From the Desk of the
City Manager
March 28, 2014
Bald eagles
Sarasota has so much to offer in the way of cultural arts, natural beauty and even wildlife -- all right in an urban setting.  Of the 40 active bald eagle nests throughout Sarasota County, one is located in the city limits.  And, urban dwelling apparently doesn't ruffle this couple's feathers.  They've been content living high above the city in a cell tower for several years.  And, there's good news:  our friends with the Sarasota Audubon Society tell us two eaglets are in the nest right now preparing to fly any day.  If you're interested in learning about bald eagles in Sarasota or helping to monitor nests in the area, contact Dale Nauman at  No experience is necessary, just a love of eagles.


  • Joint Special City Commission 
    Tues., April 1 - Noon 
    Sarasota County Administration Center - 1660 Ringling Blvd.   
  • Development Review Committee  
    Wed., April 2 - 9 a.m. 
    City Hall - Room 112  
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Lifeguard I
Lifeguard II
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
Supervisor Material Stores
Utility Mechanic I (2 positions)
Refuse Equipment Operator (Internal Promotional Opportunity) 

This Week's Items to Know:
Janie's Garden Phase III:  We have significant news in North Sarasota to share.  Demolition of the remaining buildings formerly known as the Janie Poe public housing complex will begin next Monday with asbestos abatement.  Then, in mid-April, the
Demolition begins next week on the remaining Janie Poe buildings.
five buildings will be razed.  We expect vertical construction on Janie's Garden Phase III to begin in June.  The $12 million development will include 73 rental units which will be a much needed mix of market and subsidized housing.  This final phase has been a long time in the making, especially after it was postponed last year due to a lack of low income housing credits being awarded by the State of Florida.  Over the years, the North Sarasota community surmounted many challenges with public housing and, ultimately, significant long term public-private partnerships were developed to make Janie's Garden a reality.  With all three phases combined, approximately $40-45 million will have been invested in modernizing public housing in North Sarasota.  Janie's Garden has exceeded expectations and now is a model for public housing.  We have come a long way!  Congratulations to the Sarasota Housing Authority and Executive Director Bill Russell for successfully assembling complex financing structures and for setting the bar high with Janie's Garden.  And, thank you to the residents who stood firm for safe, quality public housing, which is a must in any community.
Janie's Garden Phase I was completed in 2008.  The architectural design for Phase III will be similar.

Fair Housing Seminar  The Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development is sponsoring a free fair housing seminar next month. While everyone is invited to attend, it could be particularly beneficial for landlords, real estate agents, property managers, architects, and multi-family complex builders.  The class will focus on requirements of the Fair Housing Act, common violations and how to avoid them, tips to avoid liability and best practices.  Fair housing is an essential component of our community and we want to ensure everyone understands the federal law.  The free seminar will be held at the Northern Trust Bank Building in downtown Sarasota Thursday, April 24 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.  For more information click here. The Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development is a joint function between the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County.  Thank you to those involved for setting up this important seminar and those who will attend.   

