Saturday, October 27, 2007

Surtax is a good idea, Herald Tribune says

'Yes' on local-option surtax

Tallied up over the two decades since its inception, Sarasota County's 1 percent sales surtax probably has cost the average resident at least $1,000.

That's a substantial sum for a so-called penny tax.

But the question is, what have taxpayers received in exchange?

The answer is, a great deal.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Citizens Patrol Training this evening

*Citizen's Patrol Training:
Tuesday (this evening!) 7-7:30 pm @ Sarasota Baptist Church - Room #100 via Admin entrance.

*New Officers:
We need nominations (and feel free to nominate yourself :) for voting in @ November meeting:

Chairman (no nominations yet, and I'll be passing the baton….)
Beautification Director (Tisha Farrington & Dawn Steele so far)
Membership Director (I'll help w/ newsletters, but need a new 'PR' type person for this role)
Treasurer (I'll nominate myself if need be, but would like to see someone new here, too)

We have the following on Committees:
Citizen's Patrol - George Morgan (and he could use help or a replacement :)
Yard of Month - Rene' Pitts
Traffic Calming / Safety - Judy Johnson
Welcome Wagon - Rene' Pitts and Diane MacDonald
Events - Sandy Allen (THANK YOU SANDY FOR 'STEPPING UP' :)
Neighbor to Neighbor Assistance - needs a leader!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Neighborhood Workshop set for Wednesday

Last year at a Neighborhood Workshop, a developer announced his intention to build an affordable housing project north of Bee Ridge Rd., opposite the main Lake Sarasota entrance at Mauna Loa Blvd.

That project proved controversial, and apparently has been withdrawn.

A new developer, Discovery Management, will present a new proposal for an adult congregate living facility on the same "Ansin tract" on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn. A pdf of the plan for the proposed facility has been uploaded to our community group site.

The public is welcome to attend.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Proposed Articles of Incorporation

Hello neighbors,
We had a great turnout at the meeting last Tuesday and worked through a draft of the Articles of Incorporation - see immediately below for the text.

The next step will be the final voting on Articles and of Officers at the November meeting.
Please take a look at the 4 officer positions and email me nominations.
We also voted to do the landscaping at front median ourselves as the landscaper "fell through" .
Flag is getting closer to happening as we work thru more "hoops" to jump through.
Thank you,
Laura Mathis


Articles of Incorporation

Article 1: Name of Organization

The name of the organization shall be the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG).

Mailing address: PO Box 21983 Sarasota, FL 34276

Article II: Statement of Purpose

LSCG 's purpose is to maintain and improve the beauty, safety, sense of community and quality of life of residents of our neighborhood. The members of LSCG have gathered together to form and support this association because they recognize that they may more effectively and positively influence activities that affect their quality of life by acting collectively rather than individually. The LSCG seeks to serve the neighborhood with individuals and families of diverse needs, interests and backgrounds, and believes in and will strive to respect that diversity.

Article III: Membership, Meetings and Voting

Section 1: Boundaries.

LSCG 's boundaries are established as per attached map.

Section 2: Membership.

a) Membership in LSCG is open to any person residing within the LSCG boundaries and/or any owner of property within the LSCG boundaries.

b) Any eligible person may become a member by signing the meeting attendance register at a general or special meeting. An eligible person may also become a member at any time by submitting to the Membership Director a written statement of intent to join LSCG. Once a person is a member, they remain a member until eligibility requirements are no longer satisfied or a resignation, in writing, is submitted to the Membership Director.

Section 3: Voting.

a) Residents and property owners who are members and are otherwise eligible to vote under these by-laws shall have one vote each per residence and/or property owner to be cast during attendance at any general or special meeting.

b) Voting must be done in person at the meetings, and no voting by proxy is allowed. Voting shall be in the manner determined by the presiding officer. The secretary records votes in the minutes.

Section 4: Majority and Resolutions.

A majority constitutes those eligible to vote in attendance of the specified meeting. Those voting must include at least eight members. Resolution is adopted by a simple majority of those voting.

Section 5: Meetings.

a) Meetings shall be general or special, and notice must be given at least one week in advance.

b) General meetings shall be open to all members and will be held not less than once a year, and are currently the 2nd Tuesday of each month..

c) Special meetings may be called by current officers, but not more than twice a month and are open to all members. Special meetings are held at times other than a general meeting time for the purpose of informing members of any activity or to expedite activities of the LSCG. This request is passed by majority of those present.

d) Any meeting, whether general or special, shall be at a place and time set by and called to order by the Chairman or another officer acting on his or her behalf and at least 2 officers must be present.

e) There shall be at least one week's notice provided to the membership of a general or special meeting, although shorter notice may be provided in case of any emergency.

Article IV: By-Laws

Section 1: Adoption of By-Laws

These by-laws shall be adopted at an organizational meeting. The organizational meeting may be called by any person eligible for membership in LSCG, the by-laws will become effective upon approval by a majority of those voting at the organizational meeting who are eligible for membership in LSCG.

