Sarasota News Leader

12/07/2012

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Sarasota News Leader December 7, 2012 Page 13 Fournier responded by citing a 1970s Florida mission discusses the matter on Jan. 7. NadSupreme Court case saying failure to pay the alini acts as the commission's parliamentarfiling fee on time did not derail an appeal as ian and advises on rules of order. long as the fee was paid before the hearing. The City Commission's normal rules of pro"The city has the right cedure allow any to request they fill out member of the pubthe proper form," he There is nothing about this plan lic to sign up and adthat is small-scale. They haven't met the dress any item on the said. criteria in my opinion or the standards agenda (except items The City Auditor and for site plan approval. I won't support it. on the consent agenClerk's Office furda the commissionSusan Chapman nished the appeal form ers have not pulled Planning Board member to The Sarasota News City of Sarasota for discussion). The Leader. The form conmayor, as chairman of tains little information the commission, has the power to set special beyond Spaulding's name, address and telerules for a meeting but can be overridden by phone number. It does confirm payment of a a simple majority or the parliamentarian if the $1,097 fee to appeal and a $500 escrow fund special rules violate fundamental rights and for advertising and city legal costs. guarantees. PUBLIC MUZZLED? The City Commission will decide on Jan. 7 whether to accept the appeal to rehear the case. At that time, the commissioners must vote 4-1 or 5-0 (a "supermajority") to accept the appeal. If the appeal does not receive a supermajority vote, then it must go to 12th Judicial Circuit Court if the filers want to pursue the matter. Assuming the commissioners take the "super-vote" to accept the appeal, Fournier said the earliest date to reconsider the Walmart decision would be the Feb. 4 City Commission meeting. Nadalini's email says that at the February meeting "the parties to the appeal as well as the applicant (Walmart) will be entitled to speak. No general citizen input will be permitted." The issue will come up under "New Business" at the first commission meeting of 2012. It is unclear at this time who will be able to address the City Commission before it decides to accept or reject the appeal process. The appeal to the City commission would be a de novo hearing, meaning new evidence and testimony would be allowed. A court appeal is based only on the record of the case from the lower court level. City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini sent an The city code is mute on the need for a superemail Nov. 30 to the participants saying, "no majority vote on the appeal decision itself, so citizen input will be permitted" when the com- it appears a simple majority would prevail.

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