Saturday, June 6, 2009

A brief Q & A on the upcoming Town Hall Meeting

Here are more particulars about about the meeting coming up on Monday, June 8th, at 6:30 p.m. (from an email from County Planner Chris Kohatsu):


Thank you for your interest in "Community Connections" a town hall styled meeting to be held on June 8 at 1660 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota.  The meeting will include participation from citizens in a variety of forms.  It will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and run until 8:00 p.m.  

We have received a number of questions from interested participants and are happy to respond with the following information:


Why is this called a "virtual" Town Hall Meeting?

Citizens will be able to participate in several ways which include:


·         In-Person

·         Telephone: 861-2255 (active on June 8) or Fax: 861-7354

·         Online Web tools such as:

1.       E-mail:


3.       Certain blogs such as a community leader's citizen blog: "Sarasota Citizens Join the Conversation"


Where will the Town Hall be broadcast?

The Town Hall will broadcast on the Access Sarasota network (Verizon Channel 32/Comcast Channel 19) as well as via streaming video through our Web  Short text based updates, commonly known as "tweets" will be posted on 


How can I participate in the Studio Audience?

Due to the size of our production facility, a limited number of seats are available.  To accommodate all that are interested, a camera with a live feed and a microphone will be positioned in the Commission Chambers, located on the first floor of the County Administration building.  If you are interested in being a part of the studio audience, please arrive by 5:30 p.m.  There will be a check-in table as well as staff available to guide you to a waiting room.  We will do our best to accommodate everyone interested in participating in-person. 


What is the Expected Format?

The Town Hall meeting will focus on the County's budget.  There will be a panel of speakers who will make introductory remarks.  This program is intended to provide a forum for citizen input as well as consensus building, so time will be dedicated to answering questions and sharing information.


How Do I Ask a Question?

Questions and comments maybe submitted via e-mail, telephone, fax, online or in-person.  We ask that every question be accompanied with personal information such as your name, neighborhood or affiliation with Sarasota County, and if possible, the category most applicable to your question (example: Parks, Utilities or Libraries).  A sample question can be viewed by clicking the following link:


Is there a Dress Code?
If you are participating in-person, we ask that you arrive in business casual attire.  Nice slacks or khakis with a collared or button down shirt is appropriate.  Please avoid wearing white, red and black as these colors may interefere with camera images.  Commercial logos and busy patterns are also discouraged.


What is the Studio like?

The Access Sarasota studio is small in space and will accommodate a limited number of people for this production.  There will be several cameras in use as well as high powered lighting.  Those sensitive to light may prefer participating from Commission Chambers.  The studio is also temperature controlled (approximately 70 degrees) due to the large amount of equipment in use.  Please dress in accordance with the lower temperature.  Seating will be in rows of small chairs separated by stage risers.


Is there anything I can do to Prepare?

You may visit our Web site at: to access the latest news and information pertaining to Sarasota County.  When you arrive, staff will provide an orientation and walk-though prior to the show. There will be light refreshments available in the green room to maintain your energy.


We anticipate the Virtual Town Hall to be an enjoyable evening and look forward to your participation.  Thank you in advance for your interest and service to Sarasota County.




Peter Politian said...

Curious to know whether there is currently any prioritization of budget matters that we can refer to in advance of the meeting? Any link where such might be found? thanks in advance.

Tom M said...

I'll look into it - thanks for the question.

Tom M said...

Meanwhile, this link goes to a survey that addresses prioritizations: