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Sun Coast Gondolier Newspaper Archives Aug 11 1977, Page 1

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Sun Coast Gondolier (Newspaper) - August 11, 1977, Venice, FloridaSun coast gondoliers the Vole of who South county it i vol. 33, no. 61 a 36 pages second class postage paid at Venice Florida 33595 i Council takes no action Airport problems Are left unsolved Telephone 813 484-2611 thursday August 11, 1977 published twice weekly a Price 10c the future of the Venice Airport and those firms holding leases on property belonging to the Airport was left a up in the air Quot by the City Council tuesday after it failed to reach agreement Over How to manage the controversial facility. Suggestions ranging from leaving things As they Are now to giving it Back to the Federal government were made by individual councilmen but no final conclusion was reached. The subject of the Airport was broached by City manager Dale Rieth who has been responsible for Airport matters since former Airport manager Russ Graham resigned last june. Rieth cited several problems now facing the Airport which Are policy decisions and must be decided by Council. But after a Long discussion and several suggestions mayor Harry Case simply instructed Rieth to continue As he has been doing. Rieth replied that the request was a an unrealistic demand Quot and told the Council that a the City managers office is not capable of running the he explained that if the Council wants him to continue a putting on a facade of operations at the Airport he will do so but it does not solve any of the problems. Councilman . A a Berry Walker former chairman of the now defunct Airport advisory Board offered the Only positive suggestion regarding the Airport. Walkers first idea is to stick with the Airport master plan which was drafted for the City at a Cost of More than $30,000, and abide by the developments it envisions at the Airport. Quot i think to even ask a question about sticking with the master plan is preposterous Quot he said. A we in addition to urging his fellow councilmen to go along with the master plan Walker also suggested that a new Airport manager be hired to take Over the everyday activities there. Bringing up the recently received letter from the Federal aviation administration Faa which says the City must pay for the use of any Airport land equal to the fair Market value of the property Walker termed the idea a economically a they Are putting our feet to the fire to raise the Ante a he said and conceded that the City May have to pay More to the Airport fund than it does now but not As much As the Faa has requested. Walker also endorsed a suggestion by Rieth that the City hire someone to apply for Grants to improve the Airport since there is no one serving in that capacity now. Councilman Eugene Caffrey who seemed disturbed by the most recent demands of the Faa advised the Council to give the Airport Back to the Federal government because a it is nothing but a a let them have it a he said. Walker reminded Caffrey of the impossibility of such an idea since the City has its sewer treatment facility water Tower fishing pier and Lake Venice Golf course on Airport land. A this is a major Arm of the City Quot Walker said. Continued on Page 4 air show Given approval the City Council gave approval for the staging of a two Day air show this fall in conjunction with the venetian Sun fiesta. Terry Ewing president elect of the Sun fiesta committee said the air show is scheduled to be held oct. 29-30 at the Venice Airport and requested City approval and assistance in crowd control. Tentative plans Call for blocking All streets leading to the Airport including Harbor drive mass transit is rolling the Sarasota county commission tuesday moved its foot from the Brake to the accelerator pedal on plans to establish a countywide mass transit program. Budget allocations approved by the Board include $50,000 for the operation of a bus system during fiscal year 1978 and vehicles should be rolling Down county roads by next summer. After months of discussing the mass transit Issue and the funding problems involved commissioners agreed to a program under which the state will provide 13 buses and 75 percent of the operating costs for the first two years. The county and state will soon draw up ridership goals for the proposed system. If the goals Are not met the county will be permitted to discontinue the program. However if the goals Are reached the county will be committed to at least one More year of operation. Vehicles provided by the state will include three 40-passenger continued on Page 3 r a weather High Low rain aug. 4 90 72 .29 aug. 5 94 74 .00 aug. 6 94 74 .17 aug. 7 90 73 .00 aug. 8 94 74 .63 aug. 9 89 71 1.67 aug. 10 91 71 .13 rain for the week. 2.89 rain for the month. 3.18 rain for the year 22.45 ? temperatures and rainfall Are a 1 recorded at 8 a m daily on the dates shown for the preceding 1 1 24-hour period 1 Nokomis Avenue and the Rialto so admission can be charged to see the event. Ewing said he did not know what the admission would be because final details of the event have yet to be worked out. All Access to the fishing pier Brohard Beach Caspersen Beach and the Golf course would be blocked during the air show. City manager Dale Rieth said police chief Robert ferry had advised him his department does not have enough men to handle the crowds or collect admission for the airshow at the toll Booths that would be set up on incoming roads. But Ewing said the areas Many civic clubs and organizations would assist in collecting Money and handling the crowds which seemed to satisfy the Council. In other action the Council a approved the on again off again solid waste ordinance on first Reading. The new ordinance will establish fees for All commercial garbage pickup and requires residents bring their cans to the curb for pickup. It also Calls for the separation of newsprint from regular garbage so that it can be collected separately and recycled. Council continued on Page 3 k Watermelon Days a in the dog Days of August there is no better Way to refresh yourself than to engage in some serious Watermelon chomping. That s what these kids did at the Myca in Venice last week and seemed to enjoy it. Photo by Koelsch Beach Swap is rejected by Sheri Bridges Sun coast gondolier staff writer the Sarasota county commission on tuesday fast shuffled a South Venice civic association Svca offer to sell a parcel of land it possesses within the boundaries of county owned Caspersen Beach and instead asked the civic group to donate the property to the county. Charles Drolet president of the Svca appealed to the commission to either Purchase the 800 feet of waterfront land owned by the association and