Sarasota News Leader

11/15/2013

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OPINION BARBETTA'S LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEGACY EDITORIAL One can almost imagine County Commissioner Joe Barbetta's reaction to the draft of the Laffer Associates report on the Sarasota 2050 Plan, delivered in his best Louis Renault voice, "I'm shocked, shocked with this report that wants to destroy our 2050 Plan!" claiming Reid had fashioned himself as "a sixth commissioner." Instead, Barbetta wanted "a good, quality economist who has development project experience" … the latter condition really being code for "willing to make life easier for developers." One of the names he tossed out was that of Donna Arduin, who might be However, readers of The Sarasota News considered many things, but to those with Leader know that his "outrage" rings hollow. It academic degrees in economics, perhaps not was Barbetta who pooh-poohed then-County a "good, quality economist." Administrator Randall Reid's proposal to hire Barbetta also objected to the $85,000 price a qualified academic team to analyze the 2050 tag for the academic review, proposed by Plan, so any proposed changes would stand Reid to be conducted by a team from Florida up to the objections of those against alterState University. But the final contract with ations to it. Donna Arduin's firm, Laffer Associates of Barbetta even used Reid's proposal as part Tennessee, was for $90,000, an amount with of his justification of firing the administrator, which Barbetta found no fault. He believed

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