Sarasota County: New affordable housing rules due Sept. 1

May 23, 2017. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

SARASOTA COUNTY — Specific proposals for new rules that would encourage more affordable housing must be complete by Sept. 1, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday.

The proposals likely will focus on promoting different types of housing than the most-common single-family homes being built, relaxing sometimes burdensome rules about parking and expanding the ability for homeowners to rent available spaces, County Administrator Tom Harmer said.

After success with civil citations, group targets other issues

March 27, 2017. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

SARASOTA — A program that allows young people accused of minor crimes to avoid arrest had been embraced by Sarasota County law enforcement over the last year.

Now local leaders are part of a statewide push to increase the use of civil citations, which allow juvenile offenders to do community service and face other sanctions rather than arrest.

Will civil citations save teen futures?

February 23, 2017.

SARASOTA, Fla.(WWSB)–New legislation in Florida is aiming to keep young offenders out of the criminal justice. State Rep. Joe Gruters (R) Sarasota and State Sen. Greg Steube (R) Sarasota are co-sponsoring the bill, which would increase the use of civil citations as an alternative to arrests.

“It’s not something I ever considered or even thought would happen,” said Alvira Simmon.

Alternative punishments sought for students

October 20, 2015. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino and Sarasota County School Superintendent Lori White said they will work together to create alternatives to jail and school suspensions for delinquent students.

Speaking to more than a dozen church and synagogue congregations at a Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity, or SURE meeting, DiPino and White said discipline in Sarasota County has become too heavy-handed.