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The questions may have ranged from how to deal with homelessness to how sausage is made, but much of the discussion at the Thursday, July 10, Tiger Bay-hosted Sarasota County Commission debate came down to one hot topic: growth. Are we growing wisely? Are developers paying their fair share? Can the county afford additional infrastructure? T h e d e b a t e p i t t e d R e p u b l i c a n C i t y C o m m i s s i o n e r s S h a n n o n S n y d e r a n d Paul Caragiulo against no-party candidate Alexandra Coe and write-in hopefuls Steve McAllister and Pete Theisen. Snyder and Caragiulo will square off in the Aug. 26 GOP primary; the winner will then face Coe and the others in the November general election. Growth issues came to the fore early. Tom Tryon, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's opin- ion editor, asked how the candidates thought local cities would fare should the county's planned changes to Sarasota 2050 go through, as expected. Sarasota 2050 is a decade-old land-use plan intended to encourage the development of walkable, mixed-use com- munities in areas previously closed to dense new neighborhoods. "It's going to be open sprawl," Snyder said about the county's changes to the policy. He argued that new development out east would increase the burden on the City of Sarasota's infrastructure without providing the offset- ting property tax revenue. "As we have more County Commission candidates for the District 2 seat share the dais as Tom Tryon of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (at the podium) asks the questions: (from left) Paul Caragiulo, Alexandra Coe, Steve McAllister, Shannon Snyder and Pete Theisen. Photo by Norman Schimmel GROWTH ISSUES DOMINATE AT SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION DEBATE DODGEBALL By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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