Sarasota City Manager, Bob Bartolotta, has announced the institution of martial law within the city in a move calculated to bolster tourist and development interests. The City Commission, in a rare form of unity, voted unanimously to formally disband and cede their legislative authority to the City Manager. Said one commissioner, "It's not like we were doing anything constructive anyway."
"This is what we've been leading up to for some time now," said City UberManager Bartolotta. "If we want tourists and new development in this town, we have to give our target demographic--the wealthy, of course--a reason to choose Sarasota to visit or live. That means no crime, no coddling of criminals, no homeless, nobody walking the streets that doesn't look like we do."
"Look at Main Street in Walt Disney World. Do you think they let bums hang out on their corners. Hell, no. No crime, no homeless, no vagrants; just squeaky clean kids that are always smiling, always singing, always happy and always--ALWAYS--ready to do whatever it takes to make the customers happy. If Disney is "The Happiest Place On Earth," we want Sarasota to be "The Happiest Place On Earth With A Stricter Dress Code And More Expensive Restaurants."
"Sarasota needs to attract new money to get this town back on track," continued Bartolotta, his voice rising. "Instead of worrying about police kicking handcuffed prisoners, locking up deadbeats who can't pay fines, the unemployed, those who don't speak English, those who don't look like us, those who don't act like us, those who have the audacity to question our decisions, those who think they have rights, we need to get rid of those 'distractions' and build upon our 'attractions.' Money, security, money, elitism, money, luxury, rampant development recreating a sanitized version of an Old Florida/Renaissance Italy conglomeration that everybody loves, money, detachment from reality; everything that makes life worth living. Did I mention money in there somewhere?"
New hires by the city include Virginia Hoffman and the Public Arts Commission who will determine if people are too ugly to live in the city, Longboat Key police officer Patricia Beardsley will be in charge of parking and traffic issues, Sarasota PD's Chris Childers will handle security and Bob Soran, it goes without saying, will be given a no-bid, guaranteed-return contract to raze Newtown and build luxury condominiums, trendy shoppes, upscale bistros and another mooring field, even though the area is landlocked.
With the influx of wealth into the city coffers and the lack of outflow to non-revenue generating community programs for the since 're-located' poor, Sarasota's enhanced police force will be able to provide an extremely safe, secure and pleasant environment in the city. Said new security czar Childers, "We will conduct periodic "sweeps" of city thoroughfares, ensuring that nothing or no one undersirable has slipped through our perimeter to upset our current or future potential taxpayers. Think of us as the clean-up crew that dresses up the beach every morning, getting rid of litter, seaweed, etc."
"We've had a lot of interest in what we're doing here," said community booster, Rich Swier. "I envision the City of Sarasota as one big gated community. You meet the requirements, you have the financial wherewithal, you're in. If you don't, go live somewhere else. That's why I favor drilling for oil on the coast, but only off public beaches, not private beaches. Like the public matters to people like us....."
Sarasota's new and improved police dept. conducts the 10:30 AM street sweeping operation. Don't worry, they're all Caucasian and speak English, just like you and me.