Please read these letters written in support of our amended Partnership Agreement between the City of Sarasota and The Bay Park Conservancy. Click here to view the revised agreement.
November 6, 2021
Dear Mayor Brody and Vice Mayor Arroyo –
My husband and I are writing to request your support of the amended agreement on November 15, 2021 when you are all together to meet and discuss this important Second Amendment to the Long Term Partnership Agreement with the City and Bay Park Conservancy.
From our perspective as long-term residents in the area and having raised our children in this beautiful community, we are thrilled at the progress that has already been made and it is beyond exciting to see how passionate and enthusiastic our residents are about the promise and completion of this project. If an opportunity exists to fully finish the project five years sooner and at a significant savings in capital and operational expenses, we implore you to consider doing so and make this happen.
We would be so grateful for your leadership in making this happen and kindly ask for your unwavering support and your vote to approve the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration regarding this matter as a way to enhance the beautiful public access to all of our residents and visitors.
Terri Vitale and Christopher Sforzo, MD
November 8, 2021
To Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch
I understand from my friend Cathy Layton that the Bay Park Conservancy is eager to progress their efforts in order to save time and money in realizing the vision for this important community asset. Given the benefits I expect to see, and personally enjoy, I hope you would support approving the second amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement between the City and The Bay.
As Dennis and I look forward to moving to the downtown area, we are particularly eager to take advantage of this amazing public venue. Providing our community with a free, safe, beautiful space for all to enjoy is something that will benefit everyone. As the co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force of the Community Foundation, I am enthusiastic about the fact that this wonderful park will be available to all and will enhance the lives of everyone in our community. If the pandemic taught us anything it was that outdoor spaces are essential to our well-being- physical, emotional and psychological.
I know this project will also bring visitors to our city which will contribute to the economic health of Sarasota. It will provide an attraction that will also shine a light on other elements of the park-including the arts and cultural institutions that will be part of the effort.
As this comes before you at the Commission, I hope you will support the amendment.
Thank you for everything you do for our community. I know it is not easy work!
November 9, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Cynthia McCague
I am asking for your support for approval of the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement between the City and Bay Park Conservancy.
I am and always will be a supporter of the Bay Park Conservancy project because I believe it will fundamentally change the future of our City for the better. A park that is welcoming and available to everybody is going to form a special hub for our people. It will add to the specialness of our very special City-and give generations to come the chance to experience our natural beauty and our cultural offerings.
The Commission’s approval of this effort to create waterfront open space for the people of our City was wise and visionary. The sooner that the people of this region can have full use of this beautiful, precious space – the better for our community. I also believe that increasing the speed of development gives this project the best chance of coming to fruition. Let’s make this happen-for the good of all our people, young and old.
Please vote “Yes” for the amended agreement.
Thank you for your continued leadership of our City and your service to our community!
280 Golden Gate Point, Sarasota, FL 34236
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Jim Shirley
First, let me congratulate you on your election to Vice Mayor of the City of Sarasota and thank you for the outstanding job you are doing as Commissioner for our city. Your track record of leadership has been truly impressive. I look forward to working with you to continue making this the greatest place in America to live and work.
I am writing to let you know that I and the arts and cultural community support the approval of the second amendment to the long-term partnership agreement with the City of Sarasota and the Bay Park Conservancy. It has been truly impressive to see how the City and the Conservancy have worked together to move this critical project forward for the benefit of the entire region.
As you are aware, the Arts have been major supporters and promoters of this project from day one. We view the development of The Bay for the use of all our citizens as the single most powerful project in securing our future as the Cultural Coast of Florida. Your leadership in supporting this amendment will be viewed as a major milestone in the development of this historical project.
Sarasota’s cultural reputation has been built on the vision and foresight of leaders and citizens in the past who could imagine a culturally rich oasis on one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the world. The Bay will help us magnify that vision and make it available to all people from all walks of life. We ask that you vote to support the second amendment to the long-term partnership agreement with the City and Bay Park Conservancy.
With sincere appreciation for your service and leadership,
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Luz Corcuera – UnidosNow
Dear Mayor Arroyo:
First, let me congratulate on becoming the First Latino Mayor of the City of Sarasota! Orgullo Hispano.
I am writing to express my support for the approval of the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and Bay Park Conservancy scheduled on the agenda of the November 15, 2021 City Commission meeting. It is my understanding that The Bay Park can be fully finished at least five years sooner and save $20-30 million in capital and operational expenses if this amendment is approved.
The Bay Park was one of the places we frequently visited during the pandemic to continue providing some of our programmatic components to our students and their parents. I can only imagine if the first 10-acre phase of the park to the public had been completed in the Summer of 2020 how many more organizations similar to us providing services to low-income, first-generation students and their families could have benefitted from it.
Currently, with the existing available space for use, UnidosNow is taking advantage of the public classes being offered for individuals and families and has engaged with other community partners in the planning of a Multi-Color festival to take place on June 2022 to celebrate the diversity of our community through art, food, and culture. The Bay Park is a wonderful model of private-public partnerships that benefits the entire community. We can’t wait to see the entire project finished!
