From the Desk of the
City Manager
September 5, 2014
We are more than halfway through turtle nesting season and so far 2,400 nests have been confirmed from Longboat Key to Venice, which is slightly more than this same time last year.  We spotted this nest recently on Lido Beach, where almost 100 nests have been observed.  Both loggerhead and green turtles will continue to nest in the area through October 31st. Every day, Mote's Sea Turtle Patrol, with more than 300 volunteers, documents sea turtle nests along 35 miles of beaches.  Nesting numbers are posted weekly on their website  Please remember:  if you live near the beach, shield or turn off your outdoor lights that are visible on the beach to prevent hatchlings from becoming disoriented and failing to make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.


  • Lift Station 87 Project Team Meeting
    Mon., September 8 - 10 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop 14-CW-17
    Mon., September 8  - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., September 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Special City Commission
    Tues., September 9 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Rules and Appeals   
    Wed., September 10 - 3 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers   
  • Independent Police Advisory Panel
    Wed., September 10 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Planning Board
    Wed., September 10 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • ManaSota League of Cities
    Thurs., September 11 - 9:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

Current Openings
magnifying glass and text  jobs . conceptual photo.
Maintenance Technician III ( Promotional Opportunity)
  Treatment Plant Operator C (Promotional Opportunity) 


Homeless Update

On Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved earmarking $1,000 in the City's homeless budget as seed money for a Homeward Bound initiative, to work in conjunction with the ongoing successful efforts of The Salvation Army and Resurrection House.  The Homeward Bound program will help fund transportation costs to reunite an individual with their family or reliable friend. Before transportation arrangements are made, our nonprofit partners or street case workers will confirm a relative or reliable friend will receive the homeless individual and is willing to step in and help that person.

In less than three months, our homeless outreach network is seeing positive results, helping with the reunification of 11 homeless individuals.  With this seed money -- and with donations from the public -- we are hopeful that we can assist with even more reunifications.  Along with the Resurrection House and The Salvation Army, we'll monitor this program closely to ensure it's doing what it's intended to do:  reunite homeless individuals with a support system, and not just provide a free ticket to a new location.

Our mental health street case worker Calvin Collins is meeting repeatedly with individuals who are living on the street and providing them with housing information and discerning if they would be eligible for the Homeward Bound program.  If they are eligible, they are referred to Resurrection House or The Salvation Army to finalize the transportation details.  The City Commission's action this week will give the City's Homeless Outreach Team more flexibility to assist individuals.

An encouraging aspect of the Homeward Bound program is the initial community response.  Immediately following the City Commission meeting, a resident sitting in the audience offered a $1,000 donation, and we received a $100 check yesterday.  Staff is now finalizing a Homeward Bound policy which will detail how transportation tickets will be funded in conjunction with our nonprofit partners.

For more information about our nonprofit partners please visit their websites:

The Salvation


To learn more about Homeward Bound or to make a financial contribution to help reunite individuals with their family and/or friends, please contact my office:  941-954-4102.   Donations can be made to the City of Sarasota Homeward Bound program. 

This Week's Items to Know:
Arlington Pool - Reopens Tomorrow, Sept. 6     We received word this afternoon (Friday) that the swimming pools at the Arlington Park Aquatic Center, located at 2650 Waldemere Street, passed required building and health inspections and will reopen tomorrow (Sat., Sept. 6) noon - 5 p.m.  The pools have been closed for renovations while the mechanical equipment was completely rebuilt, a cooling off deck added and new diving platforms installed.  A new shower tower also will be available for swimmers.

The City of Sarasota owns the facility and funded the $1.1 million project via the penny sales tax.  Sarasota County maintains and operates it, and will have lifeguards in position and ready for swimmers tomorrow at noon.

We appreciate everyone's patience during the much needed improvement project, which ended up taking longer than planned due to unexpected electrical complications with the custom made pool heaters.  Enjoy!
Arlington Pool will reopen Sept. 6 at noon.

Van Wezel - Celebrating 45 years     Our talented and hard working team at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is preparing for a spectacular 45th anniversary season with programs so diverse there's sure to be something for everyone.  The recently announced 2014-15 lineup will include seasoned celebrities and fresh talent with Van Wezel 1970 Logo the Variety Series (with dynamic performers ranging from Diana Krall to Peter Frampton to Michael Bolton), Broadway Series (including "Jersey Boys", "Sister Act" and "Flashdance The Musical"), Broadway Specials, Orchestra Series, Orchestra Specials, and Dance Series.  To see the full season digital brochure including performers, shows, dates and times click here.

Single tickets go on sale Sat., September 13 at 10 a.m. in person at the Van Wezel Box Office, online at, and by calling the Box Office:  941-953-3368.  Appointments can be scheduled in advance by phoning the Box Office.

The vast talent and entertaining shows booked each season at the Van Wezel continues to impress year after year.  Kudos to Executive Director Mary Bensel and her team for bringing such amazing cultural arts programs to the community and for making their hectic, fast paced business seem easy.  Hope to see you at the Van Wezel this season!
Phillip Phillips, American Idol's season 11 winner, will perform
at the Van Wezel on November 12. 
Deep Injection Well - Big Deliveries   The Utilities Department received two oversized deliveries yesterday afternoon.  Two pre-fabricated electrical control buildings for the new deep injection well system arrived.  Each one, weighing 30 tons, was delivered to the 12th Street Utilities campus on a flatbed trailer and was hoisted by a large construction crane on to separate concrete slabs -- one adjacent to the effluent treatment plant and the other next to the water treatment plant.  Both of these news structures are critical components as we construct a deep injection well system.
A crane lifts an electrical control building into position
for the new deep injection well system. 
The new well will help the City comply with Florida Department of Environment regulations, by injecting treated water and effluent 1,500-1,800 feet below the ground rather than discharging it into Sarasota Bay.  Ultimately, the new system will be able to receive up to 18 million gallons of treated water and effluent daily.

