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Sarasota News Leader February 1, 2013 Page 36 Robinson pointed employees had helped out that it had been with some of the sideFirst of all, most of the shelters I walk construction necmore than two years since the board had see look like they were prefab or put in essary for the shelters. approved shelters for whole. … So we're paying $6,000 for this Reid pointed out anthe City of Venice, and little box? other factor was the those still were not in Nora Patterson need to work through Commissioner place. "It just doesn't Sarasota County the county's procureseem logical to me that ment process to hire it takes that long," she added. "I'm just flabbergasted by this whole contractors. thing. There's just got to be a better way …" "Our efficiencies have to really be examined Robinson asked Carter to tell the County in cost and time," Robinson said. Commission what it could do to assist her and Commissioner Charles Hines encouraged her staff in speeding up the process. Carter to come to the board members with "I'm a firm believer … we can construct a shel- problems she identifies, to ask for their help in ter in less than one year," Carter said, noting improving situations. "Say, 'This is a mess. … she and her staff need to figure out a better This is wrong.' Offer to us ways to save money plan for the process. and do things quicker. … Help us make these decisions rather than pushing them back to Regarding the shelters in Venice, Carter addyou." ed that the five approved are scheduled to be completed by October. "I totally agree, and great advice," Carter told him. "That's almost three years," Robinson said. County Administrator Randall Reid weighed in at that point, saying he believed a reduction in county staff in the Operations and Maintenance [O&M] Department to save expenses in the economic downturn was part of the reason for the delay in getting shelters constructed. Barbetta then pointed out that when the Walmart was constructed in Osprey a number of years ago, the County Commission had requested the developer put in a SCAT shelter. Construction started within months, he added. "The private sector got it done quickly." Barbetta added, "There's got to be best prac"I do think you can do this faster," he added tices … that other communities are utilizing." of getting the shelters in place. "We will look into the numbers," Carter told However, Blanchard said she did not believe the commissioners, adding that she would be the O&M Department staff reduction had prepared to discuss them in detail during a made that much of a difference, though its budget workshop. %

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