By Diana Colson
Michael Shay called the meeting to order, and September Minutes were approved.
Community Reports – Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Jason Mruczek has returned to Siesta Key, and is newly in charge of the Siesta Key Substation. (The office is temporarily located in a trailer, but will soon be moved to the beach.) The Sgt. said there were no big crime trends currently going on. President Michael Shay spoke highly of Sgt Mruczek, saying he was very hands-on and attentive, and responded quickly to calls that need his attention.
Susan Stahley was unable to attend. Michael Shay said they had communicated on a couple of illegal rentals, and she was actively following those cases.
MAIN SPEAKER — Commissioner Alan Maio, BOCC, Sarasota County
Commissioner Maio has spent almost a year on the job. He gave a presentation of the County Budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 and outlined improvements for Siesta Key. He also said they were already working of FY 2017.
The County Fiscal Year started October 1 of 2015, and extends through September 30 of 2016. Maio spoke of the new budget and how it might affect Siesta Key. He addressed several rumors that were utterly false:
Is Sarasota County going bankrupt? Definitely not!
Does Sarasota County have no reserves? Ridiculous!
Is Sarasota County’s bond rating is down? Nonsense!
For FY 2016, Sarasota County Commissioners are dealing with One Billion, 92 Million dollars. Says Commissioner Mayo, “It’s a lot of money, and we watch it very closely. We keep paying things off at cheaper interest rates.”
At 3.9%, Sarasota County has the 2nd lowest millage rate in Florida. Remarkably, this favorable millage rate has stayed almost the same for many years. During the recent “Great Recession”, the County gross assessed value went down 42%. Nonetheless, the County maintained a flat-lined or decreased millage rate even during those stressful times.
Mayo presented a telling visual: A dollar bill was shown torn into three parts, displaying how each dollar of property tax was allocated:
- 58 cents of each dollar goes to the Sarasota County School Board: 34.1 cents go to the State School system; 24.5 cents goes to local schools.
- 11 cents of that dollar go to Sarasota Florida Water Management, West Coast Inland Navigation, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
- 31 cents of that dollar goes to Sarasota County. The 31 cents is divided between the Sheriff’s Office, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, SCAT, Health and Human Resources, parks, libraries, and other services. It also goes to Sarasota County Debt, Mosquito Control, and Sarasota County EMS.
It has been mistakenly reported that Sarasota County stopped charging Impact Fees. Commissioner May pointed out that a comma should have been added followed by the words “… and replaced them with mobility fees.”
- Big Pass Dredge Project:
Catherine Luckner reported: “Things are working in a good way. People have been doing their homework. This has opened up avenues for inquiry. Some things have been answered by the Army Corps, but not others.” For example, the Army Corps has not yet turned in a required wildlife report. All reports must be submitted before the project could move forward. Deadline dates are in force.
Michael Shay added that no one is questioning that Lido needs sand. SKA is not being passive, but is working within the system
- Roundabout: Bob Stein reported that nothing has happened as yet.
- Petition for building on Beach Road near Beach Access #4: After having been turned down 3 times, Catherine Luckner said that the petition is being presented for the 4th time. It involves a very expensive parcel of land, and owners want to build 100% past the setback line. Petitioners keep altering their design and resubmitting. This 4th submission is coming up on October 15.
- Membership Drive: Begins in November. Fees have not gone up. Everyone who signs up will get 2 tickets to the Annual Brunch.
Next SKA monthly meeting is Thursday, 11/5, at 4:30 pm.