Sarasota News Leader

02/21/2014

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In April, the City and County commissions will meet to talk about the shelter. By then, Marbut, working with Applebee and an engi- neering consultant, is expected have cost estimates and other pertinent information for the elected officials. "We are targeting the date of April 22 for the discussion of homelessness," County Administrator Tom Harmer told the commis- sioners on Feb. 19. The April discussion will likely be lively. While the County Commission acted without debate on Wednesday, the discussion of the same top- ics at the City Commission dais the previous day ensued as it has in the past — with debate and two commissioners voting against the Marbut contract continuation and environ- mental assessments. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioner Susan Chapman continue to ask how the finances will work and why other cities in the county are not contributing to the effort. But they were outvoted 3-2. (See the related story in this issue.) At the County Commission dais, Commissioner Joe Barbetta made the motion to extend the Marbut contract and pursue the additional site analysis. It was seconded by Carolyn Mason. The vote took place within 10 minutes. Referencing the city's lack of clear support again on Feb. 18, he told his colleagues, "The vote was a 3-2 vote." IMPLEMENTING A PLAN Despite the mixed reactions of local politi- cians, the "off-screen" planning will continue next week. Homeless people sat on the sidewalk outside Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota when the city was dealing with maintenance issues in the park. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader February 21, 2014 Page 35

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