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Confidence in Sarasota County - Herald Tribune

01 Aug 2016 6:29 PM | Anonymous

Confidence in Sarasota County

By Mary Dougherty, Guest Columnist

Trust in our local county leaders reached its highest mark in 2015, according to the latest Sarasota County citizen survey. This illustrates that citizens trust Sarasota County government leaders more (at 51 percent) than state or federal government leaders - a pattern that has been consistent.

Sarasota County residents trust our commissioners now more than they ever have in the last 20 years. I'd like to congratulate the Sarasota County Commission on earning that trust. This trust translates into confidence in their decision-making, and particularly the recent decision to transmit the recent changes to the comprehensive plan to the state for review, as referenced in the July 6 article, "County comprehensive plan update approved." For the next 10 years, this document will guide how county planners will address quality of life, environmental, transportation, health, utilities and land-use issues.

We need to support our local leaders in making changes that will ensure we have the roadways, shopping, dining and neighborhoods to support our growth. They will be making those hard smart-growth choices that will benefit our region for years and years to come.

It's a delicate balance. We must also have the confidence that our county commissioners will maintain our natural resources. To ensure that these assets are the most pristine, while at the same time providing infrastructure and amenities for hundreds of thousands of people who move here every year. Smart planning now - paired with common-sense development - will protect our community for the future and continue to provide resources for people who live here.

That's a lot of pressure. Thankfully, there was a lot of citizen input on this comprehensive plan as well. Several members of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange worked with others in the business community and provided their expertise, time and talents to incorporate smart-growth concepts to ensure Sarasota is a business-friendly community for future generations.

The members of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange live, work and play in this community. They have built their businesses here and built the community we are proud to call home. They are employers, employees, neighbors, friends and citizens in the community. Our members are engaged and share a long-term vision for the future of our community, and like our members, the community is also engaged in this process.


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