From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 12, 2015
This takes dining al fresco to a whole different level.  We spotted this osprey enjoying a sushi lunch high atop a utility pole on Lido Key adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.  Although Sarasota is an urban area, birds of prey like this osprey, seem to be quite comfortable here due to the close proximity of the Gulf and its excellent source of food.


  • City Commission
    Mon., June 15 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., June 17 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Board of Rules and Appeals
    Wed., June 17 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
City Records Manager
Crew Leader I - Solid Waste Division
Golf Course Attendant
IT - Manager, Professional Business Services
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Lifeguard I
Part-Time Administrative Specialist I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
School Crossing Guard
Treatment Plant Operator C
   Utilities Engineer (Contract)   

This Week's Items to Know:
Orange Ave. Closures:  June 15-19     You may want to consider alternate driving routes next week along Orange Ave.  Two portions of that road temporarily will be closed for utility improvements.

Orange Ave. between Loma Linda and Bahia Vista will be closed June 15-17 while Utilities crews install a new gravity sewer line.

Also, the Orange Ave.-State St. intersection will be closed June 15-19 while a new water main is connected. This is part of the
     The Orange Ave./State St. intersection 
               will be closed June 15-19.
ongoing construction for the new State Street Garage, which is nearing completion.  Currently, the Garage is slated to open by the end of June.  The State Street Garage, as you can see below, is shaping up to be a positive investment bringing a signature building to downtown along with almost 400 parking spaces to an area of the urban core that needs it. 
The State Street Garage is nearing completion and will be a landmark structure. 
Payne Park Playground - Closed Thru June 22    It seems there's no good time to close a playground as popular as the one at Payne
Tens of thousands of children visit the circus themed playground each year.
Park.  But, there comes a point when we have to conduct general maintenance on the play equipment.  So, the Payne Park playground is temporarily closed through June 22 while maintenance, repairs and improvements are done. 

Since the playground opened in 2012, one of the most popular features has been the splash pad.  During the closure, crews will remove the concrete surface and improve the drainage in the splash pad area.  The trees near the playground also will be trimmed.  And, the play equipment will be power washed and sanitized.

In the meantime, you may want to consider taking the kids or grandkids to one of the many other park playgrounds in the City, including Bayfront Park which features the Children's Fountain. 

A Public Works employee uses a jackhammer to break up a concrete slab
at the splash pad at the Payne Park playground.
Home Rule HERO Award - Mayor Shaw     We received word this week that Mayor Willie Shaw was selected by the Florida League of Cities to receive its prestigious Home Rule HERO Award.  This honor
Mayor Willie Shaw will receive the Florida League of Cities Home Rule HERO Award during a ceremony next month. 
recognizes the Mayor's advocacy for the protection of home rule rights not only in Sarasota but municipalities throughout the state.  This was especially true during the most recent Florida legislative session when Mayor Shaw traveled to Tallahassee to advocate for city issues with lawmakers. 

Home rule allows a municipality to enact ordinances, resolutions, codes etc. without prior state approval (although local laws cannot be in conflict with state or federal laws).  Essentially, home rule ensures that locally elected officials represent their constituents and implement policies and codes tailored to the local community.

To have an elected leader like Mayor Shaw, who understands the importance of home rule and is willing to fight for it is critical for local priorities and culture to thrive.  He is a champion for municipalities, and sister cities throughout the state greatly appreciate his commitment. 

The Home Rule HERO Award will be presented to Mayor Shaw next month during a ManaSota League of Cities meeting. 

Congratulations, Mayor Shaw, on this distinguished award!  

SPD Citizens Academy - Applications Open    Applications are now being accepted for the next SPD Citizens Academy which will begin in August.  This is an engaging and dynamic way to learn the ins and outs of our police department over 12 weeks.  The philosophy of partnership policing is explained in-depth as well as use of force policies and techniques. 

During one class, students play the role of a police officer and experience the emotional pressure of making split second decisions during a make believe dangerous situation. (This class has become a favorite with participants.)  They also take a field trip to the Knights Trail Park gun range and learn about firearms safety -- and actually shoot the kind of weapon SPD officers carry.

If you're interested in going through the SPD Citizens Academy, contact Officer Danny Robbins for more information:  941-954-0756.  Also, you can submit an application on line.  Click here to get started.
A recent SPD Citizens Academy class. 
Blue + You = Free Movie Night:  June 27    The Sarasota Police Department is kicking off summer vacation with a free outdoor movie night on Sat., June 27 at 8:30 p.m. at SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane. 

"Paddington", a family friendly film, will be shown on the west side of the building.  Bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy the movie under the stars.  SPD will provide the refreshments. 

Events like Blue + You movie night are possible because of generous sponsors, like the Sarasota Municipal Employees Credit Union, which is sponsoring this event.   Thank you, SMECU! 

Hope to see you at the movie!  (Rain date is Sun., June 28)


Upcoming Events 

St. Armands Craft Festival 
St. Armands 
Sat., June 13 and Sun., June 14    
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Feldenkrais Yoga 
Bayfront Community Center 
Wed., June 17
9:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Folk Dancers  
Bayfront Community Center 
Wed., June 17
7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  

Senior Ballroom Dancing
Bayfront Community Center
Thurs., June 18
10 a.m. - Noon

Scottish Dancers  
Bayfront Community Center
Thurs., June 18
7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Friday Fest 
FREE Outdoor Concert
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 
Fri., June 19 
5 p.m. 
Rock the Docks 
FREE Outdoor Concert
 Marina Jack 
Sat., June 20
5:30 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Friday Fest:  Kettle of Fish
Friday Fest kicks off June 19
with Kettle of Fish.

Fri., June 19 - 5 p.m. 
Free Outdoor Concert

American Idol Live!

Wed., July 8 - 7:30 p.m.

Friday Fest: Kim Betts & the Gamble Creek Band
Fri., July 10 - 5 p.m. 
Free Outdoor Concert

Friday Fest:  Yesterdayze
Fri., August 21 - 5 p.m. 

Friday Fest: Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul
Featuring The Hellacious Horns
Fri., Sept. 18 - 5 p.m. 

The Ultimate Doo Wop Show

Sat., Oct. 24 - 8 p.m.

Lewis Black:  The Rant is Due:  Part Deux
Fri., November 13 - 8 p.m.
Straight No Chaser will perform at the Van Wezel on Nov. 19.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 19 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker
Mon., December 28 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Kristin Chenoweth
Sat., February 27, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Subscriptions are now on sale for the upcoming 2015-2016 season of Broadway, dance, and orchestra performances. The digital edition of the 2015-2016 Subscriptions Brochure can be viewed by clicking here

To purchase tickets over the phone call 941-953-3368 or stop by the Box Office at 777 N.Tamiami Trail. 

For more information visit

We're taking a summer respite next week.  Weekly Briefs will return on June 26.

Thanks for reading this week's edition.  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox click 'Join Our Mailing List' below or send us an email at

Tom Barwin
City Manager