Sarasota News Leader

01/31/2014

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When the Sheriff's Office asked the County Commission for six new deputies for the current fiscal year — to respond to the antic- ipated increase in demand in the University Parkway area — it sought only $319,149 and absorbed the remaining $422,751 of the expense, Kiesel noted. In fact, she continued, the office has managed reassignments of per- sonnel over the past two-and-a-half years to avoid an extra hiring expense of about $2.8 million. When Commissioner Nora Patterson asked whether the six new deputies also would be handling calls related to the rowing events at Nathan Benderson Park, Knight replied that they would not. Hoffman told the board that Maj. Kevin Kenney supervised staff research at com- mercial establishments in the Orlando area to determine how many new employees the office would need to handle calls after The Mall at University Town Center opens off University Parkway in October. Knight added that the projection is for the number of calls to double. "We're going to get busy up there," he said, noting that he and his staff were awaiting the finalization of the busi- ness plan for the rowing venue to determine how much events will have an impact on his personnel. (See the related story in this issue.) After Patterson pointed out that events do not occur every day at Benderson Park, Knight told her, "That's a great comment, because … we don't want to over-staff and ask you for more [deputies] than we need." He also has not authorized the purchase of any new equipment yet for use at the park, he added. "We're kind of in a wait-and-see [mode] before we start spending money." At the conclusion of the presentation, Commissioner Carolyn Mason told Knight, "Thank you for this. It is a great opportunity for relationship-building, and I think that is important as we go forward, as important for us as it is for you and the community we all serve." Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson pointed out that the relatively few questions board members had for the sheriff and his admin- istrative staff "is probably a reflection of the open line of communications that we have with your office." She added that Knight is quick to respond to phone calls and emails from commissioners. % ® 7th ANNUAL VISIT CHILLOUNGENIGHT.COM FOR DETAILS NEW VENUE! AT WESTFIELD SOUTHGATE MARCH 8th, 2014 PRESENTED BY: BENEFITING: /CHILLOUNGENIGHT Sarasota News Leader January 31, 2014 Page 46

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