Sarasota News Leader

11/29/2013

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HOW DID WE GET HERE? The Sarasota 2050 Plan was designed to create walkable communities in the county, east of Interstate-75. File photo THE SARASOTA NEWS LEADER RECONSTRUCTS, VIA EMAIL, WHAT LED TO THE COUNTY'S MUCH-CRITICIZED CONTRACT WITH LAFFER ASSOCIATES By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor How exactly did Sarasota County come to sign a $90,000 consulting contract calling on Tennessee's Laffer Associates to provide a right-wing history of smart growth that was fiercely assailed by county commission critics and commissioners alike? That's what County Commissioner Christine Robinson wanted to find out. Robinson made a public records request for hundreds of emails between the county and Laffer and discussed her first review of them during the Tuesday, Nov. 19, board meeting. While she acknowledged that the request to insert language about a history of smart growth and New Urbanism came from Laffer, [Donna Arduin] wants us to know she has only a BA in economics so does not want the mantle of economist but her partners would be certainly recognized as leading economist. … Her firm and Laffer is clearly supply side and oriented free market economics, frequent speaker for chambers. Randall Reid Former County Administrator Sarasota County In an Email to County Planning Staff And Assistant County Administrator Mark Cunningham

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