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SRQ DAILY Jan 21, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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[Argus]  County Commission Priorities Reflect Community Challenges
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The County Commission this week approved its strategic plan for 2023. It was developed at the annual retreat for the commission in December 2022. This plan is important as it sets the tone and focuses administration and staff’s timing on certain issues. 

With 40% of the commission being new this year, this is a peek inside the focus of the newest iteration of the commission and it gives you an idea of where the county is headed. 

This year, the list of priorities was lengthy. There were 12 of them in total. They are not ranked in a particular order. They all share equal importance to the commission and some of them had some specific direction and explanation to them.

  • Affordable Housing
  • Contracted Social Services
  • Design Flood Evaluation: FEMA lowering base flood
  • EDC Future
  • Fruitville Expansion Phase 1 and 2
  • Health of the Bay: Midnight Pass and future openings
  • Indoor Sport Facility Design- Employee Shelter Opportunity
  • Jail Future State
  • Review Opportunities for Increased Public Access to Preserve and Protected Lands
  • South County Regional Park Planning
  • South River Road Public/Private Partners
  • SWFWMD Project Funding

This is a healthy list that crosses many different areas, from transportation to parks to environment and water quality. It reflects many of the hot button issues of today and shows the commission will be taking on some challenging and controversial issues over the next year.

The next step in the process of dealing with these priorities is for staff to focus on implementation of the plan. The County Administrator’s memo indicates the Board will receive monthly updates on these items. 

The timing of setting these priorities is important as the fiscal year for the county runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Staff is now beginning to put together the budget process for 2024 that starts Oct. 1 of this year. Staff will evaluate what priorities can be implemented this fiscal year before Oct. 1 and will budget some items for next year. That is why the timing of the approval of these priorities is so important.

While we may not necessarily agree with the outcomes of some of these items in the future, we applaud the commission for taking on tough issues head on and not shying away from them. It is too easy to let problems and controversial issues sit and gather dust, and also let another future commission deal with them.

Transparency will be key to the community understanding the progression of these priorities, we hope the monthly updates will be prominently accessible to the public, not just in quarterly commission meetings, but every single month. 

Congratulations to the commission on setting your road map for 2023. You have a lot of work ahead of you, we are glad you filled your plate with meaningful, pressing and important priorities.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 



[SOON]  GALLERY: Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery , January 6 – January 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Contemporary Realism First Friday Gallery Walk at the Dabbert Gallery. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, the Dabbert Gallery will host the First Friday Gallery Walk through its new contemporary realism exhibit. The exhibit runs through Jan. 31. For more information, visit dabbertgallery.com. Dabbet Gallery, 46 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Music of Billy Joel and Elton John , January 20 – January 21, Various times

Enjoy the music of Elton John and Billy Joel, performed by Michael Cavanaugh. The show will feature hit songs from both artists.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

[SOON]  FOOD: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck East Sarasota Appearance , January 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is returning to The Mall at University Town Center on Saturday 1/21! Come say hello to us at the mall entrance near Kona Grill between 10am-7pm and pick up some super cute treats & merch, while supplies last! The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: Optics of Storytelling When Told by Women Journalists of Color , January 26, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

On Jan. 26, Renee James Gilmore and Mercedes Soler will participate in this first part of the “Listening to Women” series. Two seasoned broadcast journalists, in the third act of their careers, come together to share their perspectives on the current state of journalism, what it’s like to practice that craft as women of color, the role they play as communicators in community advocacy, and some alarming facts surrounding neighborhoods that are heavily populated by their families and friends. To learn more and purchase tickets, call 941-309-5111, or visit OLLIatRinglingCollege.org. Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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