From the Desk of the
City Manager
November 14, 2014
Veterans Day
Members of the American Legion Post 30 in Sarasota were just some of the many military veterans who proudly marched in the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown earlier this week.  It was a terrific turnout with spectators showing their respect and appreciation for our veterans.  Click here to see more photos from the parade. 

Over the summer, the City pledged to focus street outreach toward homeless veterans.  As this Veterans Week draws to a close, I have some encouraging news to share about our homeless veteran population in the city limits. That story is included below in Weekly Briefs.


  • City Commission
    Mon., November 17 - 2:30p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop 15-CW-03
    Tues., November 18 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., November 19 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Special City Commission Meeting
    Wed., November 19 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop 15-CW-04
    Wed., November 19 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Utilities Engineer (Contract)


Homeless Veterans Update
As promised this summer, we have focused street casework toward homeless veterans in Sarasota.  And, the good news is...we're continuing to see encouraging results.  For example, just since October 1st, 15 veterans who were living and sleeping on the streets in the city limits were placed into housing.  Roughly speaking, over that time period, every three days we've helped a veteran get a roof over their head   That's encouraging!

These successes were achieved through our Homeless Outreach Team working one-on-one with the individuals, then coordinating with Jewish Family and Children's Services to place them into available housing.  By working closely with JFCS, The Salvation Army and Resurrection House, we're having a positive impact on the lives of those who served our nation through military service.

We have more work to do, especially with younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and finding their way to Sarasota.  Most of these veterans, who were honorably discharged, are eligible for federal housing and medical benefits.  What we're discovering, in many cases, is that they just need guidance to get on track -- and that's what we're facilitating.

Thanks to our Homeless Outreach Team and non-profit partners for their compassion and desire to get homeless vets into better conditions with the counseling and care they need.

This Week's Items to Know:
Mayors Feed The Hungry - Food Drive       Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.  In preparation, the annual Mayors Feed The Hungry Thanksgiving Food Drive is underway in Sarasota and Manatee counties.  Non-perishable food items will be collected at designated locations through Friday, Nov. 21.  Collection boxes are placed at City Hall and the Sarasota Police Headquarters, plus dozens of other locations.  (To see a list of drop-off locations click here.)

Canned and packaged items, including peanut butter, soup, tuna,
A donation collection box in the lobby at City Hall, 1565 First Street. 
noodles, cereal and spaghetti will be accepted.  The food drive will end on Nov. 21 and all the donations will be collected and sorted at Ed Smith Stadium, then distributed to food pantries throughout the two counties.  Last year, an impressive 45 tons of non-perishable food items were collected and, this year, the request from local food pantries has increased.

Sarasota is a generous community.  I'm confident we will rise to the occasion and meet the Mayors Feed The Hungry food drive challenge and help the many who are in need.

State St. Garage - Tower Crane Installed    The construction crane was successfully installed at the State Street Garage site late last week making it the third active crane in our busy downtown.  Towering at approximately 140 feet over downtown, it will be used to move all kinds of construction materials from work lights to steel beams.  It even will be used to pour concrete.  Speaking of which, the second pour on the second floor parking deck occurred early this morning.  By Thanksgiving, it's expected, the concrete ramp going up to the third floor will be in place.  Staff continues to hold project update meetings every other Wednesday and the public is welcome to attend.  The next one will be Wed., November 26 at 1 p.m. in Room 112 in City Hall.
The State St. Garage construction crane as seen from Ringling Blvd. 
Street Resurfacing     If you traveled along 12th Street or Lime Avenue this week, you know crews were busy milling and paving, while keeping traffic interruptions to a minimum.  A new layer of asphalt is
Crews resurfacing 12th Street earlier this week.  
now on 12th from U.S. 301 to Tuttle Ave.  And, Lime Ave. from 12th Street to Fruitville Rd., is expected to be finished early next week, making the ride along those stretches much smoother.

As part of the City's annual resurfacing program, more streets will be milled and paved in December including:  Bay Shore Road, Goodrich Ave., 15th St., 10th St., and Central Ave.  Some night work also will be fit in to lessen the impact on high traffic areas.  When that schedule is determined, we'll let you know. 

Bobby Jones Golf Club - New Bridges      The installation of two new bridges at Bobby Jones Golf Club is underway, which is good news for our historical municipal golf course.  Both are pre-fabricated and were lowered into position this week on the 14th and 15th holes of the American Course.  Over the summer, the old bridges were closed due to safety concerns.  With the new bridges in place, golfers will be able to get where they need to go more directly.  And, the extra-large maintenance mowers will be able to cross the bridges once again to cut the grass.  The final touches are being put on the bridges and we expect them to be open to the public next week.  We appreciate golfers' patience during the closures.
BJGC Bridge
A crane lowers a new bridge into place on the 15th hole of the American Course.

BJGC - Annual Thanksgiving Golf Event     We're making plans for golfers to enjoy the upcoming holiday on the links once again.  Bobby Jones Golf Club will host the 6th annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Shoot on Thursday, Nov. 27.  A shotgun start will be held at 8:45 a.m.  18 holes with a riding cart is just $22.50.  Plus, with a Turkey Shoot receipt, you'll get a $3 discount on the buffet breakfast at Mattison's Grille on the Green.  Nine hole play will be offered on all courses until 11 a.m.  Golf early...then head home in time for Thanksgiving Dinner!

Upcoming Events
Gem & Jewelry Show & Sale 
Municipal Auditorium
Fri., November 14 - Sun., November 16  
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Walk for Epilepsy 
Payne Park
Sat., November 15
8:30 a.m. - Noon

Outdoor Living & Home Expo  
Gulfstream Avenue
Sat., November 15 and Sun., November 16
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Chosen Few Motorcycle Gathering   
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
Sat., November 15
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Evil Dead:  The Musical
Tues., November 18 - 8 p.m.

Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis
Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis will perform at the Van Wezel Nov. 19. 

Wed., November 19 - 8 p.m.

Celtic Thunder Symphony
Thurs., November 20 - 7:30 p.m.

So You Think You Can Dance
Fri., November 21 - 8 p.m. 

Melissa Etheridge:  This is M.E.
Sun., November 23 - 7 p.m.

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2014 
Fri., November 28 - 8 p.m.

Kenny Rogers with Special Guest Linda Davis 
Sat., November 29 - 8 p.m.

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

In our 'Sarasota Scene' below, contributing photographer Norm Schimmel captured the musical festivities last week surrounding the re-launch of the Sarasota Keys downtown piano program.

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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