Sarasota News Leader

11/09/2012

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BOND PICKLE WORSENS TOP STORIES Three city charter amendments flunk voters' test — Stan Zimmerman Sarasota City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini hoped voters would eliminate problems caused by her inability to obtain a surety bond as required by the city charter. On Nov. 6 voters faced a so-called "housekeeping amendment" to the city charter. It contained 17 different items, one of which was tailor-made to cure Nadalini's no-bond problem. The charter change proposal would allow insurance to take the place of a bond. Bonds, of course, are different from insurance. However, under a legal fiction dubbed "functional equivalence" — created by City Attorney Bob Fournier — the city commissioners would have had a fig leaf to hide behind when questioned about why their auditor and clerk did not have a bond to protect the city as required by the charter. The fig leaf option is no longer. By the greatest margin of any amendment vote on Nov. 6, city citizens rejected the "housekeeping" proposal, with 62 percent voting against it. (Full story here) NOT GUILTY Bartolotta cleared of wrongdoing in regard to missing city emails, months after his resigna- tion — Stan Zimmerman It is easy to read the future if you have the letter. Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell played that game Nov. 5 during the "Commission- er Reports" section of the regular City Commission meeting. She railed against the Sylint Group, the local cyber-sleuth firm that uncovered an- ecdotally a raft of problems in the city's Information Technology Department, in- cluding allegations of illegal actions by the former city manager and current deputy city manager. City Manager Bob Bartolotta resigned amid the furor. Only City Commissioner Terry Turner refused to follow the commission stampede to chase Bartolotta out the door in January. Turner called the rush to judgment on Bartolotta "a witch hunt." (Full story here) AT A GLANCE

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