From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 24, 2015
An unusually high number of children were at City Hall on Thursday, as we participated in Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day.  This national event is intended to give youngsters a better understanding of their parents' duties and responsibilities in the workplace.  In addition to the kids spending time with their parents at their desks, we offered demonstrations about some of the things we do as City employees.  Our Landscape Division taught the kids about native plants at City Hall and helped them make wildflower seed balls to take home and plant.  And, a demonstration by the SPD K9 unit captivated the children's attention.  In this photo,  10-year-old Natalia Urbanski and her 13-year-old sister Cibele enjoyed meeting K9 Hixon up close before his work demonstration.  When it's time for these youngsters to select a career, perhaps some will consider public service work.  Thanks to our Human Resources Department, K9 Unit and Landscape Division for making this a fun, interactive day for the kids!  More photos from the day are posted on our Facebook page.


  • City Commission Workshop
    Mon., April 27 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., April 28 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Bobby Jones Golf Club Study Cmte
    Tues., April 28 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Special City Commission
    Tues., April 28 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., April 29 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • ManaSota League of Cities Special Meeting
    Thurs., April 30 - 9:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Administrative Specialist II
Booking House Operations Manager
Dir. of Special Initiative on Chronic Homelessness
Golf Course Attendant
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Maintenance Tech I
Maintenance Tech I - SPD
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
Sr. Case Manager
   Utilities Engineer (Contract)   

This Week's Items to Know:
 Dir. of Special Initiative on Chronic Homelessness     On Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved "with gusto" an 8-point plan to better address the chronic homeless issue.  One of the eight points is to bring an individual on board who will direct and coordinate our homeless efforts and work with the community to carry out our strategic plan. 

The ideal candidate will understand the unique challenges in Sarasota with the chronic homeless, while being able to leverage opportunities with our amazing philanthropic community and social services partners. 

We're looking for someone committed to successfully advancing the action strategies detailed in our plan.  The results oriented person will have a passion for success, exceptional communication skills, with an ability to interact effectively with our diverse community partners.  The initial priority will be to organize and launch a Housing First program to respond to the chronic homeless challenge in the City and County. 

The individual also will facilitate an affordable housing collaborative with a goal of building 100 units per year in Sarasota County over the next five years; explore partnerships to construct a small, short stay navigational center at a centralized location in Sarasota County; double the number of mental health beds in Sarasota County over the next two years; and explore a countywide ballot initiative to raise funds via a 'sin tax' or other fee to help finance the efforts to minimize homelessness in Sarasota County.  (To read the 8-point plan click here.)

The position is expected to be posted by this weekend on the City's employment opportunities webpage. The post will include a detailed description and online application.  Look for it -- coming soon -- here.

Facebook - Refreshed   The City of Sarasota Facebook page has been refreshed and is being updated regularly with new and relevant information.  We post announcements about everything from road closures to job openings to community events.  And, of course, you'll see beautiful scenes from around town which highlight why we live in Sarasota and so many visit.

You can find the page at:  www.Facebook/CityofSarasota or just scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click the Facebook icon.  We encourage you not only to 'like' the page, but to visit it frequently.  With recent changes to Facebook, there's no guarantee all our posts will end up in your news feed. By visiting the page, you won't miss a single post!

Our current Facebook cover photo is courtesy of contributing
photographer Norm Schimmel. 
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Marketing Video   We have an informative, new marketing video for our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club, thanks to a partnership with Visit Sarasota County. 

The 2-minute video was shot and edited recently by VSC.  Many unique features about Bobby Jones are highlighted, including that it's a 324 acre facility with a wide range of wildlife right in the city limits.  Viewers learn that the 45-holes at Bobby Jones are for every skill level -- from novice duffer to seasoned high amateur.  The video also provides a historical tutorial about the indelible connection between Sarasota and the birth of golf in the U.S.  There's a lot to see and hear in that 2 minutes!

