Wouldn’t a new History Center be WONDERFUL?!

“Your penny at work.” That’s the slogan of the campaign asking voters to approve, in November 2022, a continuation of the county 1% sales tax. Many wonderful things have been financed by this income since it was first authorized in 1989, but never before has the history of our county been addressed. Understandably, we history lovers would be thrilled if some of that tax income could give a state-of-the-art home to not just the actual history archives (which is part of the county library system), but public space for gatherings and perhaps even exhibits. While the vote is not on how the funds will be spent… we need to vote for the “penny tax” to be renewed so that funds are available. Continue reading for a message from the President of the Historical Society of Sarasota County:

A “Common Cents” initiative that all friends of history can endorse

Since 1989 when it was first adopted by voters of Sarasota County, the 1% sales tax has improved the quality of life for everyone. The tax has been used to invest in schools, libraries, parks, water, the environment and more. 

The tax is up for a vote again in November of 2022 and all friends of history are excited about it because one of the priority investments is a new 30,000 square-foot History Center, which will be the repository for all our precious documents, maps, photographs and objects that are central to understanding and honoring the history of our county.  This is the first time that our history has been directly addressed with the one-cent surtax. 

 At the Historical Society of Sarasota County, we say it’s about time. Anyone who has recently visited  our center for archival material, realizes that it’s been too small for too long. It’s time we treated our history with the respect it has always deserved. 

We support the extension of the one-cent surtax and are looking forward to a new History Center. 

Marsha Fottler, President

For complete information from the county government on the penny surtax and how it could be spent, including FAQs and other projects being considered, see https://www.sarasotacountysurtax.net/

4 thoughts on “Wouldn’t a new History Center be WONDERFUL?!

  1. Ok Sara, promise not to shoot me for any oddish ideas? Tap Jeff’s infinite memory, and let’s go back to the early builders arriving from, say, Illinois (or Rhode Island or wherever). A couple from Connecticut did give us the Chidsey library! Admittedly we’re sorta limited to mid-west and east Coast but nevertheless you get JH to do a lecture on how your “ex-home state” influenced early Sarasota. Admittedly damn near everything is gone but the original Main Street, with the dog-leg turn at five points is still here and even some of those early buildings remain.
    You can send my gold star for good idea whenever

    • Hey, Steven, Jeff’s always on board for interesting topics… but would it not be KOOL if some of our members and supporters could give a 5-min presentation on how their “home state” folks influenced Sarasota? We have members who originated from all over so I think this is a winning idea! Our Events Committee is meeting in a few weeks so I’ll present this idea… or better yet, YOU come and do so! Talk to Linda. I’ll buy you lunch…

  2. Oh Sara my dear, just read Jeff’s recent piece regarding the farce surrounding MiraMar. He oh so subtly suggests that Sarasota and the word “history” do not appear in any dialogue about this beach town since, oh let’s say “ever”?

    Not discounting the valiant and never ceasing efforts of Pete E and his peers, we immigrants from New England, who were immersed in retaining their history, have a theory.

    What you ask? Or maybe not, but here it is anyway. Deep, deep, this ain’t “home” for many

    • Thank you for your comment, Steven. We’d love to hear some suggestions as to how to help new county residents think of this as “home now” and “place worth caring about.” Ways to motivate the folks you talk about to change their mindset from “immigrant” to proud Sarasota citizen, caring about where they live now.

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