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Did you know that Sarasota County issued 13,000 new library cards in the 2013 fiscal year or that the Fire Department responded to 51,000 calls in the same period of time? Those are just two examples of the "fast facts" Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer has provided since the County Commission began its current round of budget workshops on Feb. 21. "We're talking about resources in the budget process," Harmer explained that day by way of introducing this new feature. The county's billion-dollar-a-year operations make possi- ble a vast array of services, Harmer pointed out. Yet, members of the public who benefit from them probably never think about what does take place, he continued. For example, people who call 911 just want "someone to show up that's qualified, expe- rienced and handles their issue," Harmer added. "They don't look closely at the patch on the uniform." Likewise, he said, when county customers turn on their water faucets, "they expect clean, safe water to come out," and when they flush their toilets, they expect the contents to end up in the appropriate place. The Sarasota County Commission delves into infrastructure issues during its March 25 budget workshop. Photo by Norman Schimmel MORE THAN JUST THE FACTS COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S NEW BUDGET WORKSHOP FEATURE OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO WIDE ARRAY OF OPERATIONS By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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