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Sarasota News Leader February 1, 2013 Page 52 With Commissioner Charles Hines prevented Contacted after the vote, Brown said he had from voting because of a conflict of interest, no comment. the vote was unanimous to oppose the offer. Bentley told The Sarasota News Leader on (Hines, an attorney, filed a Memorandum of Jan. 30, "I wasn't aware that a vote on the setVoting Conflict with the clerk to the board say- tlement was scheduled for today. I was under ing he previously had represented Brown in the impression [the executive session] was to discuss the upcoming mediation per the court legal matters.) rules on mediation." Commissioner Nora Patterson, who lives on Siesta Key, made the motion. Commissioner Bentley added, "It's always disappointing when the county chooses litigation rather than Christine Robinson seconded it. resolution, particularly when the litigation is "I'm of the impression that these issues were against a small business owner. Still, I am alsettled earlier," Patterson said of her motion, ways optimistic that the parties can come to referring to a revised lawsuit Brown filed a resolution that works for everyone." against the county in July 2009 regarding parking assessments and other matters related to On Aug. 21, the County Commission voted 3-2 to reject a $277,219.22 settlement offer from The Hub Baja Grill in Siesta Village. Brown. At that time, Robinson joined Barbetta Brown has maintained he never would have in voting to accept the offer, while Commissigned that agreement if he had known county sioners Thaxton and Mason joined Patterson staff would continue to assess him unfairly for in opposing it. parking fees related to a municipal lot in the Village. Last year, the County Commission — Barbetta pointed out then that some of the citing inequity issues that had arisen in deter- parking assessments for businesses in Siesta mining those assessments — voted to cover Village went down 15 percent to 30 percent in 2010, while Brown's assessments for The the remaining expense of the parking lot and Hub Baja Grill and The Cottage restaurant no longer bill Siesta property owners for it. doubled. During the Jan. 30 meeting, The assessment for the AveniCommissioner Joe Barbetta da Messina parcel where Blu — who has argued in the past Que Island Grill stands went up that the latest lawsuit should be about 1,500 percent, according settled — reiterated that point. to the lawsuit. However, Barbetta said he "If that isn't singling somebody would support Patterson's moout — I think we have some intion. "The [settlement] terms credible exposure here," Barare not what we wanted — not what I wanted, anyway," he Commissioner Joe Barbet- betta added during that discusta/File photo sion. added.

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