As Reported in Inside Venice, Wednesday, 27 July, Wall Street Expresses Concerns in Washington.
Wall Street mobilizes in Washington, as suggested in my last Wednesday column. This activity has been going on quietly, focusing on House and teaparty fanatics, who want to win even if the nation loses.
The "Good News" is that since 8pm July 4, until 2:45 p.m. today, 2148 readers have visited the site. With 17 publications, including links to outside periodicals, that amounts to about 125 hits per article, perhaps a meaningless statistic. The numbers of daily viewings has grown in the last year or so from about 35 to close to 100, some days, more.
Reader feedback suggests that a number of people find IV supplements the newspapers and often provides more accurate or more complete
Follow-up Note to Council With Relevant Discussion From Comp Plan Proposed Uses Near Noisy Roads.
From: Ed Martin, To: email@example.com
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 6:14 PM
Subject: Toscana Isles: Comp Plan language re Commercial Uses. Specific language about Knight's Trail and Gene Green usage.
Below is some language from the Staff materials indicating the planned commercial use at the Toscana Isles project for consideration. Part of the reasoning was to increase the commercial potential of the city for economic grow
Short Term Rentals in Single Family Residential Areas Need Continuing Action From City
While litigation is pending the City is not enforcing its short-term rental ordinance. In this non-attorney's view, the City, ultimately, will be allowed to have such an ordinance, with the issue being resolved as to what qualified as "in operation"when the ordinance passed. Future actions should be allowed only under the terms of the City ordinance.
Bruce Lebedun, President of the Golden Beach Association, a homeowners' group, has asked the City for clarification with regard to
Nicholas Kristoff on Internal Threat to Security from Budget Fanatics
Kristoff selected quotes. Click link for column.
"IF China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.
Yet even that brief lapse in 1979 raised interest payments in the United States. Terry L. Zivney, a finance professor at Ball State University and co-author of a scholarly paper about the episode, says the 1979 default increased American government
MEDICARE REGS DO NOT REQUIRE COUNCIL JOIN CITY PLAN:
SUPPORT FOR SMALL TAX INCREASE IN EVIDENCE
Council Member Jim Bennett has emailed Gondolier News Editor Greg Giles pointing out a seeming error in Giles' news story, Saturday, July 23. In the story Giles reports that Council members receiving Medicare benefits were required to join the City plan.
I had also received a copy of an email from former Council Member, Sue Lang, to Giles making the same point. (An excerpt from Bennett's email is copied below.)
The confusion may have arrived from a Medicare require
(Article, published July 23, Venice Gondolier Sun-link below.)
" In all, the development should have appeal for some buyers, but they may be exposed to noise and industry-related problems from the asphalt plant, mining type activities and such that are paramount along Gene Green Road. One positive step City Staff required will be notice to home purchasers in that area that the industrial lands are there."
" The Comprehensive Plan anticipated commercial use on part
City of Sarasota Considers Tax Hike: Their ad valorum percentage is 2.77, as is Venice's.
I read on a local blog a comment that the City of Venice voted to increase the ad valorum rate to the maximum allowed, over 3 mills. Actually, what the City Council did was to set a maximum, not an actual rate. By this process, meeting a date set by statute, the City can lower the tax rate, but not increase it after their action.
In recent years, the lowering to the existing rate is what happened,last three years at least, to a level which held the rate at the 2.77 level. That
On Saturday You Can Read Some Thoughts on the Tuscana Isles Zoning, Which Will Come Before Council.
Tuscana Isles is a proposed development in the Laurel Road area which will border the Industrial area off Gene Greene Road which has been a problem to the Venetian Golf and River Club, and also Knight's Trail Road with heavy traffic to the Sarasota Land Fill.
There are pluses and minuses. See you Saturday on the Ethernet or print media.
Let's See Now, While We Cut Funding For Middle Class Americans, Let's Give Wall Street A Break.
The House, (we wont tax the rich), committee on Appropriations has just found a way to give some money to Wall Street by cutting the budget for the Security and Exchange Commission which is to protect us from the Madoffs, Nadel's, Insider Trading, Bogus Securities, etc. (By the way, the funding for SEC comes from the industry not the Treasury--no savings to deficit, just a little payola for the campaign friends.
COMMITTEE TO MAKE RECOMMENDATION ON COUNCIL SALARY, BENEFITS, NEXT WEDNESDAY—ANYBODY LISTENING?
