From the Desk of the
City Manager
July 25, 2014

The many accomplishments of educator Dan Kennedy were recognized this past Monday when the City Commission declared July 21, 2014 as "Dan Kennedy Day".  He also was presented with a Key to the City by Mayor Willie Shaw during the City Commission meeting.

Co-founder of Sarasota Military Academy in 2001, Dan is well known throughout the Sarasota community for his commitment to disciplined, quality education.  Over the years, SMA has grown in popularity and success.  Now, more than 1,100 students are enrolled, and 96 percent of SMA graduates go on to attend college.

Before launching SMA, he was the principal at Sarasota High School and also a teacher.

We look forward to Dan's continued service as a board member of the newly established Sarasota Police Foundation. Thank you, Dan, for your unwavering commitment to our community. 


  • Community Workshop 14-CW-12  
    Wed., July 30 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Community Workshop 14-CW-12    
    Thurs., July 31 - 5:30 p.m.

    City Hall - Room 112  
Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Computer Systems Administrator 

City Commission Actions

The City Commission took unanimous action Monday night on two significant community issues:  a come-as-you-are jail diversion shelter, and the proposed plans for the Bayfront cultural park known as Bayfront 20:20.

Come-As-You-Are Shelter

The City Commission unanimously withdrew City staff efforts to site a come-as-you-are jail diversion shelter, which would have been a second large shelter in the city limits for the chronically homeless, the Salvation Army shelter on 10th St. and Central Ave. being the other.  To read the letter I sent to Sarasota County administrator Tom Harmer summarizing this, click here.

Bayfront 20:20

The City Commission also unanimously took action regarding future discussion and possible changes to the Bayfront cultural park master plan.  First, the City Commission appointed me to be the staff liaison with the working group known as Bayfront 20:20.  The Commission also placed the following parameters to guide discussions in the future of the Bayfront which are:  the 42 acres will remain publicly owned with public access; there must be maximum open vistas;  and a conference/convention center will not be constructed on publicly owned land.   Future meeting dates of the Bayfront 20:20 group will be noted in Weekly Briefs as they are scheduled. 

This Week's Items to Know:
Bayfront Park Playground Reopens    Good news -- the playground at Bayfront Park is scheduled to reopen by 6 p.m. today (Fri., July 25).  It's been temporarily closed since March for public safety reasons after corrosion was discovered on some of the equipment.  Based on how the equipment is designed and where it was corroded, specialty parts had to be manufactured.  This playground is very popular with families and we appreciate everyone's patience during the temporary closure.  Enjoy! 
The playground at Bayfront Park is scheduled to reopen today (July 25). 
New Radios    As technology changes, it's important for the City to change with it, especially when it involves emergency response.  That's why the City invested in new digital radios which will ensure communication within and between departments and with Sarasota County (which is expected to migrate to digital radios soon).  This will
One of the 250 new radios
which recently arrived.
be critical should our community be faced with a natural or man made disaster.  The old analog technology was 15 years old and is expected to be obsolete soon.

250 new Motorola radios recently arrived and were distributed, with staff members attending a brief user orientation.  New radios  also are being installed in select City vehicles.

Besides the SPD, many of our departments rely on radios for every day communication, including Public Works and Utilities.  Some of our staffed areas are so large, like Bobby Jones Golf Club and Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, the best practice is to have staff members carry radios.

The new radios will allow inter-departmental communication, a feature that was limited with our previous analog system.  This will streamline communication and will allow direct exchange of information between
Utilities employee Susan Blake demonstrates the new features on the digital radios.
crews who work in different departments.  For example, a Utilities crew working on a sewer main may notice a broken streetlight nearby.  Now, they will be able to contact a Street and Highways crew directly via radio communication and notify them about the issue.

This is a significant investment of approximately $1 million, but it's a necessary investment.  The technology will be used every day with public safety, utilities, at public works project sites, on the golf course, and at our swimming pools.  Most importantly, in the event of a community emergency, we will be prepared and functional for communication.

Cured in Place Pipe - Avondale Project Update   The sanitary sewer system improvement project in the Avondale neighborhood that we told you about in last week's edition is progressing well.  This week, crews lined the 52-year-old sewer pipe with a polyester resin liner.  From a utilities standpoint, this is a critical improvement project which will extend the use of the pipe by another 50 years.  Visually speaking, it's a fascinating process.

