From the Desk of the
City Manager
October 10, 2014
As a community that values quality design and architecture, we are pleased to welcome to town this weekend those attending the SarasotaMod 4-day celebration of the Sarasota School of Architecture.

The elegance, grace, quality, feel and comfort of a community continues to be rooted in the good work of architects, builders and developers undertaking quality projects.

Sarasota is blessed in that the years after World War II, a group of Sarasota based architects adapted the principles of mid-century modernist design to the unique demand of Florida's environment in this once sleepy artists' colony off the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  That movement helped transform our once very small town into the elegant, cosmopolitan cultural center that it is today.

Thanks go out to the Sarasota Architectural Foundation for reminding us of our architectural history and the vital importance of quality architecture as our unfinished city continues its evolution. 

As Carl Abbott, Chair of SarasotaMod 2014 said, "There's a reason a handful of communities in the world stand out for architectural innovation.  Sarasota's one of them.  You really have to see it to believe it". 

To learn more about the festival visit


  • Lift Station 87 - Project Team Meeting
    Mon., October 13 10 a.m.
    City Hall Annex- SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop 14-CW-20
    Mon., October 13 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., October 14 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 109
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., October 14 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., October 15 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • ManaSota League of Cities Special Meeting
    Thurs., October 16 - 2:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Assistant City Engineer
Building Inspector Multi License
Director of Marketing
Grants Coordinator
Lobby Attendant
Recruiter & Background Investigator
Refuse Equipment Operator
Utilities Engineer 
      Victim Advocate       


This Week's Items to Know:
Popular Finance Report - Award     Our Finance Department has received more accolades from the Government Finance Officers Association -- this time for developing a user friendly document to help citizens understand our complex annual financial report. Popular Report

Earlier this year, staff voluntarily took on the herculean task of distilling the award winning Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), a detailed 200 page report, into a 10 page easy-to-understand document known as a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR).  This was the City's first attempt at creating a PAFR.  Not only did staff successfully condense the information, it was done in such a way that their government finance peers recognized their effort with an outstanding achievement award.  Bravo!

This voluntary report highlights the City's continued commitment to transparency and providing relevant financial information to the community in a user friendly way.  Click here to view the report.

Congratulations to our hard working Finance team, especially Susan Dodd, Assistant to Finance Director John Lege, for doing much of the heavy lifting with this report.  Click here to view the award.

New Observation Decks    Four newly replaced observation decks overlooking Sarasota Bay are now installed and ready for use.  Located behind the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the decks are a perfect location for fishing, watching boats or taking in a sunset.  The new deck floors are concrete, so we expect them to withstand the elements quite well.  Staff's goal was to complete the improvements prior to autumn, the particularly nice weather, and the arrival of our seasonal residents.  Mission accomplished!  I hope you have the opportunity to check them out soon. 
One of the four newly replaced observation decks behind the Van Wezel.

Downtown Alley Improvements    Just southeast of Main Street and southwest of Palm Ave. (across from The Jewel construction site), there is a dead end alley referred to as Alley D.  You may have noticed some activity there this week, as a significant improvement
Alley D, off lower Main St. just southwest of Palm Ave.,
is undergoing improvements. 
project is underway.  The alley is being milled, paved and graded to provide improved drainage as well as a better driving experience for those who use the alley.  Although it's a dead end, the alley provides parking access for Palm Ave. business owners and adjacent condo residents.  City staff worked closely with individuals who park in the area to ensure they would have sufficient and convenient parking during the project, which is expected to finish by the end of the month.  In an active downtown like Sarasota, alleyways are important infrastructure elements for business owners and residents, and we want to ensure these areas meet the needs our of increasingly busy downtown.

National Night Out    Even with the rain, National Night Out attracted many families to SPD Headquarters and Payne Park this past Tuesday night.  What a great show of partnership policing and
Peyton Harris, 2, waits patiently as SPD Officer Adam Morningstar with the Explosive Materials Unit places a bomb suit helmet over his head. 
community spirit!  Police officers were on hand to talk about their duties and the importance of working collaboratively with the community to prevent and fight crime.  Residents of all ages had the opportunity to check out specialty equipment on display including an explosives robot, bomb suit, marine patrol boat and Humvee.  And, this year saw the return of the neighborhood dessert table, with residents baking and sharing a favorite dessert -- a sweet addition savored by many.

Thanks to all who turned out for the event and for those who took the time to whip up a delicious delight to share.  And, a tip of the hat to our SPD staff for coordinating another successful event.  Well done!  To see more photos click here.

