From the Desk of the Sarasota
City Manager
December 12, 2014
Sarasota and friends enjoyed a full slate of local holiday activities and other events throughout the community last weekend, including our own local hero Nik Wallenda entertaining a large crowd at Sarasota Ford to celebrate its renovation.  Nik's mental and physical strength, balance, agility and focus, as he does his work 100 feet above the ground -- with no net or tether -- continues to amaze us.  Thanks for wowing us again, Nik! (Photo courtesy/Norm Schimmel)


  • Bayfront 20:20
    Mon., December 15 - 3:30 p.m.
    Sarasota Garden Club - 1131 Boulevard of the Arts
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., December 17 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., December 17 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., December 17 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop 15-CW-07
    Thurs., December 18 - 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.
Admin Specialist I - SPD
Administrative Specialist I - NDS
Arborist I
Grants Coordinator
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
Sr. Case Manager  


This Week's Items to Know:
Hurricane Preparedness - Evacuation Zone Signs      You might notice some new hurricane preparedness signs being installed in some areas of the city.  This week, the Public Works Department started to install small hurricane evacuation zone signs, known as collars, on stop signs located in Zone A & Zone B.

Although there are five evacuation zones (A-E), only Zones A & B will have the signage because those areas are considered to be the most susceptible to storm surge and potentially the highest evacuation priorities during a tropical weather event.
Public Works employee Robert Wayne
Crawford installs an evacuation
Zone B collar.

In total, 367 collars will be attached to stop signs at key intersections and will remain in position year round.  We expect the installation should be finished within the next couple of months.

These collars go above and beyond FEMA requirements, as we strive to bolster hurricane preparedness and awareness throughout our community.

Thanks to our Emergency Manager Todd Kerkering who, along with our Public Works Department, coordinated with Sarasota County to make this project a reality. 

Lido Pool Video      When was the last time you visited Lido Pool?  Not only is it affordable, and yards from the Gulf of Mexico, it's a great place to swim laps or just relax.  Without question, it's one of the many wonderful treasures in our community.

In conjunction with Visit Sarasota County, we produced a marketing video about this amazing amenity.  Anecdotally, we've learned that visitors stumble across Lido Pool while they're exploring Lido Key.  Wouldn't it be nice if they knew it existed in advance?  That's our goal.

Research shows that online videos pack a powerful punch.  One
Lido Pool is an affordable community pool located on the Gulf of Mexico. 
research company, Forrester Research headquartered in Cambridge, MA, equates a one minute video with being far more effective than one million written words.  Perhaps more interesting, 90 percent of people who watch a marketing video say, ultimately, it was helpful in making a decision.

The Lido Pool video is now posted on social media, including the City and Visit Sarasota County sites.  We're hopeful that through the website and keyword searches, prospective visitors who like to pool swim will see it and discover that Lido Pool warrants being added to their Sarasota destination list.

Thanks to our Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg for initiating this no-cost idea and to videographer Eddie Kirsch at Visit Sarasota County for putting the finishing touches on it.  Check it out below -- and please share!

Lido Pool - Visit Sarasota County 
YouTube Video:  Visit Lido Pool. 
Students Tour Water Treatment Plant    The Utilities Department hosted a group of 6th graders last Friday to help them better understand the fascinating process of where our water comes from and how it is treated.  As part of a science class, approximately 60 students from St. Martha Catholic School took a field trip to the Utilities campus on 12th Street.  They were split into two groups with one gathering outside while the other was inside.  Then they switched.

The children walked the grounds and saw firsthand the large pipes and storage tanks and an actual production well, which are all part of the City's on-site water storage capacity.  Staff explained how the water is pumped from deep underground wells and is transported through a myriad of pipes, then is treated, stored and distributed to water customers when they turn on their tap, 24/7/365.
Water supervisor Pete Perez explains water
distribution to 6th grade science students.  
Inside the reverse osmosis water treatment plant control room, the children learned about water pressure, why it's important and how the City monitors and controls the pressure of the entire distribution system.  They also learned about the treatment process water goes through before it is deemed pure and healthy to drink.  And, when a question was asked about artesian wells, our water supervisor Pete Perez was happy to explain there are two artesian wells in the city limits and how they function.

We have a dedicated, knowledgeable and capable staff at our water treatment facility.  We appreciate them sharing information about the  inner workings of the City water plant and helping these young minds better understand the importance of our environment and water as a critical natural resource for life.
Utilities employee Martin Driscoll talks with 6th graders about water storage.

