Sarasota News Leader

05/16/2014

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choice but to agree to the recommendation Harmer proposed. That was to go ahead and renew the contract that sparked the latest discussions and let staff come back with the detailed presentation in six months. Barbetta has maintained for some time that the county did itself a disservice by selling mowing equipment during the recession and outsourcing the service. He also has pointed on several occasions to lengthy emails from owners of a mowing company that went out of business, referencing the owners' long list of frustrations regarding the way the county has been structuring its mowing contracts and specifications. The numbers Barbetta has requested should provide insights about those concerns, too. Many times over the past couple of years, c o m m i s s i o n e r s h a v e a l l u d e d t o s t a f f members' wariness about appearing before them, especially when they start asking a lot of questions. That situation seems to have improved immensely since Harmer has been in charge of Sarasota County government. Still, it was disappointing that Anderson could not have spared the commissioners a lot of discourse last week by laying out the answers they wanted when he first stepped to the podium on May 7. Within six months, we not only expect to see hard data about the mowing acreage, we also expect to see staff members modeling their behavior after Harmer's on May 7. They cannot expect the commissioners to be happy with their expla- nations all the time, but providing the truth in clear concise fashion is always the best prac- tice, regardless of how painful it might be. % LOVE IS IN THE AIR COMMENTARY Did you ever go to a party and wish it would never end? Did you ever wish your stomach were larger so you could keep enjoying the taste of exquisite food that was practically melting in your mouth, going down oh so smoothly with the accompa- niment of the perfect cabernet or Malbec? And did you ever wish you had the stamina to dance just one more time to Hot, Hot, Hot? Barbra Streisand put it eloquently and mem- orably when she sang, "I wanted the music to go on forever." She captured every one of my thoughts from a recent Saturday night. The story of "Bob" and "Betty" (names changed by request) began more than 50 years ago in New York. Bob was beginning his career, working for a major entertainment network, when he met Betty, who was work- ing in office management. They fell in love By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer COMMENTARY OPINION Sarasota News Leader May 16, 2014 Page 98

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