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The Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations has been at the forefront of the fight against the County Commission's deci- sion to rewrite large swaths of its Sarasota 2050 land-use plan. But the group also wants to give the county a n " a l t e r n a t i v e , " P r e s i d e n t L o u r d e s Ramirez told 100 or so CONA members at the organization's annual dinner Tuesday night, March 18. "And that's where Chuck Marohn comes in." The founder and president of the Minnesota nonprofit Strong Towns, Marohn began blog- ging about the fiscal crisis facing American cities back in 2008 and he's come up with a provocative thesis: that the very nature of the post-World War II sub- urban growth pattern is the major reason cities are in such dire financial straits. He goes so far as to call the whole system a Ponzi scheme. Cities build new infrastructure far- ther and farther away Chuck Marohn/Contributed photo by Jim Kumon STRONG TOWNS FOUNDER WARNS SARASOTA ABOUT FISCAL RISKS OF SUBURBAN SPRAWL MALIGNANT GROWTH In our rush to grab the elusive dollar on the edge, we're literally stepping over the nickels and dimes waiting there to be picked up. Chuck Marohn Founder and President Strong Towns By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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