Sunday, August 5, 2018

Without binding agreements, the public can get bupkis

Pat Rounds raises a concern that all who live in Sarasota County should consider:

Presently nearly $60 million in tourist tax/public revenue is tied up in paying off bonds bankrolling "big business" projects sold in the guise of public/private partnerships (Orioles/Ed Smith Stadium, Benderson Rowing Park, Atlanta Braves stadium).

Where is the Orioles' promised Cal Ripken Youth Baseball Academy? Where are the permanent boathouse, grandstands and restrooms at the rowing park?

The Fantasy: Benderson's promise

Answer: They don't exist.

The reality at Benderson Rowing Park


Because our County Commission hasn't required binding agreements from "private partners" to make good on multi-million dollar private funding pledges.

What makes the "power/money" status quo even more dangerous is the County Commission now wants to put a referendum on the ballot in November making it even more difficult for citizens to petition for change to our local constitution---The Sarasota County Charter.

This "power/money" phenomenon extends beyond land use decisions.

The August Primary is a starting good place to vote for candidates who value the public good over self-interest.

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