Ten Reasons why Sarasota is not #1

I found this on facebook yesterday and I as I was reading it aloud for myself and my girlfriend, we both found ourselves mimicking congregation members at a revival… Nodding our heads in agreement and emitting little sounds of appreciation and satisfaction! Enjoy!

Ten Reasons why Sarasota is not #1
August 26, 2012
Posted By: Rich Swier Jr.

Ten Reasons why Sarasota is not #1

I recently was sent a link to the recent Money Magazine Top 100 places to live. And of course, I fully expected to open the article, and see the words “Sarasota, Florida” right there in the top 10. We have all the key elements of a great city right? Low cost of living, amazing beaches, weather, amazing arts and culture, and a very charitable community. Well, after clicking “View Next 10” 10 times…. it became obvious to me, that Sarasota, Florida was not in the Top 10… and even more depressing, not even in the Top 100.

We didn’t even beat Troy, Michigan (no offense Troyans).

My depression, quickly turned into anger. Not at Money Magazine. Not at Troy, Michigan. But at myself. Shame on me for expecting that we would simply be voted Top 100 because we have nice sand and sunshine. Shame on me, for believing the “hype” that a city can be great because the weather is great. Shame on me for expecting the rubber stamp.

Here are my top ten reasons why Sarasota is no longer #1

(and how we can reclaim our position as one of the top cities to live).

REASON #10 – We don’t give a shit about Elections.

I realize this is a blanket statement. Believe me, I know a few people that love Politics. Eat it up like a sugar cookie. I see them at the City Commission meetings almost every time I go. And believe me, those people are dedicated as hell. You don’t know pain, until you have sat through a 7 hour City Commission meeting listening to people complain about traffic signals, sterile Turtles and Public Art. But for the most part, this City doesn’t care enough to vote. The Voter turnout in City Elections is horrific. Why? Is it Because they don’t believe the system works? Or because the Elections are in March? It doesn’t matter why. The fact is OUR CITY DOES NOT VOTE. The worst offender is youth. The voice of the 40 and under crowd is almost a rounding-error. That saddens me. If we no longer called it “City Elections” and called it “Complain about Irrelevant Crap Day”…. we would have a 86% voter turnout.

REASON #9 – Vagrants have taken over our downtown.

I understand the sensitivity of this debate. Before anyone begins to talk about this issue, they feel like they have to recite the “Homeless vs Vagrants” Political Correctness speech. Believe me, I have heard it more than the latest Justin Bieber song coming from my daughters IPod.
To be honest, I think everyone understands the difference, so let’s stop using the “we need to be sensitive” excuse, and solve the problem. Our own “ceremonial” Mayor stated in the last meeting that she is afraid to walk downtown, and something must be done. Two years it took our City Commission to acknowledge the problem, and then they told the Police Department “We support you to execute the law of the City”. So am I to assume, that the City Commission did NOT support this before? If I knew that vagrants and panhandlers had that much power and influence over our City Commission, I would have grabbed my backpack, grown out my beard, and set up a nice spot next to Ian at Mattison’s instead of going to the City Commission meetings.

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