Sarasota News Leader

02/28/2014

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intersection of Ringling Boulevard and School Avenue in Sarasota. REJUVENATED PLANS Under one privatization proposal, a contrac- tor would operate both MCAT and SCAT, while the two counties would retain owner- ship and ultimate oversight of the agencies. County resident William Baez told the com- missioners he was opposed to privatization. But if Sarasota County were to pursue a contract-operator concept, Baez suggested letting Manatee County accelerate with that idea first, to see how privatization works for its system. "I do not agree with doing this, but if we are thinking of doing it, please watch and see what Manatee County does before we jump in with both feet," Baez said. The county commissioners agreed to move ahead with studying the concepts of privatiza- tion and consolidation, voting to ask county staff come back with cost estimates for an independent study. Last fall, plans to collaborate with MCAT on the proposals hit a snag when the Manatee County commissioners canceled an Oct. 15, 2013 joint meeting, citing insufficient time to go over the most recent information available to them. If the county bus transfer station were moved in downtown Sarasota, routes would have to be reconfigured, bus department staff has pointed out. File photo Sarasota News Leader February 28, 2014 Page 16

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