Quit Spats, Focus On Problems

On Leadership


As president of the Downtown Partnership in 2004, I can tell you that we were in the middle of a territorial representation dispute that had been going on for a decade. It continues to go on today and is several generations old. It’s the same today as it was then, too many Type A egos fighting over the spoils of too much inheritance. 

Since the Scots settled Sarasota on its magnificent Bayfront, outside of a ’60s economic shift away from downtowns, downtown has always had too much money thrown at it. TIF money being a good example. An undeserved rescue by Sarasota County. We have been like a bunch of spoiled kids squabbling over too much inheritance that we didn’t have to earn and was a gift from our unknowing fore-fathers! If Sarasota wasn’t so wealthy we would be much more focused. We have been blessed so much that we fail to make the most out of our unearned gift of location and the fortuitous settling of the Selby, Ringling and Palmer families in our town. We were born on third base, thought we hit a triple and have been living on this past legacy for too many generations.  

All of that energy would be better spent on finding solutions to the 40-plus-acre Van Wezel area, North Tamiami Trail, Newtown, Homelessness, our neglected infrastructure, our cities financial lack, etc.  Real problems lacking real solutions, currently.   

It is high time we quit this internecine detrimental spat, set community goals that will continue to lead us on the path of setting a national example of how a community should husband, invest and multiply its inheritance.

Bob Richardson, Sarasota, responding to the "DSA Sees Leadership Shift" article in the Aug. 12 edition of SRQ Daily.

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