With the arrival of the two buildings, the next step in the construction process is very complex and involves establishing and converting electrical connections.  The project is on schedule to be finished and operational in Spring 2015.

LID Cleaning   Last Fall, with an eye on sustainability, the City embarked on its very first low impact development (LID) project.  A small stormwater filtration system was installed in the alley behind Mattison's Grille in downtown, using brick pavers and sand as a way
Crews use a vacuum to pick up debris blocking the LID stormwater filtration system.
to clean runoff before it reaches the storm drain and ultimately our waterways.  Pollutants like grease, oil, debris and chemicals are captured in the LID system.  Those same pollutants, though, can block the system and prevent it from functioning correctly.  So, last week, the test LID area, which is 4 feet by 40 feet, was cleaned.   Working with the Public Works Department, a vacuum truck and crew from the Utilities Department was dispatched to the alley to suction debris from the top of the LID pavers and the crevices.  Items like cigarette butts, bits of paper, string and paper clips were picked up, which should help improve the flow into the filtration system.

Pilot programs like this one are important in showing our desire to restore Sarasota Bay to its pristine condition.  We look forward to continuing our sustainability efforts in the City and championing green initiatives where it is possible and fiscally feasible.

State Street Garage - Update     A lot of necessary behind-the-scenes infrastructure work continues on the other side of the construction fence along State Street.  Construction crews are focused on chipping down the concrete piles which were recently poured, then forming concrete caps, and beams where necessary.  The three piles shown in the photo below are located in the northwest corner of the site and ultimately will support the weight of an elevator.  It will take about a day to chip those piles to the precise design height and prepare them for concrete caps.  Within the next 2-3 weeks, we expect to see vertical construction begin in earnest.  That means, when you're near State Street and Lemon Avenue -- perhaps shopping at the Farmers Market -- you'll actually see the six story garage being built.
These three piles ultimately will support the weight of an
elevator at the State Street Garage. 
In the meantime, we continue to host bi-weekly meetings to update the community about the progress at the construction site.   City staff and the contractor are available to answer questions and address any issues or suggestions.  The updates are held every other Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Room 112 at City Hall, with the next one scheduled for September 17th.

Parking Manager Certification   Congratulations to Parking Manager Mark Lyons who recently earned the parking industry's most prestigious certification:  Certified Administrator of Public Parking.  Through the University of Virginia, the International Parking Institute
Parking Manager Mark Lyons is now a Certified Administrator of Public Parking.
offers this academically accredited two year program.  Numerous classes and seminars must be successfully completed, plus a final exam passed, including four written essays and 100 questions.  This certification is recognized worldwide, and according to the IPI, just 250 individuals have earned this certification -- including our parking manager.  The IPI represents best practices in the parking industry, which is exactly what the Sarasota community needs as we prepare to open another public garage in early 2015, and determine how to best handle our many varied parking needs throughout the City.  Bravo, Mark!

Women's Golf Tourney - Save the Dates: Oct. 11 & 12     Attention lady golfers!  Registration is now open for the inaugural Women's Better Ball Open on October 11 & 12.  This competitive event will be held at Bobby Jones Golf Club in conjunction with the Bobby Jones Logo Women's Golf Association.  Over the years, interest in the annual women's tournament waned to the point it was cancelled last year.  So, this year, staff collaborated with the women's golf group and strategized on how to develop a fun and competitive event.

The Better Ball Open will require a verified handicap and also will include three on-course competitions, including 'Closest to Pin'.  Plus, since it will be held in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there will be a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Florida Suncoast affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Registration for the tournament is $85 per player ($170 per team).  To download an application click here

Children's Fountain - Fall Hours   If you plan to take the kids or grandkids to the Children's Founatin at Bayfront Park this weekend, don't forget:  Fall hours are now in effect.  The fountain is open       10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily weather permitting.  These hours will be in effect through October when the fountain will close for the winter.

City Commission Vacancies - Applications Being Accepted   Applications for the District 2 and District 3 City Commission seat vacancies will be accepted until Friday, September 12, 2014 at noon. City Logo

More information about the process is available on the City of Sarasota website including a candidate application, questionnaire, oath of candidate, and financial disclosure form.  Completed candidate applications which have been received also are posted online.  To review these materials click here.

The City Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, November 19 at 3 p.m. to make the two appointments.  Both unexpired terms will end on May 15, 2015.

Upcoming Events

Accent on Athletics
Payne Park
Sat., September 6
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

2014 Manasota India Festival

Bradenton Area Convention Center - Palmetto
1 Haben Boulevard
Sat., September 6  
Afternoon Session:  Noon - 4 p.m.
Night Session:  4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Admission $3
Cowboy HoeDown 2014
Municipal Auditorium - 801 N. Tamiami Trail
Sat., September 6
7 p.m.

September 11th Ceremony
SPD Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane
Thurs., September 11
8:30 a.m.

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

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

For more performances visit

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From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager

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