Sarasota News Leader

07/25/2014

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As they did two weeks ago, growth man- agement and urban sprawl dominated the conversation at this week's Tiger Bay Club meeting, a showcase for the four candidates vying for the District 4 seat on the Sarasota County Commission. Republicans Alan Maio and Lourdes Ramirez, who will square off in the Aug. 26 primary, debated the topics with Democrat Ray Porter and write-in candidate John Minder, who will face either Maio or Ramirez in November. The discussion, moderated by WSRQ owner and host Susan Nilon, touched early and often on traffic congestion at University Parkway and Interstate 75, branching out into road impact fees, the Sarasota 2050 plan and pub- lic transportation. Maio disputed the "doom and gloom" predictions for traffic around the new Mall at University Town Center, noting that the road network around the structure is already expanding. Ramirez called for a return to previous road impact fees, which have been slashed by the current board. She argued that is the only solution to the area's road woes. When asked to grade the county's infra- structure, no candidate gave a mark higher than a C-plus. Commissioners Joe Barbetta (left, on the right side of the table) and Nora Patterson (right, on the right side of the table) will be leaving the board in November. Photo by Norman Schimmel ONE MONTH TO GO WITH REPUBLICAN PRIMARY LOOMING, SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATES SQUARE OFF AT TIGER BAY By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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