SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - ALong the Suncoast, the government shutdown is having minimal impacts at this point. A prolonged closing however could mean a lot more.
Walking down Venice Avenue Tuesday you will find those like Pat Zimmerman who believe the federal government is in shambles. "I just think they are acting like a bunch of babies. They need to grow up."
You'll also find some like Don Brubaker who think the government shutdown is a result of democracy at its best. "This is the way the government works. The checks and balances doing what they are supposed to do."
Some like Jon Riccitillo are just fed up. "They ought to keep it shut. We got too many people there now not doing anything."
The immediate impacts to some are very real. The DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton is the first local sign of the shutdown. Opened in 1948 the park commemorating the landing of Hernando De Soto in 1539 is closed. A handful of employees have been furloughed.
At the National Cemetery in Sarasota, it was a typical day Tuesday. Grounds crew members were keeping it clean while work also continues on a new Patriots Plaza. According to a released veterans field guide to the government shutdown, interments will continue but may be on a reduced schedule.
"They'll figure it out eventually," says Riccitillo.
Hopefully sooner rather than later at places like the Senior Friendship Centers in Venice and Sarasota. They receive reimbursements from the feds for meals they serve to those who qualify. "Someone will compromise somewhere. We will see what happens," says Brubaker.
A prolonged shutdown would also impact other local programs which deal with feeding and caring for seniors. Children too. The Head Start program receives funding. In addition the Sarasota County School District for example receives more than $25 million in grants and services from the federal government each year. "I hope they all get together and stop this nonsense," says Zimmerman.
Every person we talked to say they really weren't concerned. Saying they don't believe the shutdown will last very long.