From the Desk of the
City Manager
May 9, 2014
The highly visible annual Season of Sculpture exhibit will conclude at the end of this month.  This free to the public attraction features 18 installations, gracing our bayfront since November, including this stainless steel piece entitled "Red Trunk" by Hans Van de Bovenkamp.  We are fortunate to have the Season of Sculpture which enriches our community with quality public art.  This is the program's seventh year, and if you haven't taken it in yet, it's certainly worthwhile.  Congratulations to Susan McLeod and the Board of Directors for another eye catching and thought provoking exhibit.  To learn more about the Season of Sculpture and the featured artists click here.


  • Lift Station 87 Project Team Meeting  
    Mon., May 12 - 10 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio   
  • Downtown Improvement District  
    Tues., May 13 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., May 14 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • State St. Parking Garage Progress Meeting 
    Wed., May 14 - 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Planning Board 
    Wed., May 14 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parks, Rec & Environmental Protection Board 
    Thurs., May 15 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Statutory City Commission Meeting
    Fri., May 16 - Noon
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.

Director of Marketing & Audience Development
Field Service Representative
Lifeguard I
Lifeguard II
Manager, Information & Communication Technology
Parking Garage Attendant
Permitting Technician
Rec Attendant
Senior Internal Auditor
Treatment Plant Operator C

This Week's Items to Know:
MLK Way Streetscape  A much anticipated streetscape project to improve the aesthetics along Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way between U.S. 301 and U.S. 41 started this week.  Over the past few years,
MLK Streetscape
Select bulb outs are being removed.  
significant community investments have occurred in Newtown including the construction of the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, Janie's Garden Phase I and II, the Booker High School construction project, and the U.S. 301 landscape improvements.  Now, after working closely with residents about how they would like the MLK Way corridor to look and function, we're moving forward with modifications on that roadway.

Perhaps most noticeable will be brick crosswalks which will be installed at the Orange Ave. intersection.  Select bulb outs also will be removed and trees will be replaced.  With an eye on healthy lifestyles and multi-modal transportation, a bicycle lane will be added as well.  And, the entire corridor will be repaved.
Expect periodic lane closures along the MLK Way corridor. 
The project will require occasional short term lane closures and possibly temporary driveway closures.  If driveway closures are necessary, crews will coordinate with residents and business owners to ensure access is maintained.  We anticipate the project will be finished by mid-July and will provide a fresh makeover for Newtown's historic main street.

Bird Key Park Bench Repair  Something is temporarily missing from our beautiful Bird Key Park -- the benches.  All seven benches were removed by Public Works last week to be repaired and repainted.  The park is quite popular.  And, the combination of high usage and occasional vandalism has weakened the finish on the benches, exposing the material to the elements and causing oxidation and rust.  We expect the benches to be back no later than next Thursday, May 15th.  In meantime, the park and the recreational trail that runs through it remain open to the public.
The benches at Bird Key Park are expected to return no later than next Thursday. 
April Building Permits  In recent editions of Weekly Briefs, we've mentioned the many ongoing construction projects and the fact that our Neighborhood and Development Services Department is on pace to set a record for the number of building permits issued this year.  Earlier this week, I received the April building permit report and I can tell you that steady, strong trend is continuing.  Just during the month of April, 511 building permits were issued with a total construction value of $41.9 million.  These impressive numbers include permitting for The Jewel, located at Main St. and Gulfstream Ave., as well as two buildings for The Q, along Ringling Blvd.  Residential construction is also seeing an uptick, with nine permits issued to build single family homes.  To see the summary report click here

More Shared Purchasing Agreements   In March, we reported that the City of Sarasota initiated a shared purchasing program with other area governmental agencies to generate greater purchasing power whenever possible.  Our initial venture involved a bid for janitorial supplies and we collaborated with four other agencies.  That process was successful and we're now comfortable to move on to other City Logo solicitations.  The next two shared purchasing bids will be for credit card processing services in conjunction with the Sarasota County School Board, and electric motor rebuild and rewind services with the City of North Port.

When staff started looking into creating a shared purchasing program, we weren't sure how such an experiment would work.  It's been a lengthy process, but we're pleased with this new collaborative effort.  It's important to note that shared purchasing is one of the City Commission's priorities this year.  Congratulations again to our very busy Purchasing Department, especially our manager, Mary Tucker, who makes sure all our I's are dotted and T's crossed when it comes to the government purchasing realm.

Bobby Jones Golf Club - Men's City Championship   A tip of the hat to our staff at Bobby Jones Golf Club for pulling off a successful tournament despite the elements.  The third and fourth rounds of the Men's City Championship were scheduled to be held last weekend with 90 players.  Mother Nature, though, had other plans, as a thunderstorm rolled in Saturday morning and postponed all play. With last minute schedule adjustments and the sun shining Sunday, the final rounds were played.  Some golfers played a total of 36 holes on Sunday to complete the tournament.  We appreciate them toughing it out.

Congratulations to Phil Walters who claimed the Men's City Championship title with a combined score of -4.  This is the third time in seven years he has won the tournament.  To see all the tournament scores click here.

Unfortunately, the Women's Individual Tournament was cancelled due to a lack of interest. Our staff is reassessing that tournament and plans to meet with the Bobby Jones Women's Golf Association to determine a plan of action for next year.

Upcoming Events

Gem & Jewelry Show & Sales    
 Fri. - Sun., May 9-11 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Municipal Auditorium  

Arts in the Ballpark 
Sarasota Orchestra's Spirit of America
Sat., May 10
7 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Ed Smith Stadium

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

Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! 

From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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