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ATWELL PROVES KEY TO ACTION Having some fun downtown is not a bad thing. Shannon Snyder Mayor City of Sarasota Regarding a Proposal for Pianos At Downtown Locations The City Commission voted against a request by the Gator Club for an ordinance change so it could serve drinks to patrons seated outside. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE CITY COMMISSION SPLITS ON SIX VOTES, RANGING FROM FUNDING FOR A POSITION TO ASSIST WITH HOMELESSNESS ISSUES TO PROVIDING PIANOS FOR PEOPLE TO PLAY AT A FEW OUTDOOR SITES DOWNTOWN By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Monday, Dec. 2, ended the Sarasota City Commission's calendar year of regularly scheduled sessions. While it displayed the board's unanimity on some small issues, six of the 11 policy votes were narrow victories. In every case, Commissioner Suzanne Atwell was on the winning side, often with the swing vote. The commission has settled into a 3-2 rhythm, with Mayor Shannon Snyder and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo pitted against Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioner Susan Chapman. Increasingly, it is Atwell deciding the city's policy and future course. RARE UNANIMITY On three issues, the board was unanimous. A proposal from the Downtown Improvement District to allow bars to have café tables on the sidewalk failed to get a single vote. The idea was floated by the Gator Club as a test case, but it did not fly. Therefore, city policy will continue to allow only establishments serving food to sell alcohol to patrons seated on the sidewalk.

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