From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 17, 2015
This was the serene scene along Sarasota Bay last Friday night during our popular Friday Fest free concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  Two more Friday Fests will be held this summer:  August 21 and September 18.  Mark your calendars -- the fun starts at 5 p.m. weather permitting.


  • City Commission
    Mon., July 20 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., July 21 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Board of Rules and Appeals
    Wed., July 22 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., July 22 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Bobby Jones Golf Club Study Committee
    Thurs., July 23 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Control Systems Tech I
Lifeguard I
Manager, Information Technology
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Refuse Equipment Operator
   Utilities Engineer (Contract)   

This Week's Items to Know:
Orange/Main Roundabout  - Construction Starts July 22  A much anticipated transportation improvement project in our downtown is scheduled to begin next week on Wed., July 22.  That's when construction will begin on a modern roundabout at Orange Avenue and Main Street. 

While we're looking forward to the improved safety and efficiency of the new roundabout, the process to get there will be temporarily inconvenient, as is the case with most construction.

We expect the Orange Ave./Main St. intersection to be temporarily closed from July 22 through September.  Then, it will be partially opened to traffic while crews finish the project.  The goal is to have it substantially completed in time for the Veterans Day Parade, on Wed., November 11th.

Also, as part of the Utilities Department's Capital Improvement Plan, some older A-C water lines will be replaced under the roundabout, which will be good for the overall water distribution system throughout the city.

The new State Street Garage will soon provide ample parking for citizens heading toward businesses on Main St. between Lemon Ave. and Orange Ave.

City staff is working closely with the contractor, Jon F. Swift Construction, to ensure the public is updated regularly on the progress of this project.  We expect to have regular updates posted on the City of Sarasota website  On the homepage, click the construction hard hat to view a list of ongoing improvement projects, including the roundabout at Orange and Main.

Payne Park Playground - Closure July 20-27     The playground at Payne Park will be temporarily closed next week while crews complete the second and final phase of improvements to the playground this summer.

New surface material at the splash pad will be installed, a
The playground will be closed July 20-27. 
portion of the turf grass will be replaced and all of it will re-sanded and leveled.  Also, a crawling tube and swing will be replaced, plus new chimes will be installed at the musical play area.

Depending on Mother Nature, we anticipate the playground will reopen late in the day on Mon., July 27th.

The circus themed playground is popular year round with families.  And, we appreciate the community's patience as we make necessary repairs and improvements to the area due to its popularity and heavy use. 

Facebook - 1,000 'Likes'     We hit a milestone this week in the social media world.  Our City of Sarasota Facebook page now has 1,000 'likes'! 

We update the page regularly with a mixture of beautiful scenes from our community as well as information about events, and news you need to know.  Thanks to our Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg, for working diligently to keep our Facebook page fresh, interesting and timely.

You can find our Facebook page at
or scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click the Facebook icon.

Bobby Jones Summer Camp - Aug. 10-12     A third and final summer camp will be held at Bobby Jones Golf Club next month, August 10-12.  The first one, held in June, was very popular (in fact, it sold out) and the Bobby Jones Logo second camp, scheduled for next week, also is full.  We're very pleased so many youngsters are interested in developing their golf skills at our municipal course. 
The registration fee is $100 per student age 8-18.  That includes 2.5 hours of instruction for three days by our on-site PGA professional -- plus, there's a a kid-friendly lunch each day after the instruction.

To learn more or register your child or grandchild, contact the golf shop:  941-954-4163.  
Hurricane Preparedness Exercise     To help us prepare for a possible natural disaster, the City participated in a hurricane preparedness exercise with Sarasota County last week.  A
The Multi-Agency Coordination Center at the County's EOC. 
make-believe scenario was established that a tropical storm had impacted Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties.  Specific pretend incidents, including a tornado touching down, people stranded on a roof, street flooding and a building collapse, were all presented to the participants to see how they would respond and how prepared we are for an incident.

This was the first exercise held at the County's new Emergency Operations Center, southeast of Cattleman Rd. and Bahia Vista St.  As you may recall, the City now has a fully operational EOC at the SPD Headquarters.  During an emergency situation, City staff liaisons will continue to work at the County EOC to help coordinate resources and the flow of information.

We appreciate the County facilitating this exercise and our City Emergency Manager, Todd Kerkering, assuring that our City staff members understand their roles and how we'll interact with Sarasota County to meet the needs of the community should an emergency situation arise. 
Emergency Manager Todd Kerkering with Deputy Operations Chief Rich Meier.   
Parking Manager - Professional Certification     Congratulations to our Parking Manager, Mark Lyons, who officially graduated this month as a Certified Administrator of Public Parking.  In the parking profession, a CAPP certification from the
  Mark Lyons being presented with a CAPP certification.
International Parking Institute is the most valued and well respected credential available.  It acknowledges an individual's proficiency in parking knowledge and leadership in the field.

While Mark passed his certification exam last fall, a formal ceremony was held recently during the IPI annual conference.  He and 40+ other parking professionals in the class of 2015 were honored for their achievement.

During the conference, Mark moderated a discussion about new trends in parking with participants from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and England.

With the State Street Garage nearing completion and discussions underway on how to fund and construct a parking structure on St. Armands Circle, we are in a good position with Mark's expertise in this arena.  Kudos! 
Vintage & Collectibles Fair - July 18 & 19    The Municipal Auditorium will have a holiday feel this weekend as the City hosts its popular Christmas in July Vintage & Collectibles Fair.  More than 40 exhibitors will participate in the fair selling antiques, books, glassware, jewelry, vintage clothing and more.

Admission is just $3 for adults and good for the entire weekend. 

Fair Hours:
Sat., July 18:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., July 19:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Municipal Auditorium is a cherished landmark in the Sarasota community.  The City is committed to offering at least one event there each year that is affordable and open to the public.
The Vintage & Collectibles Fair will be held July 18 and 19. 

Upcoming Events 

Towles Court Gallery Stroll
Towles Court - 1938 Adams Lane   
Fri., July 17
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Vintage & Collectibles Fair  
Municipal Auditorium
Sat.,  July 18:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., July 19:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Boots vs Badges    
Westfield Southgate Mall - 3501 S. Tamiami Trail  
Sat., July 18
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 
Van Wezel seats
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
John Cleese and Eric Idle
will be at the Van Wezel
Oct. 2. 
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.

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

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

Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert
Sun., January 3, 2016 - 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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager