ENGLEWOOD — Without any discussion, Sarasota County commissioners Tuesday unanimously named Keith Farlow and Brian Matthews to serve on the Englewood Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board.
“I was surprised their were so many candidates,” Matthews said Tuesday. Nine applicants vied for the two seats vacated by Todd Tracy and Terry Redman. They will serve three-year terms on the advisory board.
Matthews is as a licensed real estate practitioner with Tall Pines Realty. “I have been an integral part of the W. Dearborn Street area since 2016 at our Tall Pines office and have a deep-seeded desire to be more involved in shaping the future of the community,” he wrote on his application.
Matthews, 62, describes himself as a 15-year Englewood resident, but economics caused him to spend five years working out of Louisville, Kentucky. He’s now serving as secretary on the Olde Englewood Village Association.
“I have worked for over 30 years as an electrical engineer in architecture and construction,” Matthews said in his application. “Many of these years involved working within municipalities on outdoor lighting designs. I spent five years in Louisville as an architectural project manager renovating VA Hospitals all over the country.”
Keith Farlow could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but he’s probably best known in Englewood for his Farlow’s on the Water restaurant, on South McCall Road, and for being the president of the Englewood Chamber of Commerce Board in 2018.
“My parents made the decision to move to Englewood and open a business in 1991,” Farlow wrote when asked why he wanted to serve on the advisory board.
“My wife (Laurie) and I made the same decision 18 years ago and made Englewood our home,” he said. “I then made the decision to allocate a majority of my time advancing my business and my town of Englewood.
“That being said, Dearborn Street and its surrounding area is a very important piece of not only Englewood’s history but (its) future.”
Farlow’s civic involvement includes serving on the SKY Family YMCA Metro and Englewood YMCA advisory boards. He is also a member of Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary and the Sunrise Rotary Youth Foundation.
Farlow will be the fourth Sunrise Rotary member now serving on the seven-member CRA advisory board, which includes fellow club members the current vice chairman James Hinck, along with Keith Rowley and Michael Looney. Elaine Miller and Don Musili also serve on the board.
The CRA board, “assists in developing and implementing the programs and projects contained in the Redevelopment Plan and advises the County Commission,” according to Sarasota County.