From the Desk of the
City Manager
February 7, 2014
Our Urban Design Studio staff members, Karin Murphy and Andrew Georgiadis (pictured), participated this week in the Congress for the New Urbanism Florida Summit held in Sarasota.  For years, our city has been a leader with New Urbanism, embracing its principles of quality architecture, connectivity and pedestrian walkability.  Andrew and Karin's participation in this important statewide conference highlights our continued commitment to New Urbanism and walkability.


  • General Employees Pension Board
    Mon., February 10 - 8:30 a.m.

    City Commission Chambers

  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., February 11 - 8:30 a.m.
    Room 109 - City Hall
  • Planning Board
    Wed., February 12 - 6 p.m.
    City Commission Chambers

Partnership Policing Leads to Major Drug Bust  
12 kilos of cocaine were taken off Sarasota streets as a result of Operation Sarasota Cartel II. 

The illegal drug trade is responsible for an enormous amount of human despair and crime in America.  While a city or neighborhood has little control or ability to impact the national drug policy debate, residents can impact safety and the quality of life in their neighborhood.

This week provided evidence of the vital role the public plays in maintaining public safety.  As a result of increasing levels of contact and trust between the Sarasota Police Department and our residents, an investigation was prioritized into illegal drug markets within Sarasota. 

The cooperation between the public and SPD resulted in a textbook investigation involving the State Attorney, ATF, DEA and area law enforcement agencies.  The results:  12 kilos of pure cocaine were taken off of local streets and a network of ten people who secured and peddled the illegal drugs are under arrest.

Although the investigation continues, this major bust should serve to remind us all how potent police-public partnerships can be when we work together.  Thanks to all involved, especially to residents who have expressed their concerns and the men and women of the SPD and Chief Bernadette
Operation Sarasota Cartel II
News Conference:  Feb. 4, 2014

DiPino, who took those concerns seriously and did something about it.

You can watch the news conference in its entirety by clicking the player to the right. 


This Week's Items to Know:
  1. Roundabout Donation The role of philanthropy has and continues to play a significant role in shaping and enhancing the quality of life in Sarasota.  This week, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation gifted $193,000, from an anonymous donor, to advance the planning and implementation of a new roundabout and street/pedestrian improvements at Orange Ave. and Ringling Ave.  We thank the unknown donor for their interest in strengthening our increasingly beautiful community, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for connecting with us, and our talented staff for conveying the competence and confidence to our philanthropic community that this investment will become a quality improvement in our downtown. 
  1. 'Coffee with a Cop' Debuts SPD is now participating in a national campaign called 'Coffee with a Cop'.  It's an opportunity for residents to meet with our uniform police officers in a casual setting to discuss public safety issues.  Our first 'Coffee with a Cop' was held this week with more than two dozen officers and community members participating.  This is another great stride forward with our partnership policing efforts.  We'll let you know when the next 'Coffee with a Cop' is scheduled.
    Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
    Photo Credit:  Sarasota Dolphin Research Program;  Photo taken under NMFS Permit No. 522-1785
  1. Deep Injection Well
    Sometimes significant issues addressed by City Hall can fly under the radar, and this is one.  Earlier this week, the City Commission approved a $3.9 million contract to complete a deep injection well at our Utilities facility on 12th Street.  Once operational, the amount of drinking water by-products and wastewater effluent discharged into Sarasota Bay will be virtually eliminated.  This will be a significant environmental improvement, especially for the 166 dolphins who live in Sarasota Bay (according to Mote Marine Laboratory). 
Upcoming Special Events

Eco Fest 2014 
Downtown - Main Street
Sat., February 8: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Lido Tides Arts & Crafts Show
Lido Beach  
Sat. and Sun., February 8 & 9:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 
Fredd Atkins Park
Sat., February 8:  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

Kenny Rogers
Van Wezel Exterior
Sat., February 8 - 8 p.m.
Kenny Loggins

Sun., February 9 - 7 p.m.
Wed., February 12 - 8 p.m.
Irish Rovers
Thurs., February 13 - 8 p.m.
I hope this inaugural edition of 'Weekly Briefs from Tom Barwin' has been informative.  Your ideas for future weekly briefs are welcomed.  Have a great weekend enjoying our beautiful city!

From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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