Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Update: Fresh Start Round Table

On Tuesday, April 10, the overcast skies unleashed a downpour on Sarasota, a group of residents headed to Fruitville Library to think together about two parcels of land near a valued bird preserve and recreational area.

Undaunted by the weather, the group came and worked in small groups for three hours with conscientious attention, calmly and evaluating proposals for our public lands next to the Celery Fields.

At the end of their deliberations, the group came to a consensus on which proposals should go forward. Some other great ideas came out of the meeting as well. The consensus will be presented to the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners on April 25th.

The three-hour round table meeting was run by Margaret Malone, who has had long experience with the format, often in corporate settings. Dr. Malone is on the Executive Council of Fresh Start. 

Each table arrived at a preferred selection of proposals, all of which had come from the community and been vetted by a panel of advisers. Those selections were then discussed by the entire room. Finally, each person was given a ballot to assign a total of 10 points in a weighted vote to those proposals they believed would best serve the community. The evaluation criteria included feasibility, utility to the community, economic viability and protective enhancement of the environment and wildlife of the Celery Fields.

For more on Fresh Start and why the community came out in heavy rain to work on plans for these public lands, read this.

The Fresh Start Initiative is sincerely grateful for all residents who participated in this proactive planning effort.

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