From the Desk of the
City Manager
October 3, 2014
After enduring days of rainy weather, keeping many of us indoors, the blue skies returned enabling outdoor enthusiasts to pursue their recreation of choice, including water sports. We encountered several scuba divers training just off Bird Key Park in Sarasota Bay.  You can see a float, with a universally recognized red and white "diver down" flag, which is required by Florida state law when divers are in open water.  The flag alerts boaters that they must make a reasonable effort to stay at least 100 feet away in a bay, channel, inlet or river; or 300 feet in other bodies of water.


  • Downtown Improvement District Special Meeting
    Mon., October 6 - 2 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • City Commission
    Mon., October 6 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Redevelopment Agency
    Mon., October 6 - 2:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Visit Sarasota County Executive Committee
    Topic:  Sarasota Bayfront 20:20
    Wed., October 8 - 8:30 a.m.
    Visitor Center - 701 N. Tamiami Trail
  • Planning Board
    Wed., October 8 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Newtown CRA Advisory Board
    Thurs., October 9 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Administrative Specialist II - Foreclosed Properties
Administrative Specialist II - Permitting
Assistant City Engineer
Building Inspector Multi License
Grants Coordinator
Victim Advocate
Zoning Analyst 


This Week's Items to Know:
Building Permits - Record Breaking Year    With the end of Fiscal Year 2013-14 this past Wednesday, October 1st, we can now say with certainty that our Neighborhood and Development Services Department experienced an all-time record year, in the number of building permits issued at 7,216 permits (for work on everything from electrical systems to roofs to air conditioning units). This is an impressive number signaling we are a culture of 'yes' when it comes to facilitating construction and work permits. 

What's especially notable is this:  while the number of permits issued increased 14 percent over the previous year, the total construction valuation nearly doubled -- from $127.6 million to $362.1 million.  Not only are we experiencing a building boom, it's a boom with significant projects for the community, including hotels, multi-family dwellings and mixed used developments.  Sarasota continues to be an attractive location where savvy investors want to do business.

Congratulations to our extraordinary NDS staff members who get the job done day in and day out, providing quality customer service, and doing what they can to make Sarasota a business friendly city.  Kudos...and keep up the good work!

Water Tank Demolition   After 60+ years of use, the old water storage tank off Orange Ave., just north of 10th Street, is being demolished due to obsolescence. With the new two million gallon tank now operational just two blocks away on our Utilities campus, crews are working to remove the old tank.  Large equipment operators have been on site for the past couple of weeks breaking apart the concrete walls and hauling away the debris, even with the soggy weather.  Although  the water inside the storage tank was drained prior to the demolition, the tremendous amount of rain we received ended up pooling on the concrete floor requiring it to be pumped.  But, crews managed to work through the rain and continue the demolition.  We expect the work to continue for at least a few more weeks. Currently, there are no future plans for the parcel. 
Crews demolishing what remains of the old water storage tank near Orange Ave. and 10th. 
National Night Out:  Oct. 7    Join us at the SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane, and Payne Park next Tuesday, October 7 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. as we celebrate our partnership policing commitment with National Night Out.  This family friendly event will include free food, prizes, entertainment and SPD specialty booths featuring useful crime prevention information.  A SPD SWAT vehicle will be on display as well as SPD motorcycles and a marine patrol boat.  A K9 demonstration also will be given and kids will have the opportunity to meet McGruff, the Crime Fighting Dog.  The event will wrap up with a free outdoor showing of the popular Disney movie "Frozen" on the exterior wall of the SPD Headquarters.  We invite you to attend National Night Out and experience firsthand how our police officers are partnering with residents and business owners to make our special community even safer.  Hope to see you there! 
At-Large City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell, Mayor Willie Shaw and Vice Mayor Susan Chapman attending last year's National Night Out event.  
Blue + You = Movie Night:  RESCHEDULED for Oct. 11   Just a few days after National Night Out, another free movie will be shown at SPD Headquarters.  SPD was ready to host its third Blue + You = Movie Night last weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans.  Due
"Cars" will be shown at SPD Headquarters on Oct. 11.

to the inclement weather, the outdoor showing of "Cars", was rescheduled for October 11th at 7:30 p.m. Car seats still will be given away to the first 24 children to arrive between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. who use a car booster seat.  The seats also will be properly fitted by a certified expert with Safe Kids.  Fingers crossed for a dry evening!

SPD Project Lifesaver Donation    The Project Lifesaver program at SPD received a generous donation this week from one of our community partners, Freedom Senior Management.  The company donated $2,000 to help defray costs associated with the program.  Project Lifesaver combines the latest technology with police search and rescue efforts to locate missing Alzheimer's patients or others with cognitive disorders.

