Sarasota News Leader

04/25/2014

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until the city moved to act, their disagreement was academic. When an ordinance to reset the date came up for a public hearing Monday, Fournier said the city had three options: Walk away from the idea, hold the first public hearing but wait on the second to seek county permission or go forward with unilateral adoption. The reset idea is small potatoes, starting with maybe $9,000 a year. But Newtown receives more than $1 million per year from the Downtown CRA. If the county decides not to extend the Downtown CRA, that money will go away. While Sarasota County does not participate in the Newtown CRA, its share of the funding for the Downtown CRA is more than $3.5 mil- lion a year. That led Vice Mayor Willie Shaw to say, "It would be fruitless to go forward with the reset for $9,000 and lose out on the $3.5 million." Shaw implied a linkage. If the city acted unilaterally to reset the CRA in his district, it would run the risk the county would use that decision to deny any extension for the Downtown CRA. There are several contentious issues between the city and county at this time. The Newtown CRA base year reset was one of them, but no longer. Shaw made a motion to scuttle the ordinance. It passed unanimously. The question remains whether the county will use this leverage to get its way on other issues, including the fate of city-owned prop- erty along Ringling Boulevard across from the jail that the county covets for a new judicial center and the site of a proposed shelter for homeless people and vagrants. As a historical note, the city has already and unilaterally reset the Newtown CRA base year. Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown reminded the commission Monday, "We reset it after two public hearings [from 2007 to 2008]. We did not seek permission from the County Commission. The City Commission did that without the permission of the county." Since the proposed ordinance was scrapped, Fournier and DeMarsh can continue their academic argument, with Brown's historical anecdote added. Just before the vote, Mayor Shannon Snyder said, "The county has been very cooperative with us recently." Unsaid was the implied rest of the sentence: "And we would like to keep it that way." % Someone you know needs Planned Parenthood • Lifesaving cancer screenings • Parent & teen education • Annual GYN exams • Birth control Planned Parenthood Of Southwest And Central Florida • Sarasota 941-953-4060 • MyPlannedParenthood.org Sarasota News Leader April 25, 2014 Page 45

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