SIESTA KEY ASSOCIATION MEETING, DECEMBER, 2014
By Diana Colson
- Community Reports – Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Scott Osborne was pleased to report that there were no real crime trends. He feels this was because the department practices Intelligence Led Policing (ILP). Says Sgt. Osborne: “Since 6 % of the population commits 60% of the crimes, we follow that 6% very carefully. They know it. We don’t hide this. Our goal is to prevent crimes.”
The Sheriff’s Office was very busy during the Turkey Trot because college kids have big parties, and do a lot of pub crawling. The Village was packed during the “Light up the Village” Parade. There was also some traffic gridlock during the Crystal Classic. “There is a point when the event is too big for the venue,” cautioned Sgt. Osborne.
As for keeping the gates shut in front of various condos and developments, he advised doing so. “Basically people are lazy, including robbers. When they see something is easy to get, it’s almost a crime of opportunity.”
- Community Reports – Code Enforcement
Illegal Rentals continue to take up most of John Lally’s time. He spends 5 months getting offenders into the courtroom because they stall and stall. When he ultimately gets them into court, they become compliant and the judge does not fine them. He will be in court again in January. The law reads that a property may be legally rented only one time in a 30 –day period.
- Overview of Lido/Big Pass Project Scope; Status of 3rd Party Review
The project is a City Project partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers, meaning it is both a City and a Federal project. The County also is involved: they are not only the stewards of our coastal system; they also own Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach. The project calls for 3 groins to be placed on Lido, one at the southern tip of the park.
Laird S. Wreford, Sarasota County Environmental Protection Division, reported on the status of the 3rd Party Review. “Of primary concern is the impact that might be made on the area if volumes of sand are taken out. The goal is to have a beautifully nourished Lido Beach with insignificant damage to other places.”
Laird Wreford went on to say that the Army Corps has done a great deal of research. Based on their studies, they have reached certain scientific conclusions. “The point of the 3rd Party Review is not to redo work that the Army Corps did well. The point is to examine, review and evaluate their conclusions.” This is done in hopes of assuring three things: that the impact on the Lido shoreline and Ted Sperling Park is a positive one; that Siesta Key Beaches and shorelines are not negatively impacted; and that the Navigation Channel in Big Pass is also not adversely affected.
The Coastal Engineering Firm ultimately selected to do the review will be assigned to look at the Big Picture. Sarasota County Staff will work with them by finding answers to specific questions.
Says Laird, “We are in process of finalizing the scope. Next we will sit down with the Procurement Office.” If a Coastal Engineering Firm is selected from a group already vetted by the Procurement Office, the project will move ahead quickly. If not, it will take extra time to vet a new firm. After the chosen firm has completed its review, it would be at least 2-3 years before construction would begin.
- Old Business – Siesta Promenade Update
Michael Shay reported for Bob Stein: within the next few weeks we’ll see some concrete plans and find out if SKA’s concerns about traffic have been answered.
- Old Business – Roundabout
Catherine Luckner said that the State and County people still have a whole spectrum of choices on the table, from doing absolutely nothing to building a roundabout. A safety assessment is going on right now. If a roundabout were built, it’s at least 2 years away.
- New Business – Community Events
Joe Volpe said the parade was “fantastic.” It was unbelievably crowded, and the kids loved it.
- New Business – Membership
He also asked all members to go on line to send in their membership fees. It saves SKA a huge amount of time.
- New Business – Crystal Classic
In future years, SKA needs to request that the organizing body of the Crystal Classic involves SKA in their plans for handling cleanup and parking problems.
- New Business – Fire and Rescue
Bob Luckner said all emergency vehicles in Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties will now be using the same radio station to communicate in times of crisis. He also said that the Siesta Key Fire Rescue Advisory Council has reapplied for licensing. (They were once a real force on Siesta Key, having brought the first ambulance out to the Key decades ago.)
- The next SKA Monthly Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 8th, at 4:30 PM.