which splits the 1.7-mile stretch of county Beach into two non contiguous pieces or to negotiate a comparable property Swap. If the county is not amenable to buying the 160,000-Square-foot parcel for the $300,000 Sale Price Drolet suggested that an Exchange of an equivalent amount of property from the county a southernmost piece might be arranged. Such a Swap would make contiguous not Only the county a strip of Beach but also the civic associations a which includes property at the southernmost end of the acreage. But Drolett a offer fell on deaf ears As commissioners indicated neither Deal was attractive. Making his second time around debut As a Board member Jim Neville instead expressed the Hope that the county could obtain the land Gratis from the association. A a we re satisfied with the Way things Are you Are not. Wed gain no advantage by swapping Quot the commissioner who was recently appointed to the seat resigned by William Muirhead explained. A donate it to us and get rid of a continued on Page 3 South county projects get budget allocations despite the county a warnings that it will take a tight listed approach to budgeting for fiscal year 1978 in order to Avert a tax increase the Ledger approved tuesday by the Sarasota county commission includes several appropriations for new South county programs. The Board stamped its Okay on a budget which provides funds construction slated the first shovel of dirt for the new Lemon Bay Junior senior High school could be turned by january or at the latest february depending upon action by the newly appointed architect for the facility. Charlotte county school Board members approved the recommendation by superintendent James Lawless of Willard Bowman of Punta Gorda As architect for the project. Bowman will be working with Paras associates architects inc. Of Tampa on the project. The state department of education approved the educational specifications for the school and returned them to the county school Board. Along with the specifications was a request that 2,700 Square feet be eliminated from the original plans because the school has More rooms than the department Felt was needed to support the maximum of 1,250 students. Eliminated were one pre vocational agriculture Laboratory and related classroom space As Well As one material storage space for the agriculture department. This amounts to 2,540 Square feet of space and with one cooperative business education lab and storage space totalling 840 Square feet the requirement will be met. Continued on Page 3 for the Venice recreation program the Venice baseball Diamond project the Englewood recreation Center for technical assistance in compiling Venice a comprehensive plan and for continued operation of storefront. Inc. Operation of the Venice recreation program will be absorbed by the county Over a three to five year period As part of a cooperative Effort to upgrade local facilities. Next years allocation to the program will be $30,000. After Brief discussion the Board also agreed to appropriate $15,000 in fiscal year 1978 to hire planning Aid for Venice in compilation of the state Man dated Long Range comprehensive plan. County planning director Doug James earlier told the City planning Board his department would be unable to provide assistance in drawing up the lengthy Complex document because of an already overburdened workload. But the commission later promised mayor Harry Case it would investigate the possibility of providing Aid. The funding continued on Page 3 police Union vote May be signal of things to come by Tony Briggs Sun coast gondolier news editor the Venice police departments recent decision to have a Union represent it in collective bargaining Marks the end of an Era in Venice. And from All indications it could foreshadow the beginning of the total unionization of All City employees. City manager Dale Rieth has admitted that employee morale is very Low Quot and has attributed it Quot general uncertainty Over policy decisions of the elected but some officials note privately that the councils reluctance to consider spending More Money on the City employees in the form of higher wages and retirement benefits has turned the workers against the City employees who were recommended for 10 percent salary hikes in the coming year were Cut Back to five percent during budget hearings. This along with other recent events has caused the workers to take another look at who would be their Best representative with the Council. Many have attributed the police vote to councils slow action on a request for a better pension plan. The City eventually analysis agreed to help fund a study on the Cost of new retirement benefits and provide $45,000 to pay for them. But several officers indicated they were not totally confident the Council would continue to be their Friend. The result was that the police officers overwhelmingly voted for the Union by a two to one margin despite a concerted Effort by City officials to convince them otherwise. A i was really disappointed but not surprised Quot Rieth said explaining that he considered the police department one of the least Likely of the employees to go for the Union. He said the employees should realize however that it is the taxpayer who is footing the Bill and that Money is not unlimited. This has been the primary concern of the Council for years and its members have prided themselves that there has been no tax increase in the City for quite some time. But this philosophy has seemed to have finally caught up with the elected officials. As Rieth put it the Council Quot has not focused As much on need As affordability Quot in its dealings with the budget. Rieth whose duty is to formulate the rough budget each year said he is concerned about the taxpayers too. But explained a my Job is to get the Job and he budgets accordingly. The City manager said he thinks that is what the taxpayers want so a they get their Money a this difference in philosophy Between a need Quot and a Cost Quot has led to some Stormy budget sessions the last two years in which both sides have refused to yield. But since the Council is the last word the budget has been balanced. And at least one of the councilmen has said he believes it can be done again this result of All the Penny pinching ironically May be higher costs in the future if the predictions of a unionized City comes True. Rieth said even if salaries remained the same it would Cost the City More because of the additional administrative time that would have to be spent negotiating with the Union officials. And salary increases Are almost an inevitable demand in Light of the current situation. Some officials believe the Council is not Overly worried continued on Page 3

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