From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 16, 2015
The pedestrian bridge at Arlington Park is temporarily closed while a new modern bridge is installed.  Earlier this week, contractors removed the aging wooden planks on the bridge.  Over the next few months, crews will excavate the area and install new bridge footers to replace the current aging ones.  Staff has worked closely with Arlington Park Neighborhood residents regarding the project and we anticipate the new bridge will be open for the public to enjoy by mid-January.


  • General Employees' Pension Plan
    Board of Trustees
    Mon., October 19 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Mon., October 19 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Newtown Citizen Historic District Community Meeting
    Mon., October 19 - 6 p.m.
    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., October 20 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Special Meeting
    Tues., October 20 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Independent Police Advisory Panel
    Tues., October 20 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., October 21 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • DID Expansion Ad-Hoc Committee
    Thurs., October 22 - 2 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Bobby Jones Golf Club Study Committee
    Thurs., October 22 - 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.
   Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
        Traffic Signal Tech I    
Windows System Administrator

This Week's Items to Know:
Roundabout Update     Good news!  We're getting word from our contractor, Jon F. Swift Construction, that the construction barricades at Orange Avenue and Main Street should be removed by tomorrow morning (Sat., October 17), meaning the new roundabout will be fully open and functional!
The new roundabout at Orange Ave. and Main St. 
Since the intersection partially reopened last month, we've been receiving positive comments about the new roundabout and crosswalks.  People like the aesthetics of the intersection, the sense of place, and what they feel is a safer pedestrian walking experience.  
When the intersection is completely open, the center of the
A contractor installing an irrigation line.  
roundabout will remain unfinished until a public art piece is installed. This coming Monday, the City Commission will consider a proposed design for the artwork.

Thanks, again, to our downtown business owners who endured the temporary road closure while we worked on the improvements.   And, congratulations to Jon F. Swift Construction for modifying their work schedules to accommodate the businesses and working through rain storms to stay on schedule.   
Downtown Banners     Have you seen the new banners welcoming visitors to shop, dine and enjoy downtown?  Our Public Works staff
Banners being installed along
Gulfstream Ave. 
  began installing them last week along Gulfstream Ave. and Ringling Blvd.  Look for 30 of these crisp, attractive banners on 15 poles.

Funded by the Downtown Improvement District and the City of Sarasota, the banners are colorful and highlight the arts, shopping, and dining.  They're a pleasant addition and we're happy they're already in position and ready to welcome our seasonal residents and visitors to Sarasota.   

The banners support a boader media campaign promoting our downtown.

Downtown Development - Update   The Building Division issued a a building permit this week for the DeMarcay, a significant residential project on S. Palm Avenue. 
An artist's rendering of the DeMarcay building.   
 The $23 million project is approved for 39 units with a restaurant on the ground level.  

Also, in the near future, a permit is expected to be issued for a mixed use development in downtown featuring nearly 200 apartments as well as retail and commercial space. 

Both projects have been in the pipeline for years.  Developers are confident enough with the economy and demand for residential units in downtown Sarasota to move forward with these projects.  

Building Permits - Record Breaking 8,402    The close of business on September 30 marked the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year --- and a record breaking year for our Building Division.  In our last Weekly Briefs, we mentioned the City had broken the 8,000 mark for the number of permits processed.  In the end, 8,402 building permits were processed with an impressive combined construction valuation of $330 million.

To celebrate this achievement and gain some perspective about how much 8,000 is, Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg talked numbers with some very enthusiastic first graders at Alta Vista Elementary and produced the YouTube video below (which happens to feature our Sustainability Manager's daughter at the beginning).  A special thank you to Dr. Barbara Shirley, her staff, and students for helping to make this celebratory video a fun reality.

Congratulations, again, to everyone involved with this milestone.  It's a reminder of just how desirable our special community continues to be.

8K Building Permits 
YouTube:  8K Building Permits
British Course - Reopening Nov. 5    The new greens on the British Course are now installed and they look terrific!  We were on schedule to unveil the new greens at the British Course last weekend in time for the Women's Better Ball Open, but, unfortunately, Mother Nature caused a delay.  The new turf, diamond zoysiagrass, is grown in South Carolina, and with the recent flooding in that region, shipments were delayed. 

In order to allow ample time for the turf seams to grow together and create a smooth, firm surface, the British Course will remain closed until November 5.  (The Men's Better Ball tournament, scheduled for October 24 and 25, will be played on the American Course.)  We're looking forward to a beautiful reopening in early November.
New turf being installed on the 18th green of the British Course. 
International Civilian of Excellence Award - Genevieve Judge      We have an international law enforcement social media guru in our midst!  Congratulations to Genevieve Judge, SPD's Partnership Policing Communications Coordinator, who was honored last week
Genevieve Judge receiving the 2015 International ConnectedCOPS Civilian of Excellence award.

with the 2015 ConnectedCOPS Civilian of Excellence award from  The award is given to a civilian who shows exemplary use of social media to improve public safety, enhance community engagement, and bolster a law enforcement agency's reputation. 
Just two individuals in the United States received this award. 

