From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
November 6, 2015
The City of Sarasota was proud to sponsor the CareerSource Suncoast Job Fair this week held at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.  The entire gymnasium was filled with over 60 local employers actively looking to hire qualified individuals from the Sarasota area.  The fair attracted many job seekers including LaVerne Boatwright, a City of Sarasota resident, pictured here.  We caught up with her at the HH Staffing Services booth as she presented her resume for consideration for employment as an administrative assistant.  Employment opportunities are vital for our community and we greatly appreciate CareerSource Suncoast and District 3 City Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie facilitating this job fair.  Best wishes to everyone who participated!  


  • Police Officers' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Special Meeting
    Mon., November 9 - Noon
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., November 10 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 109
  • Joint City Commission Workshop
    Tues., November 10 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • General Employees' Pension Plan
    Board of Trustees Special Meeting
    Thurs., November 12 - 8 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Fruitville Road Streetscape Enhancement
    Thurs., November 12
    Session I:  10 a.m.
    Session II:  2 p.m.
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Dir., Parks and Recreation
General Manager, Purchasing  
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Procurement Specialist III
   Traffic Signal Tech I
Treatment Plant Operator Apprentice
 Treatment Plant Operator C  
    Windows System Administrator   

This Week's Items to Know:

Master Lift Station #40 - Rehabilitation    Rehabilitating a master lift station isn't a particularly glamorous project, but nevertheless it's very important to our infrastructure.  So, I was pleased to visit Master Lift Station #40 recently and inspect the end result of a $1.1 million rehabilitation.

Originally constructed in 1958, this aging master lift station was ready
The interior of the newly rehabilitated
Master Lift Station #40. 
for an overhaul. The project included a full wet well rehab, installation of three new 60 horsepower pumps (capable of pumping 2,500 gallons per minute), new electrical panels, and a new instrumentation system for monitoring operations. 

Located at 8th Street and Lime Avenue, Master Lift Station #40 handles 15 percent of the overall wastewater flow in the city.  Three intermediate-sized lift stations carry flow to this facility, as well as 14 smaller lift stations which service the surrounding neighborhoods. 

The service area includes Glen Oaks Estates, Glen Oaks Manor, Glen Oaks Ridge, Glen Elyn, Fairway Oaks, Lake Ridge, Park East, Poinsettia Park and Ramblewood.  In addition, it also serves Bobby Jones Golf Club and Ed Smith Stadium.   As one of just seven master lift stations in the city, Master Lift Station #40 is an integral part of the infrastructure and these improvements will help ensure the proper flow and disposal of wastewater.

The rehab is impressive -- and it's expected to add 25-30 years of operational life to the facility.  What was particularly impressive about this project is that it was completed without interruption to daily activities in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Kudos to Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell and his staff for working diligently to maintain ongoing operations.
Utilities employees Steve Topovski, Verne Hall and John Chapman. 
Veterans Day - City Offices Closed Nov. 11   City administrative offices will be closed next Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.  Garbage, yard waste and recycling will all be collected as usual. 

The City's recreational facilities -- Bobby Jones Golf Club, Lido Pool, and Robert L. Taylor Community Complex -- will be open with regular hours.

Please join us for the annual Veterans Day parade starting at 10 a.m. at Main Street and Osprey Avenue.  This year's theme is 'When Duty Calls'. 

A ceremony will follow immediately afterward at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park.  The keynote speaker will be retired U.S. Army Col. Stephen D. Cork.  He served in the U.S. Army for 27 years.  Notably, here in Sarasota, Col. Cork was instrumental in the creation of the Sarasota Military Academy. 

PBS NewsHour -  A production crew from PBS NewsHour Weekend spent several days in Sarasota this week learning how we as a city and community are addressing the chronic homeless issue.  I spoke at length about what we experience daily on our streets and how the collapse of the mental health system across the country has led to more mentally ill individuals living untreated on the streets.  Increased federal and state funding is a critical component of solving the chronic homeless issue here and in many cities around the nation.

