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Sarasota News Leader December 6, 2013 Page 49 Most advisory boards meet to discuss issues ON A HAPPIER NOTE … and make recommendations for action to the City Commission. Even the influential City residents are being invited to offer their Planning Board can only offer guidance, and thoughts on the Payne Park Master Plan. it has no access to public money. A community workshop will be held on But two special taxing districts — the Monday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Payne Park Downtown Improvement District (DID) Auditorium, located at 2100 E. Laurel St., to and the St. Armands Business Improvement discuss the plan and existing facilities. District (BID) — levy a property tax and spend the resulting revenue. And it was first Since the Master Plan was adopted 10 years DID members and then BID members who ago, the amenities and usage at the park have admitted to using private email accounts for changed. "Payne Park now is a signature public business. urban greenspace" and recreational area, a Each time the district board members were city news release says. Before moving forasked for public records, it ended up cost- ward with any possible modifications to the ing the city money for legal attention to the park or its facilities, city staff wants to hear issue as well as defense against a lawsuit. from the public. Historically, the city has defended members of its advisory boards from allegations of vio- Possible topics for focus at the meeting are lating the state's Open Meetings and Public the tennis courts, parking, the auditorium Records statutes that collectively are known and new features — along with funding for as the Government in the Sunshine law. them. % City staff is seeking public comments on the Payne Park Master Plan. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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