From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 1, 2015
We celebrated Arbor Day once again this year by planting a tree at one of our local schools with the help of students.  A gold tree was planted this morning (Fri., May 1) at Alta Vista Elementary School, after Mayor Willie Shaw read a proclamation declaring Arbor Day throughout the City.  In this photo, 8-year-old Jacky Flores drops a shovel of dirt around the tree as principal Barbara Shirley watches.  We appreciate staff taking the time to remind children about the environmental importance of trees and helping to plant this one, which the students will be able to watch grow in their school yard.


  • State Street Public Information Meeting
    Mon., May 4 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • City Commission
    Mon., May 4 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Sarasota Bayfront 20:20
    Tues., May 5 - 4 p.m.
    Sarasota Orchestra - 709 N. Tamiami Trail
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., May 6  - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Administrative Specialist II
Dir. of Special Initiative on Chronic Homelessness
Golf Course Attendant
Information Systems Security Analyst
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Maintenance Tech I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
Senior Pension Analyst
   Utilities Engineer (Contract)   

This Week's Items to Know:
Chronic Homeless Action Plan - 1st Contribution    The Downtown Improvement District became the first entity in our community to make a financial contribution to the City's newly adopted 8-point action plan to address the chronic homeless.  On Tuesday, the DID unanimously voted to provide $12,000 in funding to our initiative.  The monies will be officially transferred through a budget amendment later this month and will help fund a housing first program and other chronic homeless initiatives in Sarasota County.

The DID is a 5-member board appointed by the City Commission which oversees a $345,000 budget for a special taxing district in downtown.  To learn more about the DID visit their website:

We greatly appreciate the DID's generosity and interest in helping us find and fund both short term and long term solutions for this complex issue.
 Homeless Veterans Stand Down    For the third consecutive year, Jewish Family & Children Services coordinated a Homeless Veterans Stand Down this past weekend, to connect homeless vets with vital services.   We're told it was one of the most successful events yet.  From what I saw firsthand, it was a well run and much needed community effort.

A total of 207 homeless individuals from throughout the region were registered and received assistance (138 veterans and 69 non-vets).  All were entered into HMIS, a computerized data collection system, using information the
Talking with David Sutton of The Salvation Army
during the 2015 Veterans Stand Down. 
individuals were willing and able to provide.  (This is the data system the City wants to utilize without compromising an individual's personal information due to Florida's public records laws.  Access to HMIS is one of the points in the City's recently adopted 8-point action plan to address the chronic homeless issue.)

20 social service agencies, from Coastal Behavioral to The Salvation Army to Alcoholics Anonymous, were on site with information booths set up to provide details about their available services.  Each registered homeless individual received a punch card.  After receiving six punches, confirming they had talked with six different agencies at the event and learned about their services, the person was eligible to move on to an adjacent location, where free clothing, non-perishable food supplies and hygiene services were offered, including haircuts, manicures and pedicures by a team from Manatee Technical Institute.

Representatives from the Sarasota Police Department and our Homeless Outreach Team also participated in the event.
Items given to registered individuals during the 2015 Veterans Stand Down included: dress shirt, tank tops, linens, deodorant, soap, mosquito repellant, non-perishable food, canteen, and duffel bag. 

Registration took place at the Health Department on Ringling Blvd.  The City opened the doors of the Municipal Auditorium, once again this year, and that building served as the hub for the supply distribution. 

Thanks to JFCS for coordinating the event and all the social service agencies who participated.  We hope this is more than a one day event -- that the homeless individuals will stay connected with the community and receive treatment for possible mental health or substance issues, and ultimately get off the streets and into housing.

JFCS produced a YouTube video showing images from the Stand Down.  If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to watch.

 2015 Veterans Stand Down 
YouTube Video:  2015 Veterans Stand Down
State St. Garage - Painting Begins Soon    As of this writing,  an exciting phase of the State Street Garage is scheduled to begin soon:  painting the exterior of the structure.  This is slated to start late next week or possibly the following week.  When that occurs, to accommodate the paint crews, State Street between Lemon Ave. and Orange Ave. will be temporarily closed during the daytime from approximately 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Also, sometime next week we anticipate Lemon Ave. between State St. and Pineapple Ave. will be temporarily closed for approximately 10 days while utilities crews make water and sewer connections in the area.  The road may be opened to traffic periodically, so keep an eye out.

These construction schedules are very fluid and sometimes change unexpectedly.  Thanks again for your patience!  And, remember -- the Saturday Farmer's Market remains open during the construction.

Crews are scheduled to begin painting the State Street Garage soon. 
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Men's City Championship    The first two rounds of the 44th Annual Men's City Championship were played under good conditions at Bobby Jones Golf Club this past weekend.  Now, we have two more to play this Saturday and Sunday!

After 36 holes, the overall leader is Antione Santarelli at 6 under par. Bobby Jones Logo   He's followed closely by 2-year defending champion Phil Walters at  -3 and Brandon Johnson at -2.  To see all the gross scores click here.

It's shaping up to be an exciting end to the tournament.  The final two rounds with over 90 competitors will be played on May 2 and 3 on the British Course.  You're welcome to join the fun as part of the gallery and walk the tournament course for $2 or ride for $10.

Hosting a large tournament over two weekends requires a tremendous amount of planning, coordination and collaboration.  We appreciate staff's stellar efforts to make the Men's City Championship another successful event. 

 Sea Turtle Nesting Season - May 1 to Oct. 31    Today marks the official start of sea turtle nesting season, but already the Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Patrol has documented two loggerhead nests in Sarasota County -- one on Siesta Key and the other in Venice.  We anticipate the turtles will nest on Lido Beach soon!  (Last year, just under 100 nests were discovered on Lido.)

With the early start to the season, Mote biologists are optimistic we will experience another strong turtle nesting season like last year which was a near record with 2,461 confirmed nests stretching from Longboat Key down to Venice.

A few turtle-friendly reminders for those living along the beach:
  • Shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach
  • Close drapes after dark
  • Stack beach furniture or remove it from the beach
  • Fill in holes that may trap turtle hatchlings
  • Observe turtle nests from a distance

If you encounter a nest that you believe has not been documented or suspect someone has tampered with a nest, you're encouraged to contact the Mote Marine Turtle Patrol:  941-388-4331.  

A member of the Sea Turtle Patrol marks the first nest of the
2015 season in Sarasota County. 
Grass Clippings/Leaves - Keep Roadways Clear    As the rainy season approaches, we'd like to remind everyone to keep our roadways clear of grass clippings and leaves.

Grass and yard debris in the stormwater system can impede drainage and possibly lead to flooding and potentially costly maintenance.  It also can threaten the environment.  As clippings and
A scene like this can create problems for the stormwater system and the environment. You're urged to keep grass clippings and leaves out of the street. 
other natural detritus decomposes, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are released which can cause algae blooms in our waterways and possibly fish kills.

Consider keeping the grass clippings on your lawn or placing them in a container for curbside yard waste collection.

If you have any questions, regarding yard waste collection, please contact:  941-497-8088.

Upcoming Events

  Gem, Jewelry & Bead Show 
Municipal Auditorium 
 Fri. - Sun., May 1-3
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

March for Babies 
Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park & Ringling Bridge
Sat., May 2
8 a.m. - Noon


Viva Sarasota 
Main Street
Sat., May 2
Noon - 10 p.m. 
Selby Five Points Park
Sat., May 2
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Classic Corvette Car Show 
St. Armands Circle Park
Sat., May 2
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Upcoming Shows at the Van Wezel

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

For more information visit

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Tom Barwin
City Manager