From the Desk of the
City Manager
April 11, 2014
It's been a busy week at the Regal Hollywood 20 Theater on Main Street, where the Sarasota Film Festival is taking place.  Over 250 films are part of this year's festival.  It's hard to believe it wraps up this weekend. But, there are many showings before the festival ends. Visit for details.


  • Lift Station #87 Project Team Meeting  
    Mon., April 14 - 10 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio 
  • City Commission Workshop  
    Mon., April 14 - 2 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission Special Meeting
    Mon., April 14 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., April 15 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop 14-CW-05 
    Tues., April 15 - 5:30 p.m. 
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Development Review Committee 
    Wed., April 16 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Lifeguard I
Lifeguard II
Manager, Accreditation 
Rec Attendant
Refuse Equipment Operator  
School Crossing Guard
Summer Camp Counselor
Utility Mechanic I

This Week's Items to Know:
Construction Update - The Jewel to Begin   We'll soon see significant construction in Downtown Sarasota (DS).  After not hearing any news about The Jewel for a while, the developer visited City Hall
Construction of The Jewel is expected to begin soon.
last week to finalize permits.  Located at Main St. and Gulfstream Ave., The Jewel will be an 18 story structure housing condos as well as ground floor retail.  With the construction value listed at $19 million, this long awaited development will be a substantial boost to our downtown and local economy.  Although the applicant has up to six months to begin construction, it's our understanding staging and foundation work will begin soon.  Based on previous projects, we anticipate The Jewel will be completed within 14-18 months.  This is further evidence that our local economy is rebounding and Sarasota remains a very desirable place to be.  We'll look forward to watching The Jewel come out of the ground in DS.
Mangrove Pruning   As Floridians, we value mangroves for the shoreline stabilization they provide in addition to being a natural filter of pollutants.  When the City prunes mangroves, usually it's for public safety reasons and under the watchful eye of a certified arborist to ensure we're in compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the protection of mangroves and the 1996 Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act.  So, when our Public Works General Manager, Todd Kucharski, who is a certified arborist, noticed the mangroves on John Ringling Blvd. heading from St. Armands to Lido Key had grown to a point where they extended into the roadway, he devised a game plan for his crew which would be acceptable to FDEP and ensured all necessary documentation for the State was in place prior to trimming the mangroves and after.

Dead, damaged and overhanging branches were pruned, while
A 'peek-a-boo' allowing visibility through the mangroves.
healthy branches and new shoots remained.  (No topping down was done, which is an unapproved arboriculture practice.)  During this pruning process, staff created unexpected new "peek-a-boos", allowing passersby unique glimpses of a residential canal.  Crews also installed shell to improve the aesthetics along the right-of-way.

