Sarasota postpones vote on manager

06/05/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Last week the big news in Sarasota was how Susan Stanton did NOT get the job as City Manager.

But the man who did, Robert Bartolotta, has NOT been approved by the Sarasota City Commission. Instead the Commission voted last night to continue investigating his background. That’s because Commissioners learned last Friday about accusations that Bartolotta in 2003 slapped his wife while she was hospitalized. But 2 earlier investigations, one by the state Department of Children & Families and another by law enforcement, found nothing to corroborate the allegations.

However, the Commission opted last night not to approve Bartolotta’s new $170,000 contract, but instead decided to further investigate his background when he was City Manager in Jupiter, Florida.

Kelly Kirschner is the Vice Mayor of Sarasota. He says in retrospect, the City Commmission went too quickly in hiring Bartolotta last week (roll tape#1 o.q.”does too”)

Robert Bartolotta told Tuesday’s Sarasota Herald Tribune that he supports the Commission’s decision to further investigate the matter, saying if it increases their comfort level, then it’s important that I have their trust.

Bartolotta said he considered disclosing the allegations to commissioners when he interviewed for the city manager job, but decided against it because they were never substantiated.

The sole vote opposing that motion was by City Commissioner Dick Clapp (roll tape#2 o.q.”what she heard”)

After the allegations surfaced in Jupiter and were found to have been unsubstantiated, The Jupiter City Council supported Bartolotta at the time and gave him a 7 percent raise the following January.

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