Sarasota News Leader

11/29/2013

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Sarasota News Leader November 29, 2013 However, DID Manager John Moran cautioned members that the CRA could go away in about two years, so depending on it for future funding could be iffy. While a study committee looking at the CRA's funding future recently voted to recommend giving the agency another 30 years, the final decision rests with the City and County commissions. Page 46 a specific number and others recommending a fraction of the unspent amount. Tied in ranking with the vote to put the money into contingency was another category — "security" — which is another word for "protecting" businesses and patrons from the downtown's homeless people or vagrants. As for expanding the DID's area, one sugges- "Why don't waitresses use the parking garage? tion was to push it west to encompass Marina Because they get off late; they're carrying Jack and the Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt hotels. cash; they are dressed in black; and have no idea what's waiting for them in the garage," The second topic for the DID's money was less controversial — put it into a contingency said Soto. "That's why they park in the cusfund. That idea had resonance with four of tomers' spaces on the street." the five board members, including the newly In other words, the security issue involves appointed Ron Soto. He replaces William more than downtown residents, merchants Pettey, who was term-limited. and tourists. Even people who work downHow much to put into the contingency was town have to be conscious of their personal not as clear, with some members suggesting safety. Once the ideas were done, the DID board members could vote — or even haggle — among themselves to set funding priorities for the year: (from left) Ron Soto, Tom Mannausa, Ernie Ritz, Dr. Mark Kauffman and John Moran. Photo by Stan Zimmerman

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