The committee to advise the Council on pay and benefits has been meeting in very close to solitary silence. Two visitors have been identified to me, but perhaps someone was missed. Next Wednesday they are expected to vote on a proposal to be submitted to Council for consideration. If Council approves a recommendation, (including as they might amend it), it will go on the November ballot for citizen approval.
After the committee vote the subject will probably pickup attentio
City Manager Nancy Woodley has notified Council Members that the FAA has approved the Venice Airport Plan
The FAA approval opens the way for the Agency to consider funding of the runway 5-23 and other improvements to the airport, e.g., steps to remove the Gulf Shores houses from the Runway Protection Zone.
It may take several years for the FAA to support the various changes.
More information should be available at the July 12 Council meeting.
Outstanding “Bill Evans” Concert by Canadian Pianist Lorraine DesMarais
I overcame a reluctance to attend a “tribute” concert based on the work of one of the all-time greatest jazz artists, fearing disappointment from anyone interpreting this legendary talent. I am glad I did overcome it.
“Festival Orford” is a performing arts festival specializing in classical music, a few jazz performances and lectures, films, master classes and student recitals at Quebec’s provincial park, Mt. Orford, near Magog.
Fund Balances in Utility Accounts: Capital Reserve, $200,000; Working Capital, about $4million; Restricted Funds, about $3.5 million. Enough? Too Much?
All right, $200 K; $4M; $3.5M,--got that? One thing I have learned in several decades of reading financial reports, government, non-profit and from Fortune 500 corporations, is that it is an expert undertaking and usually needs elaboration by the Financial Officer. Even those of us, who are officially, “financially literate”—(my credential is from having had Chief Financial Officers report to me as CEO); full interpretation of cash flow, working capital, CapEx, Ebitda, and other financ
Censorship on the City Email Server: Jim Bennett Points Out Why It Is A Bad Idea
While Mayor, I made a mistake. (I know that is hard to believe.)
After speaking with the I.T. director at the time, I accepted his thought it would be a good idea if only responses by Council Members would appear on the city server. Council Members communications would certainly be public records, but would citizens incoming emails? No we thought.
The effect would cut down the clutter on the server, etc.,etc., etc.
The Jazz Festival of Montreal, just wrapped up this weekend, drew an estimated 2 million people to Montreal events, (City Estimate). I keep imagining a small festival at the Circus Arena in the future.
More than 100,000 gathered outside in the Place d’Arts to hear U-2, free concert, on the final night. U-2? Jazz? Quibble, quibble, quibble—all right it showcases much more music than Jazz despite the title. Blues, Rock, Latin, African, European, Gospel and more.
Update: Backflow Argument Has Less Merit Than I Thought
I wrote in my last posting that the "backflow" argument, i.e., each unit being charged for a backflow device, even when they were units in a mobile home park with only one actual device, had merit for reconsideration. It turns out, I was in error. A review of the record should put this argument to rest.
In 2007 the then Council, to its credit, increased water utility rates. It needed to do this because shameful mismanagement by the Calamaras Council, (the term does not necessa
Having A City Water and Sewer System Must Be Self-Sustaining: No Fun Ahead for Council-Citizens
Some City residents have raised a concern about having been billed for backflow preventers on an indidual unit basis, although the condo or mobile home park, really only had one backflow preventer controlling all units. There are also similar complaints about metering charges applied to units.
These complaints have merit and Council is acting to remedy them by ending the fees and has also put an increase in all fees on hold, pending a rate analysis and recommendations.
First, Happy Fourth of July and Fireworks over the Gulf!
Last month Peggy and I, noticing the quiet downtown, (she is a Downtowner, one of the volunteer ‘Mainstreet ‘ greeters who welcome visitors, give assistance, etc.—AKA “Street Walkers”) came up with the idea for a new Venice holiday.
We call it, “Where Did Everyone Go Day?” and suggest it should be held in May or early June. Here are some of our early thoughts, but this is an invitation to all, to jump
Peggy and I arrived in Canada yesterday, July 1-Canada Day, and even though we have been summering here parttime for about a decade, we were surprised at the wonderful greeting we received. The streets were decorated, bands were playing, thousands were gathered--the only flaw was that they thought our names were William and Kate, well you can't have everything.
For those without a sense of history, Jeffrey A. Boone, noted attorney and Chair of the Charter Commission, wrote a lette