There is something about Sarasota that is special: the sun, the land, the people, the light. But the public places in this shared habitat we call home are being paved over and privatized.
Mike Cosentino is running for the Sarasota County Commission, District 2 to tap the brakes on reckless over-development.
Mike Cosentino puts up a Christmas tree during the holidays and hosts a daily flag ceremony at Sunset Point on Siesta Key near the sliver of Beach Road he fought to reopen. He spearheaded two charter amendments Sarasota residents passed by overwhelming margins to ensure continued public beach access.
Because there is so much contention right now, it’s nice to have an opportunity to be a catalyst for bringing people together,” he [Mike] said, while fielding thanks from a steady stream of tree visitors.“ Due to a lot of short-sighted decisions of our local government, our sense of community is being erased. This is about rebuilding and preserving it."
A SARASOTA native, Mike is a carpenter by trade, but an advocate by necessity. His dad started Cosentino Construction here in 1956. As the owner/operator of the area’s oldest construction company specializing in remodeling and additions, Mike literally helped build this special place we call home.
Because he understands the development approval process, Mike is uniquely qualified to protect Sarasota’s environment from the being exploited by those who see the place we love as nothing more than an opportunity for a good return on investment, or view a commission seat as a perch from which to stoke culture wars.
In 2004, Mike saved the Turtle Beach Campground from becoming a parking lot. It remains today as Sarasota’s only Gulf-front campground.
Mike’s volunteer carpentry work after Hurricanes Charley and Katrina earned him both the Governor’s and President’s “Point of Light” awards. He raised money for, and made four trips to, Big Pine Key to help our fellow Floridians rebuild after Hurricane Irma. He sees his efforts as an extension of his parents’ lifelong example of lending a hand to those in need.
Mike believes it’s our duty to preserve and protect our public spaces and places. The grass-roots organization he founded got two protective measures on the 2018 ballot. Countywide, the voters approved them by 67% and 73%, respectively.
An area resident posted this comment about a recent Sarasota Magazine article regarding longtime local builder Josh Wynne deciding to leave the area:
Mike knows how this resident feels. She’s talking about the DISPLACEMENT of all that which makes Sarasota special by the relentless push to transform us into St. Pete, or Naples, or Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale, or Orlando.
Sarasota is already is one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Mike Cosentino is running for the District 2 County Commission seat to try to keep it that way.
Known for hosting the American-flag ceremony at Sunset Point on Siesta Beach, Mike believes in the principle that a government of the people should listen to the people and act for the people.
Sarasota already has comprehensive plans to promote livable growth while keeping intact its unique culture, character and landscape. We just need to elect commissioners willing to follow the rules.
Most voters agree we should pump the brakes on taxpayer-subsidized, uncontrolled growth, protect the integrity of our neighborhoods, clean up our waterways and assure public access to our beaches.