Sarasota News Leader

10/04/2013

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THE AMBUSH The CRA Extension Study Committee discusses issues at a meeting last month. Photo by Stan Zimmerman ANALYSIS: THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CRA EXTENSION STUDY COMMITTEE RESIGNS AS THE BATTLE CONTINUES OVER THE FUTURE OF THE DISTRICT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor I included a metaphor in last week's story about the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area Extension Study Committee. It was about David (Merrill, chairman of the committee) and Goliath (the Sarasota County Commission). His departure creates a second vacancy on the board. Picking a new chairman will be the first order of business at the board's next meeting, on Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Commission's Chambers. THE NOT-SO-ANCIENT HISTORY The day the story was published, Merrill resigned. He told The Sarasota News Leader, In 1986, the City and County of Sarasota cut "The county doesn't want to hear some of the a 30-year deal. They would freeze the amount things I'm raising." of revenue from property tax collections in Three days earlier, County Commissioner Joe downtown Sarasota. In subsequent years Barbetta called for Merrill's resignation. At anything over that 1986 "baseline" would least two other county commissioners were accrue to something called the Community critical of Merrill's leadership of the committee. Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

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