Sarasota News Leader

05/16/2014

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Sarasota's 'Wall of Mayors' has a portrait of every one since the city's inception. Photo by Stan Zimmerman The Sarasota City Charter demands an annual election of the mayor, and it requires the out- going mayor to deliver a "State of the City address." It does not say how long the speech should be, nor does it say what should be cov- ered, only that it shall be given. The election and address are scheduled for Friday, May 16, at noon; first the speech and then the election of the mayor and vice mayor, followed by commissioners' remarks. For this "statutory meeting," no public comment is allowed. In his three years on the commission, Shannon Snyder has been the resident pessimist. His suspicions of chicanery led to the ouster of former City Manager Bob Bartolotta. No evi- dence of any wrongdoing emerged despite a "forensic analysis" of city staff comput- ers. Between the cost of the analysis and the expenses of contract awards for staff dis- missals without cause and the search for a new manager, the incident cost the city nearly $500,000. Then Snyder feared the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would hold the city liable for millions in damages after an audit of the local Man Up organization found misuse of HUD money. No THE NEXT MAYOR ANALYSIS: WITH SNYDER JOINING CARAGIULO IN THE RACE FOR COUNTY COMMISSION, THE GUESSING GAME PROVES EVEN MORE INTRIGUING By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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