Sarasota News Leader

10/26/2012

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'WOODSHED DAY' The City of Sarasota has numerous advisory boards that deal with a wide range of topics. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY BOARDS BEGIN SUNSHINE REMEDIAL EDUCATION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Tuesday, Oct. 23, was "to the woodshed day" for the advisory boards of the City of Saraso- ta. A rash of Sunshine Law problems erupted this year, each costing the city thousands of dollars. One recent case was settled earlier this month for twice the original estimate. When an ad hoc arts committee – meeting without public notice and keeping few minutes – was chal- lenged by an attorney, the parties agreed to settle for $5,000 in lawyers' fees. However, a city commissioner said the sum should be paid from the public art fund, and he further suggested abolishing the public art committee (not the offending group, but the whistleblower instead). More turmoil erupted before the case was settled for $10,000. The Civil Service Board members talked out of the Sunshine about a controversial case, and that cost $50,000 in lawyers' fees, and the Downtown Improvement District is embroiled in an erased email issue. In an effort to staunch the bleeding, City Au- ditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini is holding two re-education sessions for all the city's adviso- ry boards and the staffers who serve as liai- sons with them. The second class will be on Oct. 29.

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