterson agreed. "I don't give a hoot about tices regarding the posting of permits on con- our names being up there," she added. struction sites when Commissioner Joe Barbetta called for changes relative to a different The discussion gravitated back to unlicensed contractors. Then type of signage: Commissioner Chris"It just seems ironic We've got to stop putting up those tine Robinson came that … when we ride back to Barbetta's around town … we see big signs. Let's save that money. comments. these huge wooden signs with our names on 'em, which I think is a waste." Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County The signage really is important, she pointed out, "to tell people He was referring to the signs denoting work what's going on." on county projects. Each lists the names of Especially in places where road resurfacing the current commissioners. will be getting under way, Robinson continInstead of those signs being so prominent, ued, the signs serve to alert the public to the Barbetta pointed out, building permits disruptions they might encounter. People can needed to be displayed in an eye-catching plan accordingly, she said. manner. Moreover, the county's Call Center could be He continued, "We've got to stop putting up expected to receive fewer inquiries about a project if the signage provided sufficient inthose big signs. Let's save that money." formation, Robinson told her colleagues. "I'm fine with not putting the signs up," ComIn fact, she pointed out, when the Harbor missioner Nora Patterson weighed in. Drive repaving project was undertaken in the The concept for the notices grew out of the fall of 2012 in Venice, residents actually ofpassage of the last penny surtax measure, fered a lot of thanks to staff after seeing the she added. The idea was to let voters know signs go up.

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