Mayor Brody, I humbly ask that you vote to support the above-mentioned amendment agreement and afford our entire community an open space that we all can call our own.
Thank you for your leadership and for taking the time to hear my request.
Wishing you health and success on your journey ahead,
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Frankie Soriano, UnidosNow Board and Sarasota Native
I’d like to state my approval of the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and Bay Park Conservancy.
The Bay Park is very important to the UnidosNow organization and, more specifically, the community it serves. Especially with the COVID Pandemic seemingly lingering for years to come, having an outdoor resource that’s accessible to all demographic and socioeconomic status community members would go a long way in providing enjoyment and relief.
I’m requesting that you vote to support the amended agreement.
UnidosNow Board Member and Sarasota Native
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to all Commissioners by Congressman Vern Buchanan
This letter is regarding the Bay Park Conservancy’s request to amend the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the city to enhance the Sarasota Bayfront.
The Bayfront, with all its beauty, is an under-utilized asset. Therefore, I applaud the Conservancy’s efforts to help Sarasota Bay reach its full potential as a local and tourist destination.
In fact, I recently secured approval in the U.S. House of Representatives of $2 million in federal funding for expanded restoration efforts at The Bay, greatly boosting the work already taking place.
According to the Conservancy, the proposed amendment to the agreement would allow the Bay Park to be fully finished at least five years early and save between $20 – $30 million.
Having the restoration and renourishment of these natural resources, and all aspects of the approved Master Plan, delivered to our citizens expeditiously and cost-effectively is important to the community.
Please give fair consideration to their request.
Member of Congress
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to all City Mayor and Vice Mayor by Larry Thompson
Dear Vice Mayor Arroyo:
This is Larry Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design, and I am writing to express my support and that of the College for the approval of the “Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and Bay Park Conservancy” which will be coming before the City Commission in the near future.
As you may or may not know, I was involved as a community member in the first Citizen’s Advisory Committee formed to help create for the City the plan for the redevelopment of the Bayfront. As a result, I am a huge proponent of the plan for the Bay Park Conservancy. The plan is vital for the greater Sarasota community, and we need to do all we can to make this effort successful. Approving the second amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement between the City and Bay Park Conservancy is a very critical part of the effort’s success.
I ask you, Mr. Arroyo, to vote in support of this amendment to the agreement.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Larry R. Thompson
November 10, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Rennie Carter
I am writing to ask that you approve the second amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy.
We are so fortunate to witness the birth of what is sure to be the defining feature of Sarasota for generations to come – a legacy that will improve air and water quality, foster the physical and mental health of the community, increase property values, tax revenues and commercial activity, and serve as a social gathering place and center for arts and cultural programs. As a retiree and arts lover, I can’t wait to take advantage of this beautiful oasis in downtown Sarasota!
I understand this amendment will save time and money. Please vote for the amended agreement!
Thank you very much for your consideration.
11/12/21 – 11/18/21
Letter to the Editor – Business Observer FL
Read the article online here.
November 11, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Judith Schwartzbaum
Dear Mayor Arroyo,
The Leonard and Judith Schwartzbaum Family Foundation is a supporter of The Bay Park Conservancy. We are advocates for the project because it is a way to make a difference in our community. The park will add needed green space, access to the bayfront for all, and provide our community with a unique and special place for all to enjoy the best of Sarasota.
We support the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy. We urge you to vote to support the amended agreement.
Judith Schwartzbaum, President
Babette Bach, Secretary
November 11, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Kathy Schersten
The City Commission meeting on 11/15/2021 will include approval of the Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy.
I urge you to support and vote in favor of this agreement because of its numerous beneficial aspects for our community.
As an active volunteer in the Hispanic community in Sarasota (Board Member, UnidosNow and Development Roles with St. Jude Church/Hispanic-American Center) I look forward to this park completion as an outdoor experience for the families that need recreational places.
We all know how Covid has affected our citizens, and we realize the importance of open spaces for children to play and adults to relax. We have beaches, art venues and we need this Bay Park, sooner, not later.
What the Bay Park Conservancy has done already is remarkable. Its record is proven, and its funding is there.
Thank you in advance for your support that will be acknowledged for years to come.
November 12, 2021
Letter sent to each Commissioner by Michael Saunders
Dear Commissioner Brody,
You have before you an important agenda item where you will be considering amending the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy at your upcoming November 15th meeting. We should all be very proud of where The Bay Park is today – a collaborative effort driven by a forward-thinking city.
Today, I am reaching out asking for your support and approval of the “Second Amendment to the Long-Term Partnership Agreement with the City and The Bay Park Conservancy”. It is my understanding that this amendment will allow The Bay Park to be completed five years earlier while saving millions of dollars in capital and operational expenses – this sounds like a win-win for the community and the City.
What began as a community dream is now close to becoming a reality — one that will leave a lasting legacy and positively impact our region for years to come.
With the plan, funding, resources, and team in place ready to deliver this community asset within a favorable timeline — I urge you to vote in support of this amended agreement.