Blue + You = Free Holiday Movie Night    To help get into the holiday mood, the Sarasota Police Department is teaming up with the Sarasota Film Festival for a free moonlight showing of 'Elf'.  The
'Elf' will be shown on the exterior wall of the SPD Headquarters on Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
event will take place Monday, Dec. 22 on the west side of the SPD Headquarters building, 2099 Adams Lane.  The movie will start at 6:30 p.m., but families should arrive starting at 5 p.m. for prize drawings and fun surprises.  Non-perishable food items also will be collected and donated to the Mayors Feed the Hungry program and All Faiths Food Bank.  With every four items of food donated, you'll have a chance to win a prize.  There's plenty of room outside where the movie will be shown.  Bring your blankets and chairs -- and holiday spirit!

Public Art - Blue Lizards!      When the Steigerwaldt-Jockey Children's Fountain at Bayfront Park reopens in the spring, families will have two more animal statues to enjoy.  As part of the Public Art program, local artists Papo Cobian and his wife Danielle Glaysher-Cobian were commissioned by the City to design, create and install two blue Florida lizards which are now positioned along the steps
One of the two new blue lizard sculptures at the Children's Fountain.
leading down to the fountain along the bayfront.  Each hand painted lizard is made of concrete and weighs approximately 500 pounds.  The Cobians are quite familiar with the artwork here having created the original animal statues at the Children's Fountain.  They also provide routine maintenance on the pieces.

The lizard project cost $14,400, with those monies coming from the public art fund.  (That fund is the result of a public art requirement. Downtown area developers are required to make a contribution of one-half of one-percent of the construction value of their building permit, up to a maximum contribution of $250,000.  If a building permit exceeds $1 million, rather than a cash contribution, the developer may provide a public art piece with approval by the Public Art Committee.)  The Public Art Committee recommends how the funds are used, with approval from the City Commission.

Staff assured that the installation was coordinated with the seasonal closure of the Children's Fountain.  We hope everyone has a chance to check out these fun, colorful statues when the fountain reopens on April 1st.
Back row L to R:  Public Art Committee staff liaisons David Smith and
Nancy Kelly;  Front Row:  artist Danielle Glaysher-Cobian.

Van Wezel - Schooltime Performance      The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall had a very successful schooltime performance of "Stella, Queen of the Snow" this week.  It's based on a children's book about a girl and her little brother who experiences his first heavy snowfall.  Approximately, 3,000 students, teachers, and chaperones attended this delightful schooltime performance.

As part of a special project, over 200 first graders from Gocio Elementary and Southside Elementary were paired together in a program called 'Classroom Connections' that is designed to encourage dialogue amongst two schools from the same district which normally would not have much interaction.

Before the show, the children from the different schools got to meet each other via video conference.  Then, after seeing the performance, they discussed it together as a group at the Van Wezel -- and explored the fun possibilities of having their own adventurous snow day.  Students and teachers alike were happy to make new friends and participate in a one of a kind drama experience.

We appreciate the Van Wezel staff continually striving to find just the right mix of performances for our community, including children's shows.  It's wonderful that our community can introduce children to the cultural arts at a young age and nurture their spirit of imagination and creativity.  And, thank you to the Van Wezel Foundation for making these schooltime performances a reality by covering the expense of school bus transportation.

Upcoming Events
Southside Village Stroll
Osprey Avenue
Fri., December 12
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Gem & Jewelry Show & Sale  
Municipal Auditorium
Sat. and Sun., December 13 & 14
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Porsches in the Park 
St. Armands Circle
Sat., December 13
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
Sat., December 13  
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.  

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Bowzer's Rock & Roll Holiday Party
Tues., December 16 - 8 p.m.
Jon Bauman is "Bowzer" at the Van Wezel on  
Dec. 16. 

A Christmas Carol 
Sun., December 21 - 7 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker 
Sat., December 27 - 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Jungle Jack Hanna's Into The Wild Live! 
Sun., December 28 - 7 p.m.

Shen Yun Orchestra & Performing Arts 
Mon., December 29 - 7:30 p.m.

Guys and Dolls 
Guys and Dolls will be performed at the Van Wezel on Dec. 30. 
Tues., December 30 - 8 p.m.

Vanessa Williams
Fri., January 2, 2015 - 8 p.m. 

Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert 
Sat., January 3, 2015 - 8 p.m.

For more information visit

The autumn season is providing an abundance of sights, sounds and fresh produce at our Saturday and Wednesday Farmers Market, as depicted in the 'Sarasota Scene' photo below. We hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading this week's updates and I hope you have a terrific weekend.  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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