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A LAND DISAGREEMENT The whole thing is clear as mud. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County The open lot where the former Sarasota Police Department stood is green space now on Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel A 2003 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE CITY AND COUNTY HAS BEEN RESURRECTED IN THE FORM OF A POLITICAL DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO BOARDS By Roger Drouin County Editor An agreement reached 10 1/2 years ago between the City and County commissions cleared the way for the swap of key downtown parcels. In exchange for the county promising to keep its court and administrative facilities on Ringling Boulevard, the city agreed to several concessions, including handing over the downtown parcel where the Sarasota Police But that agreement has resurfaced in the form Department (SPD) headquarters stood. of a simmering political dispute between the On July 15, 2003, a formal Memorandum of two current boards. Understanding (MOU) was signed by then It all goes back to 2003, when the county lev- Mayor Lou Ann Palmer and then County eled an ultimatum to the City of Sarasota. Commission Chairwoman Shannon Staub. Faced with the prospect of losing Sarasota "The County agrees to satisfy its facilities masCounty's central operations in downtown ter plan for Court and Administration needs Sarasota, the Sarasota City commissioners within the downtown judicial complex area, capitulated. and the City agrees to provide the County with

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