Sarasota County leaders say report on growth is not what they want

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - A $90,000 report on how to deal with growth in Sarasota County has at least one commissioner saying it's a waste of tax payer money. A working draft of the report by economist Donna Arduin with Laffer Associates concludes the county should just eliminate zoning and urban service boundaries all together.

Tuesday morning commissioners saying it's not what they were looking for. Saying the initial goal of the report was to look at the monitoring and timing of when developers should have to prove fiscal neutrality on projects. Basically proof of growth paying for itself.

Commissioners like Joe Barbetta agreed there has been some sort of breakdown in communication. "In the July meeting I think we asked as a board for an analysis of fiscal neutrality, timing, and monitoring. It ended up being a tretis on smart growth, urban service boundaries, and things like that."

Commissioner Nora Patterson says it was her opinion then and her opinion now that choosing who they did was the wrong decision. "I think we would have come off better with the public had we chosen somebody who was neutral in terms of philosophy regarding development."

Commissioners say so far they are on the hook for half of the $90,000. They are asking Arduin and Laffer Associates to come up with something different if they want to continue.

At the time of this article Laffer Associates has not responded to our request for an interview.