Genevieve's diligent around-the-clock work with a variety of social media platforms has resulted in cases being solved and Sarasota residents having a better understanding of partnership policing and how we all work together to keep our community safe.

The award was given during the SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) conference in Ontario, Canada last week.  Congratulations, Genevieve!  

By the way, Chief Bernadette DiPino appeared on two national news programs --  Today and MSNBC --  this week discussing SPD's active and effective social media program.  The Chief does a nice job promoting our community whenever she gets a chance.

Upcoming Events 

3rd Friday Artwalk 
Towles Court
Fri, October 16 
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Vintage & Collectibles Fair

Municipal Auditorium 
Sat., October 17:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., October 18:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Pride Fest 2016

J.D. Hamel Park 
Sat., October 17
11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Taste of St. Armands 
St. Armands Circle Park
Sat., October 17
7 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Latino Festival - Health Fair 
Payne Park
Sat., October 17
Noon - 4 p.m.

Hungarian Festival 
Sarasota Fairgrounds
Sat., October 17:  Noon - 10 p.m.
Sun, October 18:  Noon - 8 p.m.

Morton's Fire House Chili Cook Off 
Osprey Avenue
Sun., October 18
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Van Wezel Interior

The following is a list of shows through February 2016.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 

The Ultimate Doo Wop Show
Sat., October 24 - 8 p.m.

So You Think You Can Dance
Thurs., October 29 - 8 p.m.

All Hands On Deck
Wed., November 4 - 8 p.m.

America's Got Talent Live:  The All-Stars Tour!
Thurs., November 5 - 8 p.m.

Wed., November 11 - 8 p.m.

Lewis Black:  The Rant is Due:  Part Deux
Fri., November 13 - 8 p.m.

Cirque Dreams ~ Holidaze
Sat., November 14 - 8 p.m.
Lewis Black will be at the Van Wezel Nov. 13.

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

Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Sat., November 21 - 8 p.m.

Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2015
Fri., November 27 - 8 p.m.

Craig Ferguson:  The New Deal Tour
Tues., December 1 - 8 p.m.

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Wed., December 2 - 8 p.m.

Kenny G 
Thurs., December 3 - 8 p.m.

Women of Ireland ~ Celtic Angels' Christmas 
Thurs., December 10 - 8 p.m.

Carrot Top 
Sat., December 12 - 8 p.m.

Bowzer's Rock & Roll Holiday Party 
Sun., December 13 - 7 p.m.

A Christmas Carol 
Wed., December 23 - 7 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker

Mon., December 28 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

The Producers
Wed., December 30 - 8 p.m.
The Ten Tenors will perform on Dec. 31.

The Ten Tenors
Thurs., December 31 - 8 p.m.
Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert
Sun., January 3, 2016 - 7 p.m.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
Tues., January 5, 2016 - 8 p.m.
Wed., January 6, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Ron White
Thurs., January 7, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Black Violin
Tues., January 12, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Jim Witter - The Piano Men II
Wed., January 13, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Catskills on Broadway
Thurs., January 14, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Lisa Lampanelli
Fri., January 15, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Air Supply
Sat., January 16, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Paul Anka
Sun., January 17, 2016 - 8 p.m.
Buddy:  The Buddy Holly Story will be at the Van Wezel on Jan. 5 & 6.

DL Hughley
Mon., January 18, 2016 - 8 p.m.

42nd Street
Wed., January 20, 2016 - 8 p.m.
Thurs., January 21, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Wynonna & The Big Noise: Stories & Song
Sun., January 24, 2016 - 8 p.m.

ABBA Mania
Mon., January 25, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Renee Fleming with the Sarasota Orchestra
Wed., January 27, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Thurs., January 28, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Joshua Bell

Sat., January 30, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Tues., February 2, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Masters of Illusion - Believe the Impossible
Thurs., February 4 - 7:30 p.m.
The Book of Mormon
February 9 - 12, 2016:  8 p.m.
Sat., February 13, 2016:  2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun., February 14, 2016:  1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Neil Berg's 107 Years of Broadway
Wed., February 17, 2016 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Michael Feinstein and his 17-Piece Band
Thurs., February 18, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Patti LaBelle
Tues., February 23, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Festival Ballet - Cinderella
Wed., February 24, 2016 - 8 p.m.

The Beach Boys
Thurs., February 25, 2016 - 8 p.m.
The Australian Bee Gees will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 29.

Vince Gill & Lyle Lovett
Fri., February 26, 2016 - 8 p.m.

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

Josh Groban
Sun., February 28, 2016 - 8 p.m.

The Australian Bee Gees
Mon., February 29, 2016 - 8 p.m.

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

For a complete schedule of events, visit

Mother Nature graced us last week with a beautiful rainbow spanning Sarasota Bay.  Our resident photographer Norm Schimmel captured this remarkable sight as you can see below in 'Sarasota Scene'.

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