Steering Committee

STOP! is a community-based organization of Sarasota citizens.  We are volunteers who come from all parts of the City:  downtown, the keys, and the City’s mainland neighborhoods.  Some of us are retired; others are still working.  Our backgrounds are diverse – business, the arts, health care, education, government, the law and more.

 Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, business owner: ” It is essential to understand the two types of development approval processes in the City of Sarasota: Pure Administrative Approval and The Public Process.  The Public Process fosters productive conversation between City staff, neighbors, businesses, and developers resulting in an informed community and development with City-wide support and intent.  The Purely Administrative Approval process on large or impactful projects excludes the very public they often hope to serve. It is a counter-intuitive process which creates suspicions and can polarize a community.”

Mollie Cardamone, past Sarasota Mayor : “The size and bulk of the VUE has upset most everyone, we need a better city approval process!  Let’s go to work on it so we don’t see another VUE……”

Lee Duffey: “Public Input into the development of our city should be valued and encouraged, not diminished.”

Lewis Hanan, D. M. D. : “Give us back our city.”

Mike Lasche : “I started working for safer, easier walking and bicycling in the late 1980’s when I led a successful community campaign to get the City and County to adopt national and state standards that accommodated pedestrians and cyclists.  In recent years, the City of Sarasota, through its current zoning code and other efforts, has devolved away from those standards.  This has led to policies which are anti-pedestrian, anti-bicyclist, and anti-motorist.  I hope the City will adopt credible standards so that it actually promotes walkability and bike-ability while simultaneously making motor vehicle traffic easier.  Good planning and engineering can make it better for everyone.”

Kate Lowman, artist : “I live in a downtown neighborhood – Laurel Park.  We have been dealing with Administrative Approval for 13 years.  We used to have a structure for communicating and working with developers.  Administrative Approval ended that.  That was wrong, and I don’t want to see it happen to any other neighborhood.”

Bill Noonan : ” My wife and I are year-round residents on one of our barrier islands – drawn here since 1991 by the wonderful pace and quality of life. Current and planned construction projects nearby the foot of the Ringling Causeway are/will be a major source of traffic congestion – yet all were approved without adequate traffic studies or any public hearings. Both realistic comprehensive traffic studies and citizen participation in our city’s approval process should be mandatory for future projects”

Eileen Normile, former City Commissioner/attorney: “Quality growth brings life to our cities.  Lack of infrastructure kills it. Sarasota is suffocating from its own success.  It’s time for CPR.”

Gretchen Serrie: “I’m a 43-year city resident.  After retiring from a long career in arts management, for the past 15 years I have been deeply involved in neighborhood and city government issues.  I am a member of STOP! because I want the quality of life for future generations of Sarasotans to be equal to that which it has been my privilege to enjoy. “

Board of Advisors