Planning Organization discussed at Bayfront 20:20 stakeholder meeting

At the most recent Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 stakeholder meeting on June 29, volunteer leader Michael Klauber introduced several new stakeholders, including the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Plymouth Harbor, The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and the Broadway Promenade Condominium Association. These new additions bring the total number of stakeholders to 52.

Klauber told the stakeholders in attendance that the City of Sarasota City Commissioners voted unanimously to support the Vision and Guiding Principles of Bayfront 20:20 in February 2015. Stakeholders have also adopted the Vision and Guiding Principles.

A new Framework Team has also been formed, which Klauber explained to the stakeholders. The team was developed with help from Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, and facilitator Richard Hayes. Additional team members include Jon Thaxton, Shaun Merriman, Joe McKenna and Bob Easterle.

This group has been meeting twice a week for nine weeks to develop a draft structure for the administrative format for the planning organization. Klauber shared the objective of the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization with the stakeholders, which is to ensure the delivery of a professionally prepared master plan and recommend an operating structure that will professionally manage the Bayfront following construction.

Klauber also shared several other details about the Planning Organization, including that it will be comprised of a group of nine community leaders from private sectors with experience in major project development. One member will be from the City of Sarasota.

The leaders will receive support from a professional project manager, along with a local Resource Team. Resource Team representatives will include Bayfront 20:20, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota Orchestra, Art Center Sarasota, Sarasota Garden Club, the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations, staff from the City of Sarasota and more.

The Planning Organization will be a 501(c)(4) and the group will follow the Bayfront 20:20 Vision and Guiding Principles. The organization aims to complete its work in 18 months, but this period could be extended if additional time is needed.

The Planning Organization will have a budget of $2.5 million, and funds will be raised from the private sector. Bayfront 20:20 will recommend a specific nonprofit structure for the organization in the coming weeks.

Klauber said in May, Bayfront 20:20 representatives met with the executive directors of six major foundations in Sarasota – the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, The Patterson Foundation, the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the Virgina Toulmin Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The executive directors offered suggestions on how board members for the Planning Organization could be chosen and also offered potential candidates.

On July 18, Bayfront 20:20 representatives will provide an update to the City Commission about the Planning Organization.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Klauber said Bayfront 20:20 will be taking its next learning trip on July 12 and 13 to Carmel, Ind. Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin and Commissioner Susan Chapman will attend, and Klauber said all stakeholders are invited as well.