From the Desk of the Sarasota
City Manager
December 19, 2014
The skyline in our downtown continues to change.  This is the view from the 10th floor of what soon will be an Aloft hotel located at Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard.  When finished, the building will house 138 hotel rooms, 139 apartments, a restaurant and retail space.  And, the project reached a significant milestone last week when the construction contractor held a "topping off" ceremony.  That signifies the vertical construction is substantially completed and interior construction will begin.  150 construction workers and many community dignitaries were treated to a holiday luncheon at the construction site last Friday to commemorate the placement of the final beam.  As part of the festivities, a Christmas tree even was hoisted up to the top floor, where I took this photo overlooking Sarasota Bay.


No meetings scheduled at this time

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Arborist I
Grants Coordinator
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Sr. Case Manager 
Sustainability Coordinator


Holiday Trash Collection 

No garbage, recycling, yard waste or bulk waste collection on Christmas Day -- Thursday., Dec. 25.

Regular Thursday pickup will be on Friday, Dec. 26.

Regular Friday pickup will be on Saturday, Dec. 27.


This Week's Items to Know:
Shop with a Cop      This holiday season is much brighter for many families in our community thanks to a program at the Sarasota Police
Officers Jessica Sullivan and Jamyi Delcos with
Jaylen Lorde and Cameron Canady. 
Department called 'Shop with a Cop'.  For the third year, SPD teamed up with the Sarasota Housing Authority to take 100 children shopping for the holidays.  With donations from police officers, community members, local churches, and businesses, Target gift cards were purchased.  Then, before the store opened to the public last Saturday (and well before sunrise), the children and their families were paired with a SPD officer, and, together, they meandered through the aisles for two hours searching for the perfect presents.  As you can imagine, the store was filled with lots of smiling faces. And, for 18 children who
Officer Ross Revill with Opal Jones and her children Kyanna Scruggs and Mireya Scruggs. 
couldn't attend the event last weekend, an encore 'Shop with a Cop' will take place next week.

It's important for children to develop a sense of trust and respect for police officers at an early age.  This fun-filled shopping experience, alongside those who are sworn to protect the community, will have a lasting positive impression on these children. 

Thank you to the many men and women of the SPD who gave up their Saturday morning to participate in the event and make this a happy holiday season for lots of kids.  And, thanks to Bill Russell, Executive Director of the Sarasota Housing Authority, for appreciating the significance of this program and helping to implement it. 
SPD officers and volunteers who participated in 'Shop with a Cop'.

SPD Citizen Volunteer Recognition     We have one of the hardest working police departments on the west coast of Florida, and we know SPD wouldn't be the same without our dedicated citizen volunteers.  To express our appreciation for these 62 individuals who give so much
The SPD command staff helped serve dinner at the SPD Citizen Volunteer recognition banquet. 
of their time to the City, we hosted a banquet in their honor last Friday night.  To make it an extra special event, many members of the SPD command staff were on hand serving dinner, including Chief Bernadette DiPino, Capt. Pat Robinson, Capt. Corrine Stannish, Lt. Kevin Stiff, Sgt. Eric Bolden and Sgt. Bryan Graham -- not something you see every day!  Vice Mayor Susan Chapman, Commissioner Suzanne Atwell and Commissioner Stan Zimmerman also attended and thanked the volunteers for their contributions to our community.

Awards were distributed for outstanding volunteerism, as well as the number of hours served during the 2014 calendar year.  An impressive 16 volunteers received gold awards for volunteering at least 250 hours, and five were honored for giving over 4,000 hours of service since 2011.  Each month, volunteers contribute an average of 1,300 hours which is equivalent to eight full time employees provided to SPD at no cost.

These volunteers help with administrative duties and provide extra eyes and ears on the streets during large events, like the recent Holiday Parade.  They are ambassadors for the City and the SPD, and provide an extra dimension to our partnership policing philosophy which is being embraced in our community.  Thank you for your service!

If you're interested in becoming a SPD volunteer contact Michelle Rinaca at or 941-366-2845.

L to R:  Chief Bernadettte DiPino, Volunteer of the Year Joanne Gonet
and Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca. 
Cardboard Recycling  It's that time of year when lots of cardboard boxes are being discarded.  As part of our citywide residential recycling program, Waste Management collects cardboard curbside -- provided it is broken into small pieces.  Large, intact boxes clog the recycling machinery and cannot be accepted. So, boxes that are not broken down ultimately could end up in the landfill rather than being recycled.  Please consider the environment this holiday season, and take a couple of minutes to cut unwanted cardboard boxes into manageable pieces. 

Check out this brief video to see what Waste Management will and will not accept:

Recycling Cardboard Boxes 
YouTube Video:  Recycling Cardboard Boxes 
Consider Giving the Gift of Golf     The calendar is quickly winding down to the holidays.  If you're still in need of a stocking stuffer or last minute present, consider giving the gift of golf!  Our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club, offers 45 holes of affordable play for golfers of all experience levels. 

With the original 18 holes designed in 1925 by world renowned architect Donald Ross, the Bobby Jones complex is steeped in history, attracting visitors from around the world who want to experience the nostalgia firsthand.  And, for duffers who enjoy Mother Nature, Bobby Jones is particularly appealing with sandhill cranes, ospreys, bald eagles, and alligators seen regularly.  Even a panther was spotted last year on the British Course. 

To purchase a gift card, stop by the Bobby Jones Golf Club shop, 1000 Circus Blvd., 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily or call 941-954-4163.  

Street Resurfacing - Update    The annual street resurfacing program will continue into the New Year, as approximately nine miles of roads are milled and paved throughout the city.  The following streets are scheduled to be repaved in January:

- Bay Shore Road
- Lemon Ave. (Dr. MLK, Jr. Way to Clark)
- Lemon Ave. (6th to 10th)
- Goodrich Ave.
- 15th St.
- 10th St.
- Central Ave.
- Boulevard of the Arts (Cocoanut Ave. to terminus)
- Alleys west of Central Ave.
- Alleys east of Lemon Ave.

We're nearing completion of this extensive annual project, which helps maintain our quality of life.  Please drive carefully and be on the lookout for crews who will be working in the streets.
A crew milling 12th Street last month.  The annual street
resurfacing program will continue into 2015.   

Upcoming Events
Sarasota Snow Fest
Payne Park
Fri. & Sat., December 19 & 20:  Noon - 10 p.m.
Sun., December 21:  Noon - 8 p.m.

Homeless Memorial Candlelight Service
The Salvation Army Center of Hope - 1400 10th St.
Mon., December 22
6 p.m.

Blue + You Free Movie Night 
SPD Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane
(Movie will be shown outside)
Mon., December 22
6:30 p.m.

Christmas Eve by Candlelight

Selby Five Points Park
Wed., December 24
6:30 p.m. 

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

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! 
A Christmas Carol will be at the
Van Wezel on Dec. 21. 
Sun., December 28 - 7 p.m.

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

Guys and Dolls 
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
On behalf of the city government of the City of Sarasota, we wish you the very best this holiday season.  Looking forward to working with you in 2015!

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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