Carolyn Mason Exemplifies A Sarasota County Goverment That Resembles A Criminal Enterprise
By Jon Susce
Pastor Jim Minor’s Connection To Sarasota County Government Can No Longer Be Ignored
The latest attempt by Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason to recommend that Sarasota County taxpayers pay $3.2 million to purchase the Harvest Tabernacle Church and place the Robert Marbut proposed “come as you are” homeless shelter at this location is BEYOND OUTRAGEOUS.(See Attachment) NO. 1 Mason is not only a long time member of the Harvest Tabernacle Church, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the church. (See Attachment) NO.2 What is contemptible and shady is that back in June of last year, when Carolyn Mason was pushing for the public to buy Minor’s church in order for him to move Harvest Tabernacle to Beneva and 17th Street; Minor was reportedly asking $3.2 million for the church. The property and church has been assessed by the Sarasota County Property Appraiser at $969,200. (See Attachment) NO.3
Mason on the Board of Directors of the Harvest Tabernacle
How Mason has the audacity to not understand the legal implications of putting her name as a Sarasota County official to a proposal that could appropriate public funds for a church, where she is on the Board of Directors, so that Pastor Minor can move his church to a new location, once again exemplifies how local politicians like Mason promote projects for insiders like Minor, so that they can make huge profits from decisions made by a group of corrupt politicians including Mason.
Sarasota County Commissioners Have No Problem With Mason’s Affiliation With Minor And Harvest Tabernacle Church
What is as scandalous as Mason’s signed recommendation letter that there be a consideration to buy Harvest Tabernacle Church (where she is a member of the church and a Board Director) was that not one Sarasota Country Commissioner asked Mason to remove herself from the decision recommending a possible purchase of the church; let alone her audacity in recommending a public purchase in which she is implicated in such an obvious ethical conflict.
DeMarsh Has No Problem With Mason’s Affiliation With Minor And Harvest Tabernacle Church
In addition not a word from Sarasota County Attorney Steven DeMarsh about this obvious conflict of interest perpetrated by Mason. But what does one expect from DeMarsh who has sat by for years collecting his $175,000 annual salary plus benefits for condoning the actions of Florida’s most corrupt county government. What makes this Present proposed $3.2 million of public money to buy a church in which a Sarasota County Commissioner (Mason) has a financial vested interest so stunning is that it was first proposed at a joint Sarasota County/City Commission last July by Sarasota County officials.
Mason’s Proposal Turned Down In City Sarasota
Incredibly, the proposal was moving forward until Sarasota City Commissioners Willie Shaw, Shannon Snyder and Susan Chapman voiced disapproval of the purchase of Harvest Tabernacle for the purpose of placing Robert Marbut’s “come as you are” Homeless Shelter on the site.
At that same meeting Joseph Bessard, President of the Park East Neighborhood Association voiced strong disapproval on behalf of members of the neighborhood association, to the purchase of Harvest Tabernacle by Sarasota County taxpayers in order to put a homeless shelter in their neighborhood, which was involved in an urban renewal project. One would have believed that Mason would have received the message back in July that Harvest Tabernacle was not a suitable place to establish the Marbut facility. But evidently Mason and other Sarasota County officials aligned with Marbut, and asserted that Harvest Tabernacle was an ideal site for Marbut’s proposed facility, and now believe they have the votes on the Sarasota City Commission to recommend Harvest Tabernacle as the site for Marbut’s facility.
With two new, recently elected Sarasota City Commissioners (Liz Alpert and Shelli Eddie) along with present City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, they believe they have the votes to move forward with recommending Harvest Tabernacle as the site for Marbut’s facility.
Working Agreement Between Minor And Marbut
One reason the Harvest Tabernacle site has been placed back on the table for consideration is that Sarasota County officials are well aware that a working agreement between Marbut and Minor has been established. For example, Marbut has publicly stated that Minor’s publicly funded programs would be excellent for those moving on from Marbut’s facility to another placement.
Minor Has Problems With Homeless In District One (Park East)
What makes that arrangement between Marbut, Minor and Sarasota County officials disturbing is a statement Minor made at a public hearing concerning relocation of Harvest Tabernacle to a new location on Beneva and 17th Street. When asked why he was moving his church, Minor stated that there were problems with the homeless community in the vicinity of his present church. So evidently, as long as Minors church is no longer located in District One’s (North Sarasota/Park East neighborhood) and he and his church members are long gone, then he has no problem with his political ally, Sarasota
County Sheriff Tom Knight rounding up every chronic alcoholic and drug addicted homeless individual, and placing them in Park East to wander the streets on a daily basis. Keep in mind that according to the Marbut proposal residents of the shelter can leave the facility in the morning and return at night.
Minor Has No Problem Having Chronic Alcohol And Drug Abusers In North Sarasota (Park East)
So essentially, Minor desires to get out of a location populated by the homeless, with which he states he and his church have a problem, and gives no consideration to the issues that an additional population of 400 homeless residents (which include the chronically drug and alcoholic addicted) will have on the residents of the Park East neighborhood where the Marbut facility will be placed. So Minor moves his church to a new location far from the Park East Neighborhood to the Glen Oaks Neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Bobby Jones Golf course, with pristine homes and condos surrounding the new location of his church, and escapes the problem that he has publicly stated he had with the homeless at his church in Park East. Evidently, as Minor moves his church to a new location outside of North Sarasota and District One, into the City of Sarasota District Two, he will have no problem with placement of the chronic homeless population from throughout Sarasota County into a facility that will be located across the street from a condo complex and a nine store shopping center. In addition, the facility will be situated only a block away from various other condos and apartment complexes, residential homes and a day care center. Further, Marbut’s “ideal” site has a walkway park located a block away, which is used by children who walk back and forth from the neighborhood to Tuttle Elementary School.
Minor and Sarasota County officials have no problem with a homeless shelter for 400 individuals in the middle of urban renewal projects in Park East; miles and miles away from any residential or retail developments in Sarasota County featuring multi-million dollar development put together by Randy Benderson, Pat Neal, Carlos Beruff, Rex Jensen and other gangsters, who have Sarasota county Commissioners like Carolyn “Second the Motion” Mason in their pockets.
Minor’s Troubling Behavior
What is so troubling with Minor’s behavior and those who support his efforts in placing a 400 Bed shelter in North Sarasota’s District One, is an article written by
an unfortunate, uninformed media representative, Susan Nilon. (See Attachment) NO 4 This article includes many revealing comments by Minor including, “And when asked about Dr. Marbut’s plan, Pastor Minor exclaims, “I am so excited that I feel like a kid at Christmas time about the potential of what we are about to do.” What Minor was “about to do” was to sell his church in North Sarasota’s, District One, have a homeless shelter with 400 occupants placed on the site, and move miles away to a site in the City of Sarasota’s District Two. At the same time Marbut recommends graduates of his facility be placed in one of the Harvest Tabernacle publicly funded programs.
Knight Has No Problem Dumping Homeless Problem With DiPino
Another political ally of Minor,who has no problem dumping the homeless nto the lap of the Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette
DiPino, is Sarasota County Sheriff, Tom ”Macho Man” Knight. This is not the first time Pastor Minor has used his political connections with politicians like Mason and other Sarasota County officials.
By the way both Pastor Minor and Erin Minor Co/CEO and Executive Director of Harvest Tabernacle, who administrate a annual $3.5 million budget that involves publicly funded programs for the homeless and other indigents, live miles away from the Sarasota City limits out in Sarasota County far from where any homeless individuals are located.
Carolyn Mason Exemplefies A Sarasota County Government
That Resembles A Criminal Entrtprise