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Sarasota News Leader October 25, 2013 Page 60 reelection with the line, "Don't make me come Patterson is a former city commissioner; she sat on the County Commission when the back." But Wednesday, he was back. Newtown CRA was established. GETTING A 'RESET' Dorr said money was being transferred every year because no tax increment existed. That was the extent of the dialogue. It should be said the county commissioners had other, weightier matters on their minds. The following day they fired their administrator, Randall Reid. It appears the city could change the "base year" for the Newtown CRA, with or without the county's permission. It cannot reset the base year backwards, but could reset it to the current or even future year. This would avoid a long climb of property values back to precrash levels. But the city unilaterally could "If we can't work out a way to extend the not ensure county participation. downtown CRA, there's not much hope for the "How do we present this better to the county Newtown CRA," said Atkins during the comthan last time? It was a tough time just getting mittee meeting. "As long as Nora Patterson is them to allow it," said Atkins, who was on the there, you don't have three votes to extend," City Commission when the Newtown CRA he added. The two have sparred politically was created. "Are they willing to give some- for decades. thing? Are they willing to support a CRA in Patterson is term-limited, so she cannot north Sarasota?" run for a fifth time. She will be replaced in November 2014. Yet, the CRA Extension Study When he presented the committee's interim Committee is scheduled to make its report in report the day before to the joint city-county January 2014. meeting, Dorr specifically touched on those issues along with the need to update the two THE DELICATE DANCE CRA plans. "In Newtown, the CRA was estabThe committee on Wednesday looked extenlished at the heart of the Great Recession. sively at how to reset the Newtown base year. Property values dropped dramatically. There Did the city have the authority to act unilatis no contribution from that total area. Should erally, as it has in the past when it decided we reset that to current levels?" he asked the downtown CRA monies could replace gencounty commissioners. eral fund monies to pay for landscaping and The county board's only response to the entire presentation came from Commissioner Nora Patterson. "I recall the County Commission did not adopt a new [tax-increment financing] area for Newtown. We made it possible to transfer money from the downtown CRA," she said. police officer salaries? Committee member Mark Huey said, "We don't want to sink the whole ship over one year or another. There's not that much money involved. If the [Sarasota] City Commission were to vote to reset [the base year], wouldn't it send a positive message? Our mission is a

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