Sarasota News Leader

09/20/2013

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Sarasota News Leader September 20, 2013 Page 48 year ends on Sept 30. With election deadlines and mailing times and other details, preparations for the election went to the wire. Rappaport and other BID supporters manned telephones to contact the new property owners, who were presumably unaware of what the BID does. This is not a one-man, one-vote election. Each ballot carries the weight of the amount of acreage owned along the circle. Thus, a person with three lots casts a ballot three times as important as a one-lot owner. To make it even tougher to get a majority, any ballot not returned counts as a "No" vote. St. Armands Business Improvement District Chairman Marty Rappaport creates his own tally of votes. Photo by Stan Zimmerman "A lot of people were new to this process, and there were many new landlords over the last 10 years," Rappaport said. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the ballots were in and opened one at a time. When all 58 were tallied, 68 percent of the property owners had agreed to extend the BID for another decade. Only 6 percent actually voted no. Eleven ballots were not returned, making up the remaining 26 percent. Sarasota City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini opens a BID ballot. Photo by Stan Zimmerman What's next for the rejuvenated district? Rappaport is conducting a feasibility study for a parking garage (or maybe two?) on cityowned lots. "Hopefully we'll get a garage," he said. %

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