Active Shooter Training:  Run, Hide, Fight   Whether it's an office, school, mall or theatre, venues which Americans have generally considered safe in the past have experienced deadly shootings.  Naturally, it makes one feel vulnerable.  Although rare, when an unthinkable event such as a shooting occurs, those caught in the situation must have their wits about them and be able to make rapid decisions.  Their survival can depend upon it.  That's why it's important to have a plan.

Over the past five months, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino has trained nearly 600 individuals in our community on how to respond to
SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino presenting active shooter training last week to volunteers at the Van Wezel.
an active shooter incident.  These individuals include City employees, civic groups and cultural arts organizations like the Sarasota Orchestra, Asolo Theatre, Sarasota Opera, West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, and Players Theatre.  With over 200,000 guests visiting the City owned and operated Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall last year, it makes practical sense to ensure greeters and ushers know how to respond during such an emergency.  So, all the Van Wezel employees, and the Hall's 300+ volunteers, also went through the training.

Chief DiPino has hosted 14 training sessions, providing personal insight into why it's important to always be prepared.  This can be a scary and difficult topic to discuss, but the Chief does a great job of reassuring people and giving them simple, need-to-know information, with audience participation.

She and the law enforcement community suggest always having an exit plan wherever you're located.

Three options should be considered during an active shooter event. 

Run:  If you can get out, do so.  Leave your belongs behind.  Don't let the indecisions of others slow you down.

Hide:  If you can't get out, hide.  Act quickly and quietly.  Secure the location as best you can, including locking the doors.

Fight:  If your life is at risk, fight.  Improvise weapons.  Work with others and commit to incapacitating the shooter.

Chief DiPino's training sessions include a short video presentation showing what to do if ever faced with this situation.  I encourage everyone to watch this video via the YouTube link below, so you too can be prepared.

I want to emphasize that we have no information or reason to believe an active shooter might ever appear in Sarasota.  It's just good practice, like the Boy Scout motto, to be prepared. 

If you'd like to have SPD provide an active shooter training session to your neighborhood group or business, please contact the Office of the Police Chief:  941-954-7012. 

Thank you, Chief DiPino, for your leadership with this matter and helping to keep us safe.
Surviving an Active Shooter Event
YouTube Video:  Surviving an Active Shooter Event.

Blue + You = Double Feature Movie Night     Mother Nature has not been cooperative with our recent SPD Blue + You = Movie Night events.  Due to rainy weather, two outdoor movies have been cancelled recently on two different evenings, including this past Tuesday.  But, SPD isn't giving up!  Both movies -- "Cars" and "Frozen" -- are now scheduled to be presented as a free double feature tomorrow night (Sat., October 11) at 7:30 p.m.  These family friendly films will be shown on the exterior of the SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane, so bring chairs or blankets to spread on the grass under the stars.  Let's keep our fingers crossed for nice weather -- and double the fun!
Good Luck, Orioles!   The Baltimore Orioles, who call Sarasota home during spring training, play Game 1 of the American League Championship Series tonight (Fri., October 10) at 8 p.m. against the Kansas City Royals.  Last spring was a record breaking season for Orioles ticket sales at Ed Smith Stadium. Go Orioles!
The Baltimore Orioles playing a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium.
Photo/Courtesy Norm Schimmel

Upcoming Events
Multiple Locations
Thurs., Oct. 9 - Sun. Oct. 12
Calendar of Events

Women's Better Ball Open 
Bobby Jones Golf Club
Sat. Oct. 11 & Sun. Oct. 12 
All Day 
Vintage & Collectibles Fair  
Municipal Auditorium
Sat., October 11:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  
Sun., October 12:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Walk to End Alzheimer's  
J.D. Hamel Park & Ringling Bridge
Sat., October 11
7 a.m. - Noon

National Latino AIDS Awareness 
Gillespie Park
Sat., October 11
Noon - 4 p.m.

SCS Fall Classic Fishing Tour 
Ken Thompson Park
Sat., October 11
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Rock for a Cause 
Palm Avenue
Sat., October 11
3 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Blue + You = Free Movie Night
SPD Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane
Sat., October 11
7:30 p.m.

Morton's Firehouse Chili Cook-Off   
1924 S. Osprey Ave.
Sun., October 12
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Get Your Pink On 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - 1741 Main Street
Tues., October 14
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Martina McBride
Thurs., October 16 - 8 p.m.

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
Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group
will perform Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. 

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

Lots of choices for things to do this weekend.  Enjoy Sarasota and 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

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