From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 30, 2015
As we head into the Halloween weekend, some ghoulish sights are popping up around town.  We encountered this frightfully fun scene in the McClellan Park Neighborhood.  If you partake in any of the many Halloween activities that are planned in the area, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable time!


  • City Commission
    Mon., November 2 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Special Code Compliance Hearings
    Mon., November 2 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Development Review Cmte
    Wed., November 4 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., November 4 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Bayfront 20:20
    Wed., November 4 - 4 p.m.
    Art Center Sarasota - 707 N. Tamiami Trail
  • Tree Ordinance - Potential Zoning Text Amendments
    Thurs., November 5 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
Homeless Update:  Housing First

After hearing an informative and evidence-based presentation from the Florida Housing Coalition about the efficacy of Housing First, the City Commission  unanimously approved moving forward with a Housing First strategy to reduce homelessness.

The Housing First methodology emphasizes placing a chronic homeless individual into permanent supportive housing as soon as possible.  Once the person is off the street, and is sleeping, eating and bathing in their own apartment, a case worker  begins regular in-home visits to assess the person for mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral issues.  Those assessments are followed by supportive help via a network of social service agencies.  Benefits also are coordinated to pay for the individual's rent.  From our research and the information presented Tuesday night, we have learned that Housing First is the fastest and most cost effective way to reduce homelessness.  If you're not familiar with Housing First, I encourage you to learn more about it by watching the presentation to the City Commission.  Just click here.

The City Commission will hear more from staff on Monday, November 3 regarding Housing First, including suggested methods for implementation.  A tremendous amount of work lies ahead to help the most problematic chronic homeless individuals in Sarasota.  Many community partnerships will need to be cultivated further, and funding will need to be earmarked and raised. Also, a nonprofit organization will need to be recruited to oversee this housing initiative -- or possibly a new nonprofit started. 

Housing First is not a new concept.  It's been successfully implemented in communities throughout the U.S. for the past two decades, including in Utah.  At this writing, Doug Logan, the City's Director of Special Initiatives on Homelessness, and I are wrapping up a visit to Utah.  We traveled there with 65 others representing the business, government, foundation and faith-based communities in Central Florida to see firsthand how Salt Lake City has implemented what is widely regarded as a model program for Housing First.  It is documented that over the past decade, chronic homelessness in Salt Lake City has been reduced by 90 percent. We look forward to presenting our findings to the City Commission and community. 
Left:  Exterior of a Housing First complex in Salt Lake City, UT; Right:  A hotel converted into efficiency
apartments. This 325 square foot apartment is rented by a former chronically homeless individual. 

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
General Manager, Purchasing  
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
        Traffic Signal Tech I 
Treatment Plant Operator C  
    Windows System Administrator      

This Week's Items to Know:
British Course - Reopening Nov. 5    The British Course is scheduled to reopen to the public on November 5 with beautiful new greens.  After installation, we waited an extra few weeks to ensure the turf had taken root and the seams grown together properly for a smooth, firm surface.
Green #1 on the British Course shortly after its first cut. 
All 18 greens (plus two practice greens) were replaced with new sod called diamond zoysiagrass.  The project was included in the Bobby Jones' capital improvement budget and came in nearly $4,000 under budget.  We appreciate staff's diligence in researching this needed project and getting it accomplished at a lower than expected cost.

And, don't forget -- low summer rates continue through November.  Just $31 for 18 holes with a riding cart before noon and $22.50 after noon  Take advantage of these great rates and check out the new British greens!   To book a tee time click here.

Men's Better Ball Tournament   Bobby Jones Golf Club hosted the 44th Annual Men's City Better Ball Tournament last weekend.  And, we couldn't
Champions:  David Perna and Mike Calomeris 
have asked for nicer weather during the two days of play on the American Course.
A total of 48 men in teams of two participated.  The 2015 champions are:   David Perna and Mike Calomeris with an impressive -12 overall.  Runners up included:  2nd Place:  Steve Slocum and Mark Leetzow; and 3rd Place:  Phil Walters & Tim Judy.

Congratulations to all the players and to our staff at Bobby Jones for once again executing a well run tournament. 

Veterans Day Parade - Nov. 11   Mark your calendar!  In conjunction with the Patriotic Observance Committee, the City will co-host the annual Veterans Day Parade on Wed., November 11 at 10 a.m.  The parade will start at Osprey Ave. & Main St. and travel down to J.D. Hamel Park where a ceremony will begin at approximately 11 a.m.  We look forward to a strong showing of support to honor our military veterans.

Veterans Day Parade:  Nov. 11, 2015 
Public Service Announcement:  Veterans Day Parade - Nov. 11, 2015

Sustainable Communities - Dec. 3   We're pleased to be a partner with the 10th annual Sustainable Communities Workshop.  It's open to the public and will feature experts discussing the latest community strategies and best practices and resources for sustainability.  Topics will be many and varied and will include water, economic development, energy, access to local healthy food, and the natural environment.

The workshop will be an all-day event on December 3 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts Center on Cattleman Rd.  Early bird registration is $30 until Nov. 3.  Then, it goes up to $40.  So, if you like a bargain, now is the time to act!  Students are just $20. 

To learn more about the workshop click here
Garage Parking Permits - Available for Residents   For downtown residents who may need additional parking space, the City is now offering overnight parking permits at three parking structures:  Palm Ave., State Street and the 2nd Street Garage (also known as the Whole Foods Garage).

To qualify for the permit program, you need to show proof of residency within 1,000 feet of one of the parking garages.  Permits are $100/month, $270/quarter or $540/semi-annually.

For more information click here, visit the Parking Operations Division on the first floor in City Hall, or call 941-954-7057.   

Children's Fountain - Closed for Winter    Winter hours for the Children's Fountain at Bayfront Park begin this Sun., November 1.  That means the Fountain will be closed until April 1st.  The other amenities at the park will remain open, including the play equipment adjacent to the Children's Fountain.  We'll be back and ready for action in the spring!


Upcoming Events 

United Way Garage Sale
City Hall Parking Lot- 1565 First Street 
Sat., October 31  
   7 a.m. - Noon 

Selby Five Points Park
Sat., October 31
Selby Five Points Park
9 a.m. - Noon

(Pet Costume Contest & Fun Walk)
Sat., October 31
9 a.m.

Halloween Block Party 
Lemon Ave. & Main St.
Sat., October 31
6 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.

Bridal Expo 
Municipal Auditorium
Sun., November 1
Noon - 5 p.m.

Moonlight Movie 
"Book of Life"
Lido Beach
Sun., November 1
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Job Fair 
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
Thurs., November 5
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

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.
Dave Koz will be at the Van Wezel on Nov. 27.

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 Producers will be at the Van Wezel
on Dec. 30. 

The Ten Tenors
Thurs., December 31 - 7 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.
Catskills on Broadway will be at the Van Wezel
on Jan. 14, 2016. 

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.

Dancing With The Stars:  LIVE! Dance All Night Tour
Fri., January 29, 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.
Catch Patti LaBelle at the Van Wezel on Feb. 23, 2016.

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

Reminder:  When you're downtown tomorrow morning for the Farmers Market please stop by City Hall for the City's first-ever garage sale to benefit the United Way.  The garage sale will be open for business in the City Hall parking lot on First Street from 7 a.m. - noon.

Also, Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend on Sunday at 2 a.m.  So, remember to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to sleep Saturday night.  At the same time, you also may want to consider changing the batteries in your smoke alarms, as recommended by the Sarasota County Fire Department.

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