Sarasota News Leader

05/23/2014

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The homeless shelter saga revved up again this week, with diverging opinions on how best to move forward interspersed with logis- tical problems ranging from contamination on the top two proposed sites to burgeoning disagreement over a parking area for city Utilities Department staff. In an episode Monday t h a t r e s e m b l e d a c o u r t r o o m c r o s s examination, two city commissioners who are opposed to a shel- ter in the city questioned, interrupted and sparred over data with Robert Marbut, t h e c o n s u l t a n t h i r e d t o h e l p t h e c i t y and county address homelessness. (See the related story in this issue.) Downtown merchants also took the opportu- nity of the "open to the public" segments of the session to sound off on homelessness. A city lot on Goodrich Avenue seems to see little utilization, County Commissioner Joe Barbetta says, making it potentially an alternative parking location for city utility vehicles if an Osprey Avenue site is chosen for a homeless shelter. Photo courtesy of Joe Barbetta MORE OF THE MORASS A COUNTY COMMISSIONER SUGGESTS THE HOMELESS SHELTER EFFORT NEEDS A BETTER PUBLIC RELATIONS APPROACH WHILE DEBATE CONTINUES OVER CITY STAFF PARKING NEEDS RELATIVE TO ONE PROPOSED SITE Are we going to be any further [along] when we have our joint meeting than we were before? Christine Robinson Vice Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor

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