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(Sarasota, FL January 10, 2012) Last year, a letter was published with regards to questionable activities happening behind the closed doors of Sarasota’s Housing and Urban Development office. Apparently, these are far from isolated acts…and far from limited to just this one agency. The growth and development of any city will be based on long-term strategic planning from that city’s governmental body. As such, there will probably be some dealings which will best be handled with a higher degree of discretion than others.Anyone familiar with the game of chess can recognize the value of a pawn in the process of capturing the king. Some would consider it as “collateral damage” others see it as the lesser of two evils. Knowing and understanding the financial value of the Newtown community to the city of Sarasota in terms of developmental funds (whether they are actually used in Newtown or not) is pivotal! And apparently, this reality is obvious to more than myself.
The following letter was sent to me by a concerned Sarasota resident and exposes a valid concern that I can agree to: Newtown is being milked and its residents are being duped! I told you earlier – last year was the LAST YEAR!
A New Year has started and the consistency of hypocrisy and villainous corruption continues, which leaves many unanswered questions in the minds of the Newtown community. The biggest issue in any coverup is how to keep information out of the hands of the people. But, one thing that history has shown is that THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT. Over the last couple of months it would seem as though nothing was going on…that the “issues” had been addressed and it was time to move on. But, those of us who live in North Sarasota (Newtown) knew that the city was cleaning up, or at least trying to.
What those city officials didn’t bank on was the HUD investigation, which came out because they had continued to provide funding without any oversight. The mentality of “Give them a little to keep them out of our hair” has been apparent for years. Programs have been tainted that previously had been a source of income for participating families and taught teens valuable skills to insure possible self-sufficiency. Those programs employed over 200+ teens for four years. Those programs also kept their participants out of trouble and set standards and goals for them to achieve. The stage was set to though there was theft and/or fraud…and at the end of the day, there was neither. The alleged double-billing has not been proven. However, the employee (a black woman) associated with the commission of the “crime” was terminated. Not placed on leave while the investigation continued…or allowed to work while the investigation continued (unlike three other city employees – two white, one black – involved in a current investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement…and THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS! There would seem to be some discrimination afoot, but I digress.