Sarasota News Leader

11/23/2012

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WHATEVER ST. ARMANDS WANTS … Visitors and residents on St. Armands will be able once again to enjoy their former parking regula- tions. Photo by Norman Schimmel SARASOTA CITY COMMISSION ABANDONS THE NEW PARKING RESTRICTIONS THAT HAD BROUGHT A PLETHORA OF COMPLAINTS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor If you define power as "the ability to influence events," it was very clear Monday evening, Nov. 19, where the power lies in the City of Sarasota. It is along a roundabout on the little island called St. Armands. Even as its representatives came to the table, city employees were at work putting things back the way the island merchants wanted them. The issue was parking. When the Sarasota City commissioners yanked the parking meters out of downtown last year, they created a uniform parking poli- cy but did not bother to tell the merchants and residents of St. Armands about it. Suddenly, what was unfettered and free be- came timed and policed. When the tickets ap- peared last month and word began to circu- late, a political storm started to brew. "We've had a tsunami of complaints about parking tickets," Eric Seace told the St. Ar- mands Business Improvement District on Oct. 9. Seven weeks later, the city is making every- thing as it was before the "uniform policy" was adopted. City workers are un-striping the new stripes, re-signing the new signs and un-enforcing the new rules — because the new rules no longer apply.

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