By John Morton
The Sarasota County Legislative Delegation has agreed to another meeting with Save Siesta Key and, shortly thereafter, a likely vote regarding the group’s incorporation effort.
Save Siesta Key board member Harry Anand has reported that the meeting is likely to occur the week of Dec. 13. Sometime before that, there also will likely be a local town hall meeting hosted by state Rep. Fiona McFarland and state Sen. Joe Gruters. The meeting’s intent would be to gauge local interest and flesh out any details in question. Visit our website at siestasand.us for updates, as well as savesiestakey.org.
Both McFarland and Gruters represent the Key and are part of the delegation.
A positive vote of support by the delegation must occur if Save Siesta Key’s incorporation effort is to go to state leaders in the form of a proposed bill. The upcoming Florida Legislature session begins in January.
Meanwhile, a draft of the local bill was filed by Save Siesta Key lobbyist Jon Moyle in Tallahassee on Nov. 4, according to Anand.
Siesta Key is the largest barrier island in Florida that is not its own municipality. It is governed by Sarasota County.
In March, a group of local residents created Save Siesta Key and held public meetings and hired consultants in an effort to pursue incorporation. It has collected nearly 2,000 petitions and raised more than $115,000 as of Nov. 15. Some of those funds have been spent on the creation of a required feasibility study and town charter.
If approved by the Florida Legislature, a local referendum vote would follow. A majority vote there would result in Siesta Key becoming a town on Dec. 31, 2022.