Sarasota News Leader

09/27/2013

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OPINION THREE SARASOTA COMMISSIONERS STAND THEIR GROUND EDITORIAL Earlier this year, the Sarasota City Commission heard an appeal of a decision made by the city's Planning Board, which had approved the location of a Walmart Supercenter in the derelict Ringling Shopping Center, an approval granted after the careful analysis and assent of the city's planning staff. Yet the encomium that followed the City Commission's reversal of the Walmart approval was so pervasive that one might have thought the Israelites had just been freed from Pharaoh's bondage. No petitions were started for a recall of commissioners. No Republican stalwarts intoned from on high that the City Commission had In a 3-2 decision, the City Commission re- committed a heresy of epic proportions. No versed the Planning Board and killed the editorialists droned on about the lack of "conWalmart project. The commissioners deliv- sensus." ered an undeserved rebuke to their planning But that is because it was the City of Sarasota staff members, who were only following ear- versus Walmart, not the City of Sarasota verlier commission urgings to be more "business sus the National Rifle Association. friendly." Their Planning Board, whose members desire at least a little respect as compen- So, on Sept. 3, the city commissioners had sation for their service, was belittled. And the another 3-2 vote. At the behest of Vice Maybusiness community got a wake-up call: The or Willie Shaw, they added to their legislative City Commission figuratively will stab you in priorities for the coming year a revisiting of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Commisthe back.

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