Section 2: By-Laws Amendments

These by-laws may be amended by a majority vote at a general or special meeting provided the amendment is in writing and has been discussed and reviewed by the current officers.

Section 3: Communications with the County

LSCG shall provide the County with:

a) Any updates or amendments to the by-laws.

b) A current map of the LSCG boundaries.

c) A current list of LSCG officers and their addresses.

d) Any other information that may be required by County ordinance or code to obtain or retain recognition from the County as a neighborhood association.

Article V: Officers

Section 1: Board of Directors (Board)

The Board of Directors consists of the Chairman, Beautification Director, Membership Director, and Treasurer. Board positions will be held for one-year terms. Board vacancies will be filled by a majority vote of the membership and will serve for the unexpired portion of the one-year term. Board members and committee chairpersons may meet at their discretion and, as allowed by law, to plan meetings and make committee appointments.

Section 2: Officer's Duties and responsibilities.

a) Chairman:

1. Calls, prepares agenda for, and presides at all meetings.

2. Acts as liaison with the county and Neighborhood Services.

3. Sees that other officers, committee chairpersons and committees act consistent with the authority delegated by the membership.

b) Beautification Director:

1. Assists the Chairman with all duties of his/her office.

2. Presides at meetings in the Chairman’s absence.

3. Serves as Chairperson of all community beautification projects.

c) Membership Director:

1. Maintains the membership roster.

2. Keeps permanent record of minutes of all meetings, correspondence, and LSCG records, property and archives.

3. Provides and coordinates meeting notices and newsletters.

d) Treasurer:

1. Keeps financial records and maintains checking account of LSCG.

2. Prepares and files any financial reports required by government authorities.

Section 3: Elections of Officers.

a) An initial election of officers shall be held after these by-laws are adopted by a majority of the membership present.

b) Any member can nominate any other member, including him or herself for an elected office.

c) Officers must be members eligible to vote and must be elected by a majority of those voting.

d) If no nominee receives a majority of votes in a contested election, there shall be a runoff election between the two nominees receiving the most votes.

e) Elections shall be held at November general meeting and terms commence January - December.

Article VI: Committees

Committees will provide LSCG with policies, recommendations or reports for approval by the membership of LSCG. Unless otherwise noted, the Board appoints chairpersons for standing and special committees and committee members. The Board may elect not to fill certain committees and may delegate the appointment of committee members to committee chairpersons.

Section 1: Standing Committees.

The following are standing committees of LSCG:

a) Citizens Patrol – Coordinates training sessions and assigns members to help with scheduling.

b) Yard of the Month – Coordinates gathering of nominations per Yard of the Month guidelines, taking of pictures of nominees, sending certificates, posting of signs and drawing winners at random during monthly general meetings.

c) Traffic Calming / Safety – Coordinates traffic and safety related initiatives by acting as liaison with appropriate County departments in proposing and gaining community support for initiatives.

d) Welcome Wagon – Coordinates welcoming new residents.

e) Events – Coordinates community events upon vote at general meeting of event selection.

f) Neighbor-to-Neighbor Assistance – encourages and promotes assistance to neighbors with special needs.

g) Webmaster – Maintains the LSCG website.

Section 2: Special Committees

Special committees will assist LSCG and the County in developing and reviewing issues and problems of mutual concern. Special committees may be used to broaden the participation of LSCG in advisory roles to the County relating to policy matters and decisions that may come before the County, administration or County boards and commissions.

a) Safety: Make recommendations to increase the safety of homes and businesses of LSCG.

b) Parks and Recreation: Promote and make recommendations relating to the location of parks and recreation facilities.

c) Public Works: Make recommendations relating to traffic management, street maintenance, storm and sewer facilities, sidewalks and bicycle paths.

d) Land Development: Recommend land uses for housing, businesses, streets and other facilities requiring construction or alteration of the existing landscape. Review planning goals and guidelines.

e) Schools and Education: Make recommendations on public school activities, educational needs, school board issues, and related concerns.

Adopted: ________________, 2007

Attest: __________________________

Chairman, Lake Sarasota Community Group

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two Updates on Voting in Sarasota




Public invited to attend logic and accuracy testing

~Supervisor of elections to test voting equipment before November 6, 2007, election~

(SARASOTA, FL) - Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent invites the public to observe the logic and accuracy testing of the county’s voting and tabulating equipment to be used in the November 6, 2007, Sarasota County Special Referenda, City of Venice General, and City of Sarasota Special elections.

The testing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. in the office of the supervisor of elections in the Terrace Building at 2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, Florida.

Florida law requires the supervisor of elections to test the county’s voting and tabulation machines prior to each election to ensure that they are operating and recording accurately. Logic and accuracy testing is performed on a random sampling of all the voting machines that will be fielded on election day. Testing of the election reporting software is also conducted prior to every election.


