Saturday, September 22, 2007

An update from Laura

COMMUNITY GROUP - MAKING IT 'OFFICIAL' :
*We have been accomplishing much as a "community group", but have found that it would really be easier if we had a checking account. So, we are going to "incorporate" in order to have a tax i.d. # for this purpose. To incorporate, we need to officially name officers. This is probably another good idea and maybe a way to get some "fresh blood" on the scene.

If you, or a neighbor you know, would like to help make a positive impact in our neighborhood, please let me know.
We are taking nominations and will vote at our next general meeting on October 9th @ 7 pm.

Right now this is our "officers" line-up:

Laura Mathis Administrative Director
Dawn Steele Treasurer & Beautification Co-Director
Tisha Farrington Beautification Co- Director
Mark Blumenthal Beautification Co-Director
Judy Johnson Traffic Calming Director
George Morgan Citizen's Patrol Director
Renee Pitts Yard of the Month Director
Tom Matrullo Webmaster

As you can see, these titles sort of describe what we do and aren't the usual association titles.
We really need someone to step up and take the role of Activities Director to help us organize such events as: Community Yard Sale, Picnic at Park and anything else creative we can come up with.


CITIZEN'S PATROL:
*Next Training will be Oct 9th @ 6:30 before our general meeting. This is a short session hosted by the police dept to "certify" residents to be a part of our Citizen's Patrol. If you haven't already done so, please attend in order to be a part of this successful endeavor.

*We need volunteers to patrol during the week day or night. Crime has increased during the week .

*Please remember to lock house and car doors :) Apparently many people are forgetting this simple safe-guard.

MEDIANS:
*Our tree planting in medians by county is being post-poned till spring so we can get on the "water-truck" schedule. Putting in new irrigation is just too expensive.

*Front median landscaping and new flag pole will be done when we work through the permitting details.

* We have permission from the county to obtain some nice size boulders for use in landscaping, but need someone with a 'bob-cat' or similar equipment to go get them at a county site. If you or someone you know could help, please let me know.


Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Open House For new Voting System

This press release is from Sarasota County:

The Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent, is holding three public open houses to demonstrate the new voting system. The times and locations are as follows:
  • Friday, October 5, general public 4-8 p.m. in North Port at the George Mullen Center.
  • Monday, October 8, general public 4-8 p.m. in Sarasota at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium.
  • Tuesday, October 9, general public 4-8 p.m. in Venice at the Venice Community Center.
The optical scan voting system, manufactured by Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold Election Systems, Inc., and the AutoMARK * Voter Assist Terminal, for use by voters who are visually impaired or disabled, will be introduced at the George Mullen Center in North Port on Friday, October 5, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Monday, October 8, and at the Venice Community Center on Tuesday, October 9.

All three events, which will feature a simulated polling room and offer information about absentee ballots and early voting, poll workers and voter registration, are open to the public 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To schedule a demonstration of the new system for an association or club, or for more information, voters may call the supervisor of elections office at 941-861-8610 or email bbain@srqelections.com. Voters are also encouraged to visit the SOE Web site at www.srqelections.com for election dates and information on voter registration, requesting and voting absentee ballots, early voting, and poll worker duty.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

From the General Meeting of 9.11

The Sept. 11 general meeting addressed a number of beautification, traffic, and property valuation concerns. In brief:

The first median will be landscaped by a professional -- the cost is very reasonable, the result will be a new flagpole surrounded by plants, boulders, and some Hibiscus trees.

The remaining medians will get trees from the county, but probably not until Spring 2008, in order to make sure the county can meet the need for regular watering.

Those present signed a letter directed to the traffic dept. requesting more stop signs for Mauna Loa.

George Morgan will hold the next training session for Citizens Patrol before the next general meeting, Tuesday Oct. 10. The class will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist Church, and is open to any resident who wants to become involved.
The Patrol plans to begin sending out cars on certain weeknights or even weekdays, Morgan added, because crime reports show increasing activity during the week. This might also make it possible for some residents who have weekend commitments to participate, he added.
With tax notices coming and property appraisals that appear not to reflect the current downturn in the housing market, there was some discussion of the potential impact on the community.

Commonly voiced concerns included:

-- Puzzlement over why property valuations were showing increases from the county when sale prices are running 20% to 30% below 2005 levels according to local Realtors.

-- Concern about vacant houses: Apparently there are some homes which have suddenly been vacated by renters or former owners, and the banks or owners have not yet been informed. This can lead to unkempt yards and homes going into disrepair.

-- One suggestion: Invite someone from the Appraiser's office to an upcoming meeting, so that residents can get a better sense of how the county does appraisals, and what we might expect next year.

Finally, the group plans to incorporate in order to set up a bank account. There are no dues, but money is raised from sales and donations.

Friday, September 07, 2007

More about the upcoming meeting

Hello neighbors, our next meeting is:

Sept. 11 @ 7-8 pm

Sarasota Baptist Church

Room #100 (via Administrative Offices entrance)

We are in the process of working thru the permitting, landscaping, and insurance details involved in getting the first median on Mauna Loa done with a new flag pole and new landscaping. We are also working with the county regarding getting new trees for the remainder of our medians. If only we could just waive our magic wand and make it all just appear…

It does take time, effort, and money, but it will be worth the wait.

It will cost more than what we are getting from Geico to replace the flagpole and do the type of landscaping we want to make our entrance median look as good as it did years ago, when there was an association (with more funds coming in) and an irrigation system. Please contact me if you would like to make a donation toward this effort.

(I still have Lake Sarasota T-Shirts available for a $15 donation)

We also have another traffic calming initiative underway to try and get more stop signs on Mauna Loa.

Many thanks to Tisha Farrington and Judy Johnson for their hard work in going door-to-door to speak to residents and work with the county to come up with solutions. Seems there is still too much controversy about the cost, looks and hassle of speed bumps; so, at this time more stop signs seem to be the most economical and less invasive way to control the speed on Mauna Loa .

Citizen's Patrol: We will always need fresh faces for this effort, so email George Morgan if you'd like to participate.

Email George ( or george-morgan@juno.com )

Yard of the Month: Nominate your neighbors! Email Renee


What topics would you like discussed at our next meeting?


Thank You :)
Laura Mathis
Co-Director
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Thursday, September 06, 2007

General Meeting on Sept. 11th

The Lake Sarasota Community Group will hold its next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist Church.

On the agenda:
  • Landscaping of the front entrance.
  • Care of the medians on Mauna Loa.
  • Yard of the Month
  • Other business as it presents itself.