Mangroves are relatively fast growing.  When located in a public right-of-way they can require regular maintenance to improve sightline visibility and eliminate pedestrian and vehicular obstructions while strategically improving the overall structure and health of the mangroves.  While that's standard maintenance, creating unexpected "peek-a-boo" viewing areas is the kind of high quality customer service we've come to expect from our staff.  Thanks to Todd and his staff for caring for the mangroves, improving this area and adding to our sense of place.
The mangroves before and after pruning.
Neighborhood News:  LKRA Website  The Lido Key Residents Association recently unveiled its website   Minutes from monthly LKRA meetings are posted on the site as well as news items impacting Lido Key residents, plus links to organizations within the community.  Launching a website can be an arduous task, perhaps even more so when you volunteer your time to oversee it.  Congratulations to LKRA President Carl Shoffstall and the LKRA Board for their diligence in being transparent and opening another line of communication with their organization, which is the largest it's ever been at 400 households strong. 
S. Poinsettia Park Neighborhood Signs    You may have noticed new colorful neighborhood signs in the South Poinsettia Park Neighborhood.  The signs, located at the intersections of Osprey Ave./Hyde Park and Osprey Ave./Siesta Dr., are the result of a City of
Neighborhood sign near the intersection of Osprey Ave. and Siesta Dr.
Sarasota Neighborhood Partnership Grant which was applied for by the neighborhood association.  Twice a year, neighborhood associations have the opportunity to submit an application for a grant to go toward projects such as beautification, crime prevention, and neighborhood identification.  Thanks to the South Poinsettia Park Neighborhood Association for taking the time to apply for this $2,000 grant.  The new signs are an attractive, welcome sight!  
Visit Sarasota County Nature Guidebook    Visit Sarasota County has created a second edition of its nature guidebook which is a tremendous resource not just for visitors but locals as well.  "Discover Natural Sarasota County", featuring a cover photo by internationally renowned photographer Clyde Butcher, highlights the top spots for hiking, walking, running, paddle boarding, fishing, cycling and wildlife viewing, including birding.  The guide also showcases helpful insider tips from Sarasota residents.  You can pick up a complimentary copy at the Visitor Information Center, 701 N. Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium.   
BJGC Senior City Championship    Congratulations to Ray Wenck, the overall winner of the 19th annual Men's Senior City Championship held last weekend at Bobby Jones Golf Club.  Mr. Wenck, a Sarasota
BJGC Men's Sr Champ - 2014
Tournament winner Ray Wenck with Assistant Manager Christian Martin. 
resident, shot a five under par during the two day tournament.  In total, 84 golfers participated in the event, which included a Super Senior age group for players at least 70 years young.  Fred Atterberry, from Georgia, took top honors in that group.  To see all the final results click here.  Congratulations also go out to Golf Course Manager Sue Martin, Assistant Manager Christian Martin and the entire Bobby Jones staff for executing another successful tournament.
And, mark your calendar for the upcoming Men's City Championship tournament which will be held April 26 & 27 and May 3 & 4.  For an application click here.     
SPD Citizens Academy - Shooting Range       Ever wonder what it's like to shoot a police officer's firearm?  Residents currently enrolled in the SPD Citizens Academy took a field trip last weekend to find out
SPD Academy Spring 2014
Citizens Academy participants at the shooting range. 
firsthand.  They visited the pistol and rifle range at Knight Trail Park in Nokomis, where our law enforcement officers train outside.  SPD firearms instructor Officer Jeff Dunn demonstrated three weapons used by SPD:  a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun, Colt M4 Commando AR-15 rifle, and a Remington 870 shotgun.  Following instruction, participants were allowed to fire a Glock handgun, which is carried by each of our uniformed officers.  Giving Citizens Academy participants the opportunity to handle a firearm and shoot one, in a controlled environment, helps residents to better understand the extensive training needed to be a Sarasota police officer.  This is just one session in the 13 week academy.  Other classes include learning about the SWAT team, bomb squad, K9 unit and patrol units.  For more information contact Officer Danny Robbins:  941-954-7056 or apply for the next academy online at 

All-American Family Day      Although the Baltimore Orioles have headed north for the season, the All-American Family Day at Ed Smith Stadium last Sunday was a hit.  SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino, Deputy Chief Stephen Moyer and City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell represented the City of Sarasota in a celebrity softball game versus a team of military veterans.  The event honored veterans and was part of The Patterson Foundation's ongoing Legacy of Valor campaign along with the the Orioles' "Arts in the Ballpark" series.  We appreciate our veterans' service and sacrifices, and we were proud to participate in this fun, patriotic community event.  Thanks to Kelly French for sharing her photos.  To see more, check out her online photo gallery.
All-American Family Day - 2014
Look at that form!  SPD Deputy Chief Stephen Moyer making it look easy at the plate.  (Photo/Kelly French) 
Upcoming Events

Banquet on the Block    
  Fri., April 11 
6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Lemon Ave. Mall - Downtown

Family Living's Kids Day  
 Sat., April 12
 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Payne Park

Global Youth Service Day 
Sat., April 12
10 a.m. - Noon
J.D. Hamel Park & Ringling Bridge Sidewalks

Tunes in the Park 
Sat., April 12
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Laurel Park
(Laurel St. Between Orange Ave. and Osprey Ave.)

Newtown Centennial Ceremony 
Thurs., April 17
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Fredd Atkins Park (Washington Ct. & Dr. MLK, Jr. Way)

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo "Side by Side"
Van Wezel Exterior
Sat., April 19 - 8 p.m.
Shen Yun Show

Tues., April 22 - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 23 - 2 p.m.
Men Are From Mars - Women Are From Venus LIVE!
Thurs., April 24 - 8 p.m.

Thanks for reading this week's updates!  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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