Sarasota County supervisor of elections offers early voting

(SARASOTA, FL,) Early voting for the November 6, 2007, Sarasota County Special Referenda, City of Venice General and City of Sarasota Special elections will begin Monday, October 22, 2007, and continue through Sunday, November 4, 2007, Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent announced today.

Eligible voters may vote early using the new optical scan system in one of the three SOE offices in Sarasota (Terrace Bldg, 2001 Adams Lane), Venice (R.L. Anderson Administration Bldg, 4000 Tamiami Trail South), and North Port (Biscayne Plaza, 13640 Tamiami Trail).

Voters may cast their ballots Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; on Saturdays, October 27 and November 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sundays, October 28 and November 4, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Florida Law requires voters to present photo and signature ID in order to vote at the polls. If you appear at the polls without current and valid ID, you will be required to vote a provisional ballot.

Voters who have questions may contact the supervisor of elections office at 861-8600.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Highlights of the October Meeting

Some highlights of the October 9th General Meeting, which saw some new faces:

Residents are encouraged to attend a Traffic Advisory Board Meeting to support the effort to slow down the cars, trucks and schoolbusses - that's right - racing along Mauna Loa. The meeting will be on Monday Nov. 5th, 2 p.m. at the County Commission Chambers on Ringling Blvd. The more folks who turn out, the better our chances.

The front median is due to have a new flagpole, and shortly thereafter there will be a planting day to landscape it. Residents voted at tonight's meeting to do it ourselves - stay tuned.

Citizens Patrol has tentatively set a training session for Tuesday Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at the same meeting room in Sarasota Baptist where our general meetings are held. George Morgan is also looking for people to talk about the program to their neighbors. Speaking of crime, did you know you can get daily updates from the Sheriff's Office?

We also drafted a version of some Articles of Incorporation for the Lake Sarasota Community Group. The main reason is to enable the community to have a bank account for contributions. We still have no dues, no deed restrictions, and no plans to ever have either one.

Those attending also voted to invite a representative from the County Property Appraiser to speak to us at an upcoming meeting. The sooner the better, was the idea. More on that as it develops.

And last but not least, three new Yards of the Month were selected and the proud owners will soon be receiving their signs.

Next General Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 13th, 7 p.m., Sarasota Baptist.

A few websites about Sarasota

A growing number of websites are focusing on one or another aspect of Sarasota County - here are a few you might find interesting:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meeting Reminder and Other Thoughts









We have positive, hard working people in this group, with a lot of great ideas for improving the beauty, safety and sense of community in Lake Sarasota. There just needs to be more of us. It's certainly more difficult to make changes when "going it alone", yet when we work together, it's more fun, we meet new friends, and we reap the rewards of our efforts. Please consider being part of our community group. We don't want to form as an official "organization" (which will allow us to apply for tax id #, have a checking account to more properly accept donations, and then not have to go through the county for everything) until we have enough people to fill the positions. Right now we have 7-10 active people in this group out of a community of about 1600.

We would like to have an "Activities Director" to chair events like the Community Yard Sale, Picnic and possible ideas such as holiday parades. Please contact me if you are interested.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Assistance Update:

One of the ambitions of our community group has been to encourage "Neighbor-to-Neighbor" assistance for our residents who are physically and/or financially unable to take care of repairs or yardwork. We know that this is already occuring as I have heard many touching stories of our neighbors assisting residents nearby to them that need this kind of help.

We have a widow who lives at our entrance on Mauna Loa who is disabled along with financial difficulties and doesn't have nearby neighbors who are able or family in this area to help out. She has been gracious enough to assist our community group by doing the scheduling for our Citizen's Patrol and has allowed the placement of one of the entrance signs at the edge of her property. Several community group volunteers have done landscaping in her front yard, helped with garage sale, etc., but she is in need of further assistance. She is trying to sell her home and move up north with her family.

Please let me know if you, a neighbor, or a teenager you know (community service hours?) would like to help her in the following ways:

  • mow yard / nail boards on fence
  • paint and other small projects in the house

Your Neighbor,

Laura Mathis

Saturday, October 06, 2007

General Meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Another meeting is just around the corner - October 9th @ 7 pm - 8:30 at Sarasota Baptist Church.

We'll discuss the Articles of Incorporation and Officers / Directors, current Beautification Committee efforts, and whatever else the attendees would like to discuss.

CITIZEN'S PATROL: Next training has been re-scheduled for OCTOBER 23 @ 7 PM at the church.

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Home for a puppy?

From one of our residents:

We rescued 6 black lab (mix) puppies out of the middle of the road on Saturday. PLEASE help me find them homes - otherwise, it's Animal Control - which means they only have 5 days. We've bathed them, sprayed them for fleas and wormed them....but we can't keep them. They are currently in a kennel in my basement since I don't have a fence. I've lost count of the number of rescue groups that I've contacted, only to be turned down due to no room. Please check with every dog person you know to see if they need a puppy.

Contact: Sioux, 920-6765, or (m) 695-5235