Sarasota News Leader

02/28/2014

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need to talk to somebody else, other than me," she added at the SKA meeting. Patterson and Commissioner Joe Barbetta are the only current board members who were on the commission in 2008. They served with Commissioners Jon Thaxton and Paul H. Mercier as well as Staub. To find out whether Patterson's supposition at the SKA meeting was correct, The Sarasota News Leader conducted brief interviews last week of the current board members. It appears there is wiggle room for a renewed effort, but only to charge visitors. Chairman Charles Hines and Commissioner Carolyn Mason said they would be willing to discuss the matter. Vice Chairwoman Christine Robinson remains dead set against the idea. Like parks and libraries, Robinson said, "[Beaches] need to be accessible to families." Robinson told the News Leader, she was trea- surer of the MOMS Club of Venice in 2008. The members were ready to turn the County Commission Chambers into a "daycare cen- ter" with mothers and children, she joked, to protest if the County Commission continued its move toward beach parking. Barbetta at first told the News Leader "No comment" when asked about his view. Then he said he does not feel county taxpayers should have to pony up money to use their own beaches. He added that the only way he would support a paid parking plan would be if county residents were issued stickers mak- ing it clear they could park for free. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office prepares a 'spring break plan' every year to handle the anticipated crowds at the beaches, especially on Siesta. Photo by Norman Schimmel Sarasota News Leader February 28, 2014 Page 10

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