Sarasota County to lay off 24, cut 32 positions

SARASOTA — County government Tuesday announced upcoming budget cuts that will lay off 24 employees and eliminate 32 other positions.

“This action is expected to reduce the size of the workforce by 309 positions since April 2007, mirroring 2002 staffing levels,” an e-mailed press release said.

County Administrator Jim Ley said the budget reductions, which he anticipates will be made March 23, are to bring services in line with revenues.

“The decision to eliminate positions is never easy and never a first step, but these reductions are necessary to help us gain efficiencies that will allow us to maintain acceptable levels of service to our citizens,” Ley said in a message to employees Tuesday afternoon.

Notice to affected employees will be on March 24 to give them time to seek news jobs.

Neighborhoods directory

MANATEE — The Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department is asking homeowner associations, neighborhood groups and Crime Watch organizations to sign up for a new directory called “Neighborhood Connections.”

The registry will help the county keep in touch and inform them of specific events and issues. A registration form is available on the county Web site,, or by phoning 749-3029.

Model airplane fly-in

MANATEE — Manatee County Radio Controllers will host the Dick Cole Memorial Fly-In 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 7315 71st Ave. E., north of Palmetto.

There will also be a swap-meet and hobby-related yard sale. More than 50 model airplane pilots are expected.

SOLVE fundraiser set

BRADENTON — SOLVE Maternity Homes will hold its annual fundraising gala, Good Things Come in Threes, on Thursday at Renaissance on 9th.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. and feature a silent auction, cash bar, live acoustic music, formal dinner and presentation from Pastor Randy Bezet of Bayside Community Church.

Individual tickets to the event are $100 and may be purchased online at mana or by contacting Donna Vellenga at 748-0094. All proceeds go to benefit SOLVE Maternity Homes.

— Herald staff