TWISler Breakdown: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Published July 18, 2011

TWISler Breakdown: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

As many of you probably noticed, the TWISler took a bit of a vacay over the past few weeks in order to ice down the swelling that has resulted from the egregious ass-whooping the city has been delivering to us over the past six months on matters of public policy. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any member of the city leadership that those of us in the creative class fighting to have our voice heard haven’t felt all too, well, heard.

If you’re not quite sure what we mean, we’ll try to refresh your memory:

Back in January, we highlighted the long-fought battle over Sarasota’s ridiculous noise and entertainment ordinances, which we have yet to see anything resembling a motion toward a discussion toward caring about at all from any member of our leadership. Guess what kids, the sidewalks still roll up at 10 p.m. in this fair town.

Following that, we touched on the topic of the Sarasota County Festival Steering Committee. Unfortunately, after nearly two years and a blinding lack of concern for any of the County’s numerous existing festivals, the committee just couldn’t figure out how to spend $800,000 to throw a big party. So, they decided to scrap the whole festival idea and just hand out some arts grants. Brilliant!

Then we set our aims at bringing in a true Braveheart to oversee the Economic Development Corporation and deliver our people from the oppressive shackles of redundant, impotent, ineffective committee formation. We voted for the guy who lead Silicon Valley from the depths of despair into its current economic promised land. They went with the guy from Tampa…

We then pleaded for the city to recognize the utter importance of courting a creative, technology-based company like Jackson Labs to set up shop in our county. No dice, cowboy…

We proceeded to lead a massive Get Out the Vote campaign, warning of the barren hellscape wasteland that would become of Sarasota if we didn’t bring out the masses on election day. The just under 18 percent of registrants who actually felt the need to show up and vote assured us that we were well on our way to that dark demise.

Moving on, we thought it might be a cool idea to have a park right outside our front door in the good ol’ Rosemary District. So we decided to throw up a nifty little website to ask our fellow citizens what they thought. We were awfully excited about the 461 signatures we received in support of our park idea. But I guess the city wasn’t quite as impressed. They decided to put the lot up for sale. Hey, it’s a buyers market!

Trudging along, we labored to show the city what a absolutely asinine idea it would be to install parking meters downtown in the middle of the summer during a horrible recession. Hey, only $600,000 down the drain a few excruciating weeks for downtown businesses, right?

We then made our case for how we would really like to have a place to sit down in our newly renovated Five Points Park right smack in the heart of downtown. Apparently, the thought of homeless people also having a place to sit was far too much to bare. City Commissioner Terry Turner explained the city’s line of reasoning perfectly clear in a May 17 Herald-Tribune article when he said the commission had to respond to residents of “the highest property tax value in the county.” We understand, Terry…

But hopefully you understand us too. Does any of this sound familiar? Because it’s all pretty fresh in our minds.

Then again, maybe Terry is right. Why would our leaders have any reason to listen to us poor, lowly creatives. We don’t vote, we don’t form committees, we’re not even close to the highest property tax payers. Maybe we should just give up and move away…

Or maybe, just maybe, we might have been going about this all wrong in the first place. Maybe we need to adjust our methods. We might even need to change our message.

You know what, I think that’s exactly what we’ll do!

Maybe instead of buying more property, we’ll just register more voters. Maybe instead of making more jokes, well just gather more signatures and ask for more input from citizens and experts. Maybe instead of rolling over and letting this city’s tired good ol’ boy politics get us down, we’ll just go out and find our own politicians. And then we’ll get ‘em elected!

The TWISler’s gonna be makin’ some changes, folks. Not so much changing gears — more like changing cars.

Any ideas on how we’re planning to win this race? We’d love to hear from you. We need all the help we can get…

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