The new polyester resin impregnated liner is installed in 300 foot
Preparing to install the polyester resin liner
in a sewer pipe on Lincoln Dr. 
segments from one manhole to the next.  When the lining process begins, the material actually is frozen and pulled from a refrigerated truck.  The liner is hoisted up, then guided into the manhole and filled with water, which causes the liner to expand throughout the length of the pipe segment.  Each segment end is sealed with a hydrophilic gasket.  Then, the process gets really interesting.

The sewer pipe is filled with water scalding at 180 degrees.  This searing heat causes the polyester resin to stick to the inside of the sewer pipe.  Over 8-10 hours, the material cures and thickens creating a lining within the pipe. That lining is essentially a new pipe, covering cracks and reducing groundwater infiltration, ultimately extending the life of the City's sanitary sewer system.  Check out the video below to see highlights of the process on Lincoln Drive earlier this week:
Video:  Cured in Place Pipe Installation 
Video: Cured in Place Pipe Installation

Crews will be working on the final leg of the project near the intersection of Lincoln Drive and U.S. 41 tomorrow, Sat., July 26.  The work will require the outside lane of U.S. 41 near Lincoln Dr. to be temporarily closed for several
A contractor applies calcium aluminate to the
interior of a manhole to help prevent decay. 
hours starting at 6 a.m.

Another important aspect of this improvement project is manhole rehabilitation.  To prevent the deterioration of the manholes, calcium aluminate, which is resistant to the decaying effects of hydrogen sulfide, was applied to the interior of the manholes along Lincoln Drive.

Thanks again to residents for enduring this temporary disruption.  And, thank you to our utilities crew for doing what they can to lessen the inconvenience in the neighborhood.

Jr. Golf Camp    Our second Junior Golf Camp of the summer wrapped up this week with participants, ranging from 9 to 14 years old, playing a few holes at the Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club.  Day campers learn the basics of golf and sharpen their putting, chipping and driving skills with one-on-one interaction with our PGA golf professionals.  The next camp is scheduled for August 11-13.  For more details visit
Junior golf campers on the Gillespie Executive Course.

New Van Wezel Marketing Director - Betsy Bender   We'd like to extend a warm welcome to our new Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Marketing Director, Betsy Bender.  She has more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, including most recently, as
Betsy Bender joins the Van Wezel staff as Marketing Director. 
the director of marketing and sales at BIG ARTS on Sanibel.  Betsy will replace Julia Mays who is retiring August 19 after a remarkable 30 year career in the performing arts industry.  Over the next several weeks, the two will collaborate to ensure a smooth transition in the marketing department, which is a critical aspect of the behind the scenes work at the Van Wezel.  During her tenure, Julia implemented targeted marketing for shows and expanded the Hall's social media presence.  Her marketing achievements were an integral part of turning the Van Wezel around financially and creatively.  We look forward to Betsy taking the marketing baton and expanding the reach and excellence of the Van Wezel even further.  Welcome!

Fairwell - BOA Chairman Israelson     After serving an impressive six years on the Board of Adjustment, Paul Israelson left his position  due to term limits.  Last week, his fellow Board Members and City staff recognized his commitment to the BOA, which is an advisory board to the City Commission and has the authority to grant building and zoning variances.  Appointed by the City Commission in 2008, Paul served as Chairperson twice and Vice Chair twice.  After chairing his final meeting last Friday, Paul was thanked by the other four board members and staff for his dedication and was presented with an engraved travel mug, since he plans to spend more time traveling.  In this day and age, it's fairly unusual for someone to be so dedicated to a voluntary position in municipal government.  Thank you, Paul, for your service -- and enjoy life post-BOA! 
L to R:  Board of Adjustment members Mel Harner, Calvin Bryant, Paul Israelson, David Morriss, Leslie Loftus and staff liaison Gretchen Schneider 

Upcoming Events

Blue + You = Movie Night  
"Iron Man 3"
Sarasota Police Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane
(Movie shown outdoors on the exterior of the building)
Fri., July 25
8:30 p.m.

Players League Championships
Disc Golf Tournament
North Water Tower Park
Sun., July 27
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel:

Friday Fest - Come Back Alice
Fri., July 25 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert


Friday Fest - SoulRcoaster
Fri., August 22 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert
Friday Fest - Adrian Ray
Fri., Sept. 26 - 5 p.m.
FREE Outdoor Concert

For more upcoming performances visit
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From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager
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