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Sound, Elected Mayor, Sidewalks, Single-Member Districts, Performing Arts Center Contract, Trees, Building Heights/Densities, Workforce Housing, More Pubs and Outdoor Music

Frequently Updated - Return Often!


CityPAC Position

Links to Documents


Clarify existing ordinance to facilitate enforcement with plainly audible standard and limited duration, frequency, lateness for special events and limits on establishment open air sound. Treat mixed-use zones as residential for purpose of sound ordinance.

Charter Review/Elected Mayor

Retain current Commission-City Manager form of government. If proposal for elected mayor form prevails, constrain authority, e.g., by precluding hire/fire without approval of Commission super-majority. Add charter language to address abuse of power.

Sidewalks/Loitering/Merchant Entranceways

Strengthen for enforceability by adopt best examples from other FL localities.

Single Member Districts

Retain single member districts for better accountability to citizens and access by ordinary citizens with limited funding vs well-funded politicians to hold public office.

Van Wezel/Sarasota Performing Arts Center (SPAC)

As enthusiastic as we are about having a modern, new SPAC, it is premature and irresponsible of the City to sign a contract as they intend to do in April 2022. See the attached documents for information about the $100+ million taxpayer commitment the contract would entail, without adequate public input, analysis, or planning.

Trees / Parks / Environment

Follow Tree Advisory Committee recommendations requiring resident to replace every inch of removed tree, with certain limited, specified exceptions.

Admin Approval for Development/Bldg Heights/Density

Do not expand administrative approval for development. It subverts meaning review of consequences and public input. That is a prescription for unchecked growth, with little to no density or height restrictions and insufficient demands for infrastructure or workforce housing in return.  Instead, repeal administrative approval for the downtown core and replace with full-scale review process. Enforce set-backs and building heights and require meaningful percentages for workforce housing.

Workforce Housing

“Attainable housing” is defined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan as 120% of Area Median Income.  In 2021, that was $92,640, which allows a maximum mortgage of $392,094 or a maximum rent of $23,316.  Hardly what we consider affordable housing, and just an excuse to drop the reins on growth.  Sarasota needs a long-term solution to our housing crisis – which can be defined as a mismatch between the homes we need and the homes being built. We need homes for working people who live here year round to be built. 

Standards of Conduct for Elected Officials
1/24/22 Charter Review Board Meeting

Video Clip 6:22:57 to 6:26:37

On January 24, 2022, CityPAC Chair, Shirl Gauthier spoke as a private citizen at the Charter Review Committee with comments urging an amendment to the city charter to incorporate standards of conduct and a process for resolving misconduct by city officials.  See video clip 6:22:57 tp 6:26:37 of the 3-minute presentation and or the PDF of slightly longer written comments provided to the Committee for the record. Success! The committee voted 5-2 in favor of tasking city staff to draft the charter amendment language. The dissenting Committee members were Dan Claremont and Crystal Bailey, the two members appointed by Hagen Brody. 

Thorpe Park Saved
1/18/22 Charter Review Board Meeting

Video Clip 2:20:41 to 2:22:09

CityPAC Chair, Shirl Gauthier and Steering Committee Member, Janet Solomon presented comments as private citizens on the Thorpe Park agenda item. They and over 20 other citizens spoke in favor of keeping the park for the public rather than selling a significant portion of it to a developer for $275,000 to turn it into a food court. The Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of keeping the park for the public. The dissenting Commissioner was Mayor Erik Arroyo.

Challenges of the Strong Mayor Form of Government

On February 14, 2022, the Charter Review Committee  (CRC) completed the decennial review of Sarasota's City Charter.  The CRC is recommending a change of governance to Elected Mayor. Two informative documents are linked below:  A summary analysis of the challenges of having a strong mayor and an  overview of the various forms of city government, such as our current Commission-Manager, the Elected Strong Mayor, Elected Weak Mayor, and Hybrid forms.

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