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Sarasota News Leader November 23, 2012 fice of Housing and Community Development, asked the commission last week to set a for- mal policy of supporting only projects submit- ted by the Housing Authorities, to guarantee that their work gets top priority in the grant process. Commissioner Joe Barbetta objected. "What we're doing in effect is precluding the private sector from competing with us," he said. "I'm not one to stifle competition." Hadsell pointed out that developers can swoop in on any available property, unlike the Housing Authorities, which are locked into specific urban plots. "It places our Housing Authorities at a com- petitive disadvantage," Hadsell said, arguing that the commission- ers had stated in the past that the tax cred- it program "should be funding projects that local government wants funded," such as the completion of Janie's Garden. Page 25 they go toward completing projects in prog- ress such as Janie's Garden. She called Janie Poe a "horrible mess" and pointed out that the new construction is already a result of a public-private partnership. "This is very innovative to form a partnership with a private developer to take advantage of that," she said. "It's a huge success, and it cre- ates mixed-income properties where it isn't just people who are on a complete govern- ment subsidy." To Barbetta's point about not knowing what best practices other counties have developed, Patterson argued, "I think we have set the best practices with what happened with Janie's Garden and we need to expand that effort." I think we have set the best practices with what happened with Janie's Garden and we need to expand that effort. Nora Patterson Commissioner Sarasota County Many abandoned Janie Poe units remain standing in north Sarasota. Barbetta asked whether other counties had adopted similar policies, a question Hadsell could not answer with certainty, to the dis- pleasure of both Barbetta and Commission Chairwoman Christine Robinson. Commissioner Nora Patterson argued the commission should approve the policy to en- sure that if the area does win the tax credits, She eventually made a motion to adopt the Housing Authorities' policy, which was sec- onded by Commission- er Carolyn Mason. "There were not pri- vate businesses bang- ing on our door to tear down Janie Poe Drive," Commissioner Jon Thaxton argued, support- ing the measure. Janie Poe was in a state of "embarrassment and disrepair" at the time, he said, noting that after the current developments are completed, that might be the time to embrace Barbetta's desire for a more "market-driven process." Thaxton, Patterson and Mason all voted for the measure, while Barbetta and Robinson demurred. %

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