Ringling Art Museum (formerly Sarasota High School), column detail.
Ringling Art Museum (formerly Sarasota High School), column detail.

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Louis Vuitton Palmer family steamer case, Sarasota County Historical Resources Collection.
Louis Vuitton Palmer family steamer case, Sarasota County Historical Resources Collection.

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Venice Train Depot, car detail, Sarasota County Historical Resources Collection.
Venice Train Depot, car detail, Sarasota County Historical Resources Collection.

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Ringling Art Museum (formerly Sarasota High School), column detail.
Ringling Art Museum (formerly Sarasota High School), column detail.

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Michael A. Moran
District 1
Alan Maio
District 4, Chairman
Christian Ziegler
District 2, Vice Chairman
Nancy C. Detert
District 3
Ron Cutsinger
District 5

Five county commissioners elected for up to two four-year terms serve as Sarasota County’s governing body. With the exception of emergency ordinances and some Comprehensive Plan amendments, commissioners adopt new ordinances (laws) by affirmative vote.

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About the 2021 Year in Review MORE>>

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County commissioners appoint two employees. The county administrator is the chief administrative officer and is solely responsible for managing day-to-day operations, with the exception of the Office of the County Attorney. The county attorney represents the commission in legal matters and serves as its legal counsel.


Letter from the County Administrator MORE >>

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Jonathan R. Lewis
County Administrator
Frederick Elbrecht
County Attorney
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Sarasota County is a beautiful community that has preserved natural assets. Sarasota County has world-class amenities and robust, diverse business opportunities. Sarasota County is a great place to live with easy movement through mobility options and a strong sense of community.

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Provide exceptional quality services in collaboration with the cities and act as a financially responsible steward. Our high-performing county organization takes great pride in customer-focused services that add value to the community.

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View our strategic planning process HERE>>

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In January, online hotel review site Oyster.com named Brohard Paw Park in Venice the No. 1 Best Dog Friendly Beach in Florida. 

Located at 1600 Harbor Drive S., Brohard Paw Park is the only beach in Sarasota County where dogs are allowed. The park includes a fenced yard for off-leash play, as well as picnic tables, benches, dog waste bags, showers and canine drinking fountains.
It is open daily, 7 a.m. to dusk. Learn more here.

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After substantially completing distribution of $75 million in December 2020, the county officially completed its CARES relief program for local businesses, households, and arts, cultural and medical organizations.

In less than six months, more than 100 county employees, ambassadors and staff from the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller processed nearly 6,000 applications. During the same period, the Sarasota County Contact Center and 861-CARE support line processed more than 13,000 phone calls for assistance. MORE>>

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Originally known as the Sarasota district of Manatee County, Sarasota became a county by its own right after approval by the state legislature on May 11, 1921. After citizens voted to approve the change, Sarasota officially became Florida’s 60th county on July 1, 1921.


It is one of seven counties that formed in 1921, and even at 100 years of age, it is one of the youngest of Florida’s 67 counties. Only six counties are younger: Hendry and Collier (both 1923), and Gilchrist, Gulf, Indian River and Martin (all 1925).


Despite its relative youth, Sarasota County has a rich history of circus magnates, Chicago debutantes, cinema, groundbreaking architecture and even baseball. To commemorate that unique heritage, on March 23, the community held a socially distanced ceremony to kick off Sarasota County’s centennial, a 100-day-long celebration of educational displays, exhibits and events. Browse historical collections highlighting the special people and places that shaped Sarasota County at www.sarasotacounty100.com.

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In just four months more than 230,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19. CLICK HERE to see how strategic partnerships and collaborations helped Sarasota County achieve one of the state’s most successful vaccination programs.

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Citing nearly $50 million in necessary renovations to the current Administration Center, on May 18, county commissioners voted unanimously to initiate the sale of the existing Administration Center at 1660 Ringling Blvd. and move forward with construction of a new, 120,000-square-foot facility.

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On June, 5, Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) launched a new
mobility service plan, eliminating and modifying fixed routes that were underperforming, improving schedule performance, and expanding curb-to-curb service. MORE>>

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On July 22, Siesta Beach hosted the state’s top lifeguards for the 2021 United States Lifesaving Association James “Mac” McCarthy Memorial Surf Lifeguard Championships. The two-day event showcased the skills and abilities of lifeguards as they competed in swimming, running, paddling, rowing and water rescue events. MORE>>

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In late August, the Department of Health – Sarasota, began offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who were moderately to severely immunocompromised.
 

The third shot was administered 28 days after an individual had received both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. At that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not recommend additional doses for any other individuals or for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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In 2021, Sarasota County Government received some of the highest marks in the 30-year history of its Citizen Opinion Survey. In the random telephone survey of 1,250 residents, 97% of respondents rated their quality of life here as good or excellent, 96% were satisfied with county services, and 90% expressed trust and confidence in their local government to do what’s right for county residents. That last figure is 20 percentage points higher than the 2020 result and the highest percentage ever for that question. Here’s what else the 2021 survey told us. MORE>>

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In October, the Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association named the Myrtle Street Phase 2B Project from Central Avenue to North Orange Avenue its Project of the Year for projects under $5 million.

 

The goal of this road project was to improve drainage while adding a safe and welcoming pedestrian infrastructure to an underserved neighborhood in Sarasota County. The project also replaced the Seminole Gulf Railway crossing in this area.
 

Funding for the $2.75 million (almost 9 percent under budget) project came from the city of Sarasota stormwater fund, Sarasota County’s one-cent surtax, Community Development Block Grants and Housing and Urban Development funds.

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In January 2021, Sarasota County received $13,097,138 from the U.S. Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to support households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By November, the county had disbursed over $5 million to 645 households across Sarasota County and paid a combined total of 4,058 months of rent and 1,319 months of utilities.

 

At least 90 percent of awarded funds must be used for direct financial assistance, including rent and rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs and arrears, and other expenses related to housing. Remaining funds are available for administrative expenses.

 

Funds expire on Sept. 30, 2022. For more information on ERAP eligibility and required documents, FAQs and program ambassadors, visit scgov.net/rent or call 941-861-RENT (7368).

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On Dec. 11, 2021, more than 400 runners joined the 45th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run. After participating in virtual races in 2020, runners returned to Siesta Key for a chip-timed 5K course and a newly formatted one-mile hot cocoa fun run.
 

All participants received finisher medals for the 5K, which was sanctioned
by the Manasota Track Club. Cocoa fun run participants received ribbons,
and custom awards were given to first through sixth place finishers in all
age categories.

 

This is one of Sarasota County’s most popular seasonal events. Proceeds
benefit the “Summer in the Parks” Adopt-A-Camper scholarship fund for
county residents who cannot otherwise attend a summer camp. If you
didn’t get a chance to run, but would like to “give the gift of camp,” call
941-861-PARK (7275).
Learn more about what types of summer camps are available on the Camps page of scgov.net.

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CONTACT CENTER
Phone: 941-861-5000 l TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771 l ContactCenter@scgov.net
SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
commissioners@scgov.net

TEXT ALERTS 888777

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