Thursday, March 6, 2014

One Mayor, One Veto. Remember the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Debacle in 2010?

My point of this particular blog is to demonstrate that at the very least with City Commissioners', we the people have an opportunity to present and perhaps sway votes to prevent some of their stupid ideas slamming into fruition.

Let me take you back to 2010.  

Remember when Commissioner Turner and Ringling College President Larry Thompson decided that it would be cool to abscond with the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium? Probably not, but it did happen.

If it weren't for the citizen's of Sarasota putting their collective feet down and saying NO by telling our elected City Commissioners'  that it wasn't cool to give the auditorium, a public asset, away to Ringling for $1 freakin dollar a year for a ka'billiion years; in addition, Ringling would have ripped apart and ruined that Art Deco gem of a building which is a Sarasota heritage building.

I keep taking you back to the past to illustrate what could have happened in 2010 if Sarasota had a Strong Mayor. This section, as I keep repeating over, and over in the It's Time Sarasota Initiative could have made it possible for a mayor in one fell swoop to Veto the Commissioners' votes and could have handed over the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium to Ringling College.

Section 4.01.-Mayor, Item number 6: giving the supposed Sarasota Mayor the power to: VETO AN ORDINANCE, RESOLUTION OR AN APPROPRIATION WITHIN FIVE (5) DAYS OF ADOPTION."

This particular section of the initiative opens the door for a mayor to cater to any interest he or she favors.  If the commissioners' vote against a particular thing, Item 6 gives the Mayor, one person, the freedom to veto.

Given the history of politicians, it is dubious to believe one person,
elected as the Mayor can save the day.  
As citizens, this is another muting of our minimal voting powers.

Until Item No. 6 is deleted, it Isn't Time Sarasota.

Sarasota Herald Tribune, 3/10/10 by Robert Eckhart:  Thompson is proposing for the city to lease the 12,000 square-foot hall for $1 a year to Ringling, which would pay to convert it to a state-of-the-art soundstage that would be available to Ringling film students and private production companies that need an indoor place to shoot.  The deal would displace the 60 or so community events held annually at the auditorium, including high school dances and trade shows hosted by an It would also give Sarasota the biggest sound stage on Florida's Gulf Coast, industry watchers say, and lure good jobs here.

I could have kissed this venue goodbye (along with a lot of other entities who rent the auditorium) if a Mayor had agreed with Mr. Thompson and Commissioner Turner:

Atomic Holiday Bazaar 2013

The energy I had to put into demonstrating my concern of what was basically some major ass carpet bagging on Ringling and one of our Commissioners part, I did the following:

  1. As much as I hate to speak publicly, I went to a local Sarasota neighborhood association meeting to speak about the Auditorium and how the venue was built for the people of Sarasota. My show, Atomic Holiday Bazaar, has thrived in that building. Notes to minutes: 2010 CCNA Minutes.
  2. I also wrote publicly on my Atomic Holiday Bazaar blog and posted my letter to the Ringling College of Art and Design Board Members to ask Mr. Thompson to retract his request to "take over" the SRQ Municipal Auditorium.  Link to my letter to the Board: April 2010.
  3. Here's another blog where I am truly pissed off about the duplicity of our elected Commissioner Terry Turner and President Thompson's behind the scenes plans to take the auditorium: Link to my Blog Bitch: April 2010.
This type of watchdog citizen activity takes a lot of time.  I'd rather be spending my hours working where I at least am chiseling out some money.  However, with this new Initiative, written the way it is now, forgett-about-it.  Citizen's Unite, this call for a Strong Mayor is really about catering to Developers.  More on that later.

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