Arlington Pool Update  Improvements to the main competition pool at the Arlington Park Aquatic Center are on schedule.  Currently, crews are removing the pool deck, heaters, electrical system, and filter system in the mechanical room.  Once that is completed in early April, the pool will be drained so that surface repairs can be made.  In addition, features will be added for those who are physically challenged. The $1.1 million improvement project is being funded through the penny sales tax.  We expect the work to be finished within the next few months and the pool to reopen in time for July 4th.  We appreciate everyone's patience while the pool is temporarily closed. 
Crews working on the Arlington pool deck.   
Gillespie Park Playground  Mother Nature temporarily delayed the completion of the Gillespie Park playground this week.  When the rain stopped, crews began spreading playground mulch four inches deep throughout the area.  Unfortunately, the rain started again.  Once the mulch is in place and some finishing touches are added to the three play areas, the playground will be open for business.  We're optimistic that will happen by the middle of next week.
Mulch being spread across the playground area at Gillespie Park. 
CEO Program  Applications are still being accepted for the next Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) program which starts Tues., April 1.  This free course helps participants assess whether they have what it takes to start a business and succeed.  Certified business analysts from the Small Business Development Center at USF will assess entrepreneurial skills and business concepts. Since 2005, 152 entrepreneurs have completed the CEO course.  Of those remaining in contact, 34 currently are in business.  Others are considering their options or decided after graduating from the course that entrepreneurship isn't the right fit for them.  As our community continues to show signs of recovery from the Great Recession, opening a business could be a good option.  Find out what it takes through the CEO program.  The course will be held every Tuesday night April 1 - June 10 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.  The program is in partnership with CareerSource Suncoast (formerly Suncoast Workforce, the state workforce agency) and is free thanks to sponsorships from Comerica and SunTrust.  For more information contact Dru Jones in our North Sarasota Redevelopment Office:  941-362-2200 ext. 3222.  This is a unique education program and we appreciate everyone involved.  

Bobby Jones Senior City Championship  It's that time of year again!  Bobby Jones Golf Club, our municipal golf course, is preparing to host the Men's Senior City Championship Sat., April
Bobby Jones Golf Club
The British Course at Bobby Jones.
5 and Sun., April 6 on the British Course.  The tournament is open to any male amateur who will be at least 50 years old by April 5.  The entry fee is $135 and players are limited to the first 200 paid entries received by Mon., March 31 at 5 p.m.  To download a registration form click here.  We're looking forward to a good number of participants and a fun, competitive tournament.     

Tweet from the Beat  The Sarasota Police Department hosted its fourth Tweet from the Beat yesterday.  Using the social
Officers making an arrest following a traffic stop.
media platform Twitter, followers were taken on a virtual ride-a-along with the Street Crimes Unit, which focuses on prostitution related crimes, open air drug sales, gang issues and burglaries/robberies.  Tweet from the Beat has become a popular communication tool within the law enforcement community to help give citizens an idea of what police officers encounter on any given day. 
During Tweet from the Beat, SPD officers arrested a driver after a traffic stop.  Two young adult women were passengers in the vehicle and one told officers, 'I'm so glad you stopped the car.'  Officers now believe she may have been lured
Genevieve Judge
Partnership Policing Communications Coordinator Genevieve Judge tweeting from the beat.
to Florida under false pretenses and without that traffic stop could have become a victim.  Good work, officers!  You can follow SPD updates daily on Twitter @SarasotaPD.  If you're new to Twitter, visit to start an account.  It's free and easy to register.  We also have a popular City of Sarasota Twitter page (@CityofSarasota) where news and updates are posted.  Twitter is an effective way for us to communicate directly with citizens at no-cost.  Thanks go out to the SPD for initiating Tweet from the Beat and sharing what they do to help make our community safe. 

Newsletter Archives  Now there's a user friendly way to locate and review every edition of Weekly Briefs.  We've create a webpage where each e-newsletter is archived by date with a brief description of each week's content. The newsletter archives can be found on Click 'News and Events', then look for 'City Manager Newsletter Archive' on the right side of the screen. Or just click here.  Also, you can subscribe to Weekly Briefs via the archive page.  
Upcoming Events

Southeastern Guide Dogs Walk    
 Payne Park 
Sat., March 29 
8:30 a.m. - Noon  

Downtown Springfest  
Selby Five Points Park 
Sat. and Sun., March 29 & 30
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

The Midtown Men
Van Wezel Interior
Sun., March 30 - 7 p.m.
Mark Russell  
Mon., March 31 - 8 p.m.
Mandy Patinkin:  Dress Casual
Tues., April 1 - 8 p.m. 
Bring It On:  The Musical
Wed., April 2 - 8 p.m.
Buy Tickets

Music Makes Community
Thurs., April 3 - 8:15 p.m.
Buy Tickets
Thanks for reading this week's updates and sharing it with others.  Don't forget:  if you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox just send us an email at
From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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