Bobby Jones Golf Club 
The video is now posted on the Bobby Jones website as well as City and VSC social media sites, so golfers contemplating a visit to Sarasota can get an idea of what the complex is like before arriving.
Customers tend to stay longer on websites that have video content. And, they're more likely to make a purchase.  We hope this holds true for Bobby Jones. 

Thanks again to Virginia Haley and her crew at VSC for facilitating this well done production and ensuring our 3 million plus visitors each year have an opportunity to see this urban jewel.      

 Bobby Jones - Men's City Championship   Don't forget -- the 44th Bobby Jones Logo Annual Men's City Championship will be held at Bobby Jones this weekend (April 25 and 26).  95 players are registered to compete on the British Course.  

This is a competitive tournament that attracts high caliber players and quality action on the course.  To see the pairings for Round 1 click here.

We invite you to join the fun as part of the gallery and walk the course.  The final rounds of the tournament will be held the following weekend on May 2 and 3. 

 SPD - Special Olympics Torch Run    I'm proud to announce that the Sarasota Police Department participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics once again this year!

If you were near the Paradise Publix on S. Osprey Ave. on Thursday, you may have seen the excitement, with a police escort leading the way for a Special Olympian and SPD officers as they ran their leg of the event --- just over 3 miles to Selby Five Points Park.

The Torch Run is a 1,500 mile relay by law enforcement officers in all 67 counties in Florida.  For well over 20 years, SPD has participated in the event, which is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games.  If you'd like more information or would like to make a donation, visit

Thanks again to our officers for taking the time to participate in this worthwhile cause and making the world a better place.

2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. 
Towles Court Art - H.S. Art Award   Congratulations to Booker High School student Krystal Combs -- winner of the Towles Court Art Association's inaugural High School Art Award. The juried award came with a $500 prize which was presented last week as
This self portrait earned Krystal Combs first place for the inaugural Towles Court High School Art Award.  
part of the Towles Court Third Friday Art Walk.

Krystal is a graduating senior and was honored for her well done and unique self portrait. The piece is especially striking when you consider she is a young adult just beginning to hone her craft.  So much talent at such a young age!

Two honorable mentions also were  recognized with $100 awards:  Suncoast Polytechnical High student Devin Dixon and Booker High student David Klos.  We wish them all the best as they prepare to graduate and pursue their artistic endeavors.

If you haven't visited Towles Court recently, I encourage you to do so!  One of Sarasota's oldest art districts, it truly is a hidden treasure.  Join them for Third Friday Walk 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. at 1038 Adams Lane.  To learn more about this unique area visit  The next Third Friday Walk is May 15.

Bette Stevens, Towles Court Art Association President, presenting first place winner Krystal Combs with a $500 cash prize. 

Upcoming Events

  Men's City Championship   
Bobby Jones Golf Club
Sat. and Sun., April 25 & 26
7:30 a.m.

Suncoast Blues Festival  
Sarasota Fairgrounds
Fri. and Sat., April 24 & 25
11 a.m. - 10 p.m.


SCAT Try Transit Day 
Sat., April 25
Seagrass Survey
Ken Thompson Park
Sat., April 25
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

 Pines Rehab Run to Remember   
Bayshore Road area
Sat., April 25
7:15 a.m. - 10 a.m.

World of Beer Grand Opening
Main Street & Links 
Sat., April 25 
11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Homeless Veterans Stand Down 
Payne Park Auditorium
Sat., April 25
Noon - 6 p.m.
(Registration at Sarasota County Health Dept:  8 a.m. - Noon)


SFF Moonlight Movie:  Dolphin Tale 
Lido Beach
Sat., April 25

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

Celtic Woman
Fri., April 24 - 7:30 p.m.

Kathy Griffin
Sun., April 26 - 7 p.m.

American Idol Live!
Wed., July 8 - 7:30 p.m.

For more information visit

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Tom Barwin
City Manager