Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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SWALLOWED WHOLE The Sarasota City Commission sits in regular session. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY COMMISSION VOTES TO RAID THE CLEAN ENERGY FUND TO SUPPLEMENT THE GENERAL FUND. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw called them "gloomers," the glass-half- empty people who don't believe the future will be better. The "gloomers" won Mon- day Sept. 17, when they repealed a hard- wrought concession from Florida Power & Light. The concession said any amount of FP&L's 6% franchise fee (paid by all electricity us- ers) beyond $5 million per year would go into a fund to help city residents become more efficient energy users. Because con- sumption is down at present, there is no money in the Clean Energy Fund. The "gloomers" believed the city needs ev- ery stitch of revenue possible in the future, and they wanted this money diverted back into the general fund. The proposal brought 13 people to the microphone, with varying levels of passion. "We are in dire need to leadership that goes beyond swinging the budget ax," said Jo- hanes Werner. "This is a symbolic issue, a sign of hope the city is moving in the right direction." "This is penny-smart and dollar-stupid," said Jennifer Ahern-Koch. "The deal was

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