Sarasota News Leader

05/23/2014

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On Monday, May 19, the Sarasota City Commission instructed the city attorney to rewrite the ordinance regulating the oper- ating hours of city parks. The instructions followed reports of $70,000 in vandalism at the new circus-themed playground at Payne Park. "The shade structure has been destroyed; swings were destroyed. There were bro- ken bottles and drug paraphernalia and cigarette butts strewn about," said Ryan Chapdelain with the city's Neighborhood and Development Services Department. Payne Park and its new playground are now open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The playground area is directly across the street from the rel- atively new Sarasota Police Department. Todd Kucharski with Public Works suggested his department be given the authority to mod- ify operating hours as needed. "It would allow us to expand this to other parks, if the ordi- nance said, 'as posted,'" he suggested. City Attorney Bob Fournier asked the com- missioners if they were ready to "cede all authority to Public Works." Vice Mayor Susan Chapman and Mayor Willie Shaw considered a matter during the May 19 meeting, Shaw's first regular session since he was elected mayor on May 16. All photos by Norman Schimmel POOLS, PLAYGROUNDS AND BIKES THE CITY COMMISSION THIS WEEK TACKLED PARK OPERATING HOURS, THE FUTURE OF THE LIDO POOL AND A NEW VERSION OF IMPACT FEES By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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