Talking with PBS NewsHour correspondent Karla Murthy while associate
producer Laura Fong and producer Sam Weber set up equipment
for the interview in my office. 
PBS also spoke on camera with SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino and rode along with one of our Homeless Outreach Teams to experience firsthand how our street mental health case workers interact with the chronic homeless.  They build a rapport with individuals by being respectful and kind while continually offering help via available social services and benefits for housing, substance abuse programs and mental health assistance.

We appreciate PBS taking the time to travel from New York City to provide America with a snapshot of how Sarasota is responding to this challenging issue in a compassionate way.  The segment is tentatively scheduled to air Saturday, November 14 on PBS television stations across the country, including our local affiliate WEDU. It also will be posted on the NewsHour website.  We'll let you know when we know more.

Bobby Jones - New Tournament!   After receiving many requests from senior golfers for a senior men's better ball tournament at Bobby Jones Golf Club, staff is enthusiastically launching the event this Bobby Jones Logo month.  The first-ever Men's Senior Better Ball Championship will be held over two days the weekend of Nov. 21-22.

The tournament is open to all males 50 and older. Registration is underway now through the end of business on Monday, November 16.  The entry fee is $190 per team.  For more details click here.

Thanks to our dedicated staff at Bobby Jones for taking on this additional tournament.   With the combination of high interest for this new event and the beautiful fall weather in Sarasota, we're sure it will be a success!       

Mayors' Feed The Hungry - Food Drive The annual Mayors' Feed The Hungry Thanksgiving Food Drive will be held Nov. 10-19.  And, once again the City of Sarasota will accept food donations at two locations:  (1)  City Hall - 1565 First Street  (2) Sarasota Police Headquarters - 2099 Adams Lane.
All donations must be non-perishable and in non-glass containers. 

The items collected throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties will be taken to Ed Smith Stadium on Nov. 20, sorted, and then given to local food pantries for distribution to families in need.

For more information on the food drive click here.

3rd Annual Trunk or Treat - Best Yet!   With so much going on in Sarasota, Halloween probably seems like a distance memory, but we're pleased to share with you that our 3rd Annual Trunk or Treat event at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex last week was our best yet! 

Over 200 children had fun playing Halloween themed games, jumping (and jumping!) in a bounce house, and collecting buckets of candy from friendly faces stationed at a variety of decorated car trunks. 

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this a fun family-friendly event, including officers with the Sarasota Police Department who mingled with the children and handed out gobs of candy, as well as firefighters with the Sarasota County Fire Department who allowed little trick-or-treaters to experience the inside of a fire engine.  And, a big thank you to the staff at RLTCC for expanding the event and including more games for the kids -- well done!

Enjoy some video highlights of Trunk or Treat assembled by Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg:
2015 Trunk or Treat  

Upcoming Events 

Buzz Prize Expo
Ed Smith Stadium  
Fri., November 6  
   9 a.m. - 11 p.m. 

Vintage & Collectibles Fair
Municipal Auditorium 
Sat., November 7:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., November 8:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Ferraris on the Circle 
St. Armands Circle
Sat., November 7
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Giving Hunger the Blues 
Hillview Street
Sun., November 8
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Veterans Day Parade & Ceremony 
Main Street - Starts at Osprey Avenue
Wed., November 11
10 a.m.
Veterans Day Parade:  Nov. 11, 2015 

Jazz in the Park 
Fredd Atkins Park
Thurs., November 12
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Executive Director Mary Bensel with Ringo Starr at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

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

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.
Straight No Chaser will be at the Van Wezel on Nov. 19.

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.
Black Violin will be at the
Van Wezel on Jan. 12, 2016.

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 - 7 p.m.
Air Supply will perform at the Van Wezel on Jan. 16, 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 - 7 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 - 7 p.m.

The Beach Boys
Thurs., February 25, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
  Vince Gill & Lyle Lovett will perform at the Van Wezel
on Feb. 26, 2016.

Vince Gill & Lyle Lovett
Fri., February 26, 2016 - 7:30 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

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