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Updated: 12/05/2013 06:22:01PM

County starts plan to avoid fiscal cliff

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Staff Writer

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SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County commissioners seemed eager and ready to follow Interim County Administrator Tom Harmer’s message Thursday about tackling the county’s projected $23 million shortfall in two years: Move forward at full steam ahead.

Harmer led the commission in its first detailed discussion about the projected shortfall at the county’s annual retreat at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. The commission discussed and agreed to eight goals that will be used in the formation of the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget, including leaving the millage rate unchanged, evaluation of rate and fee structures, management of expenses, review of service levels, and new project and initiative impacts. Harmer said getting the commission to agree to the eight goals was a major hurdle cleared because after Jan. 1, the county starts building its budget.

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