Program participants wear a lightweight bracelet fitted with a transmitter which sends a unique signal around the clock, and SPD officers can track it when an individual is reported missing.  Search times for missing people wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet have been reduced dramatically from days to hours -- even minutes.
A SPD Project Lifesaver bracelet. 
For those who have a loved one with Alzheimer's or other cognitive impairment, Project Lifesaver helps provide a sense of security.  The program has been in existence at SPD for the past seven years and during that time SPD has responded to 58 missing person alerts.  In each case, the person was successfully located and returned to their loved ones.  Currently, 70 individuals are enrolled in Project Lifesaver.

To participate in Project Lifesaver, there is an initial $275 registration fee to use the bracelet.  After that, there is a $7 fee per month to pay for the cost of battery replacements.  The gift from Freedom Senior Management will help fund participants who otherwise could not afford the program.  Thank you, Freedom Senior Management, for helping to cover their expenses.

To learn more visit or contact Officer Danny Robbins: 941-954-7056
Accepting a $2,000 donation from Freedom Senior Management.  L-R:  Capt. Patrick Robinson, Officer Danny Robbins, SPD Volunteer Martha Bohn, Gail Chase, SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino and Steve Roskamp.

Municipal Auditorium Website -  One of our cherished community assets, the classic Art Deco Municipal Auditorium, now has a new independent website highlighting the unique aspects which make it an affordable rental option for a variety of events.  Over the years, the Auditorium has hosted it all -- from military social functions during World War II, to high school proms to the Miss Florida pageant.  The melodious tones of musical celebrities like Louis Armstrong and Earth, Wind & Fire filled the Auditorium long before the existence of our Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  Constructed in 1937 and opened the following year as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Work Progress Administration, the facility remains in remarkable condition with excellent acoustics, 39 foot ceilings, newly refurbished wood floors, and a performance stage.  Also, 10,000 square feet of unobstructed space allows dozens of booths to be set up for fairs or tables to be placed for banquets.
Opened in 1938, the Municipal Auditorium is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. 
The website features all the upcoming events at the Auditorium, including vintage and collectibles fairs, gem and jewelry shows, coin shows, and the popular Atomic Holiday Bazaar.  Essentially, is a one-stop shopping site for anything associated with the Municipal Auditorium.

Over 100,000 people walk through the Auditorium each year, with the potential for many more.  Now, more than ever, marketing is critical to help people understand what differentiates a treasure like the Municipal Auditorium from other venues.  This website successfully works toward that goal.  Kudos to Municipal Auditorium Manager Debbie Perez and her staff for making this website happen!
With 10,000 square feet of unobstructed space, the facility is an ideal venue for fairs, shows and banquets. 
Women's Better Ball Open - Registration Reminder   The deadline to register for the inaugural Women's Better Ball Open at Bobby Jones Logo Bobby Jones Golf Club is right around the corner.  Registrations for this competitive event must be submitted by the end of business on Monday, October 6.  The tournament will be played over two days on October 11 and 12.  There is a registration fee of $85 per player ($170 per team).  To download an application click here

Upcoming Events
Gem & Jewelry Show & Sale  
Municipal Auditorium
Fri., Oct. 3 - Sun., Oct. 5 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Downtown Fall Arts & Crafts  
Selby Five Points Park
Sat., Oct. 4 and Sun., Oct. 5
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Historical Marker Dedication  
Bayfront Parking Lot - Near 'Unconditional Surrender'
Sat., October 4
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Church of Hope Beach Baptism   
Lido Beach
Sun., October 5
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

National Night Out  
SPD Headquarters & Payne Park
Tues., October 7
 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Multiple Locations
Thurs., Oct. 9 - Sun., Oct. 12

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Eve of Jackie
Mon., October 6 - 8 p.m.

Martina McBride
Thurs., October 16 - 8 p.m.
Martina McBride will perform Oct. 16 at the Van Wezel.


Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group
Fri., October 17 - 8 p.m.

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (Educational Offering) 
Wed., October 22 - 10 a.m. & 11:45 a.m. 

The Ultimate Doo-Wop Show
Fri., October 24 - 8 p.m.

Bill Maher
Sun., October 26 - 7 p.m. 

Shen Yun Orchestra 
Mon., October 27 - 7:30 p.m.

: Single tickets for the full 2014-15 season are now on sale!  For more information visit

As autumn begins, thanks for reading this week's updates.  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox click 'Join Our Mailing List' below or send us an email at

From sunny Sarasota,

Tom Barwin
City Manager

   Follow us on Twitter