From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 2, 2015
Many businesses already are gearing up for the holiday weekend. We spotted this patriotic scene outside Flatbreads on Main.  This weekend should be very busy with many special events planned to help celebrate the birth of our nation. For a schedule of activities scroll down to 'Upcoming Events'


  • City Commission
    Mon., July 6 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., July 8 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Bobby Jones Golf Club Study Committee
    Thurs., July 9 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop 15-CW-16
    Thurs., July 9 - 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.

Crew Leader I - Solid Waste Division
Golf Course Attendant
IT - Manager, Professional Business Services
Lifeguard I
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
School Crossing Guard
   Utilities Engineer (Contract)   

This Week's Items to Know:
Powerboat Grand Prix - What You Need to Know   There are some changes to the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival this year.  One of the biggest changes is that offshore races will be held on both Saturday and Sunday at Lido Beach.

Please note:  Unattended items will not be permitted on the beach.  The beach parking lot will open each race morning at 6:30 a.m. and vendors/spectators will be allowed to start setting up at sunrise each  day (approximately 6:40 a.m.). 

Races are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The races will be held on Saturday and Sunday this year. 

As we mentioned in last week's edition of Weekly Briefs, we expect a lot of traffic heading to and from Lido Key.  Please consider taking a
free trolley shuttle to help alleviate traffic congestion. Free trolley rides will be available 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. between Palm Ave. and the Lido Beach Pavilion on July 4 and 5.  For more details click here

Road closures in downtown will start as early as 10 a.m. on Fri., July 3rd for the big evening Boat Parade.  Also, the 10th Street Boat Ramp and New Pass will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.  For more detailed information on closures click here.

When you're at the beach, please remember to be kind to the
FREE trolley rides will be offered between the Palm Ave. Garage and Lido Beach on July 4 and 5. 
environment and wildlife.  Walk in designated areas only.  Do not disturb sea turtles and their nests, and avoid bothering the seabirds, especially the black skimmers which are a species of concern.  Our friends at Mote Marine have more tips on being kind to marine life here.

In its 31st year here in Sarasota raising funds for children's charities, the Powerboat Grand Prix Festival continues to gain in popularity.  There is so much interest, the races will be featured during a one hour prime time special on CBS Sports Network to be aired on Wed., July 15 at 7 p.m.  

To learn more about the Grand Prix click here.

Let's make it a fun, safe and festive weekend! 
FDEP Consent Order Closed    Since 2006, the City Commissions have been committed to funding the necessary capital improvements for the City's wastewater collection system to meet the requirements set out by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in a consent order.

Over the years, significant capital improvements were made including rehabilitating eight master lift stations, replacing or lining pipes throughout the system, and installing a remote monitoring system.

The fundamental way of handling operations and maintenance was also changed.  Lift stations are now inspected and documented daily, thorough records are maintained and a new protocol was developed specifically to respond to an emergency at a lift station.
FDEP representatives meeting with City staff last week and conducting
an on-site inspection at Lift Station 7. 
FDEP representatives were in Sarasota last week to complete one last inspection before closing the consent order.  Two days later, the City received a letter stating the consent order is officially closed.

The bottom line:  the City's infrastructure is more reliable and Sarasota Bay is cleaner and healthier.  And, the City no longer will face possible fines due to the consent order.

Closing this consent order is a significant achievement which required substantial funding, planning and implementation.  I'd like to thank all the City Commissions over the years which supported the capital improvements to bring us to this successful conclusion.  Also, a big thank you to Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell and his team for implementing the system improvements.

Neighborhood News:  Lido Key Sidewalk Work    The sidewalk which runs through the median on Boulevard of the Presidents on Lido Key will be temporarily closed while some necessary improvements are made.  The closure is scheduled to begin July 6 and last for approximately one month.

The five wooden bridges along the pathway will be replaced with bridges constructed with a material that is more tolerant of our sunny, hot and rainy weather conditions. 

Since this is the only sidewalk in the area we urge pedestrians to be careful when walking in the area.
One of the five wooden pedestrian bridges which will be replaced. 
Hart's Landing Area - Road Closed July 8     The access road and parking lot area at Eloise Werlin Causeway Park, Tony Saprito Pier and Hart's Landing will be temporarily closed Wed., July 8 while an invasive Australian pine tree is removed.
An invasive Australian pine will be removed on July 8. 

The tree is adjacent to the newly reopened Hart's Landing building and is threatening the foundation and dock, as well as the stability of the shoreline.  A native Florida shade tree will be planted to replace it.

The removal is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Hart's Landing plans to be closed that day.  The playground and Saprito Pier will be open to the public.

U.S. 41 Traffic Improvements     To help alleviate traffic congestion during season, FDOT has determined a right turn lane is needed from northbound U.S. 41 to eastbound Fruitville Road.  To construct the right turn lane, FDOT is considering adding a traffic separator from Gulfstream Avenue to south of Fruitville Road.  A traffic separator is a stretch of concrete which is placed in the middle of the road between opposing lanes.

When FDOT recently shifted the lanes on U.S. 41 near Fruitville, some drivers were initially confused.  A traffic separator spanning approximately 1,200 feet would prevent motorists from driving into oncoming traffic. The addition of the separator would eliminate the left turn movements from U.S. 41 onto side streets and vice versa.

This is a proposed plan right now.  Draft design plans are scheduled to be available for review at the Selby Library in downtown until early August.

Then, FDOT plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal on Mon., August 3 at 5 p.m. at the Selby Library. Public input will be accepted.  For more information click here.

I'd like to thank FDOT for pursuing this project quickly.  We look forward to any and all improvements that will help traffic flow as we continue to see record numbers of visitors to our beautiful area.

City Hall Closed - July 3     Reminder:  City Hall administrative offices will be closed tomorrow Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day.  Garbage, recycling and yard waste collection will not be impacted.

The Children's Fountain will be open on July 3 (10 a.m. - 7 p.m. weather permitting) and closed on July 4.

Upcoming Events 

Powerboats By the Bay
 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Parking Lot  
Fri., July 3:  Noon - 5 p.m.
Sat., July 4:  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sun., July 5:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Powerboats Block Party  
Lemon Avenue 
Fri., July 3
4 p.m. - Midnight   

Parade of Boats
Main Street  
Fri., July 3  
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
The Parade of Boats 

Powerboats Display
Main Street  
Fri., July 3  
7:30 p.m. - Midnight

Powerboat Hot Pits 
Centennial Park
Sat., July 4:  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sun., July 5:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Powerboat Races 
Lido Beach
Sat., July 4:  & Sun. July 5:  Starting at 10 a.m.

Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular 
Bayfront Island Park
Sat., July 4
         9 p.m.       

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

John Cleese and Eric Idle will be at the Van Wezel on Fri., October 2.
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. 
Free Outdoor Concert

John Cleese and Eric idle
Fri., October 2 - 7:30 p.m.

Shen Yun Orchestra 
Tues., October 13 - 7:30 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.
Tickets are on sale to see Kristin Chenoweth on Feb. 27, 2016. 

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.

Linda Eder with Robert Cuccioli
Thurs., March 24, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Subscriptions are 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

On America's weekend, whether you're heading to Lido Key for sand, sun and the powerboat races, Bayfront Park for the fireworks display, or relaxing with friends and family, I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend in our special city. 

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