From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
January 15, 2016
The new pedestrian bridge in Arlington Park is open -- and already it's getting a lot of use.  Earlier this week, we encountered the Cook family, visiting from Maryland, enjoying a walk over the bridge and through the park with their dog Stella.    Arlington Park is a popular neighborhood park and we appreciated everyone's patience while the replacement bridge was installed.  We also value the collaboration which occurred between City staff and residents which helped determine the aesthetics of the pedestrian friendly bridge. 


  • Special Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., January 19 - 9 a.m.
    SRQ Media Studio - City Hall Annex
  • City Commission
    Tues., January 19 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Human Relations Board
    Tues., January 19 - 5:45 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Special Public Art Committee
    Wed., January 20 - 2 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Special Planning Board
    Wed., January 20 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parks, Rec & Environmental Protection Board
    Thurs., January 21 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Administrative Specialist I
Electronic Traffic Signal Technician
Equipment Operator
Facility Maintenance Technician
Golf Course Attendant
Human Resources Coordinator
Maintenance Mechanic I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Network Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Reliability Maintenance Planner I
Treatment Plant Operator B
Treatment Plant Operator C
Windows System Administrator   

This Week's Items to Know:
MLK Day:  Jan. 18 - City Offices Closed    Next Monday, January 18th, City administrative offices will be closed in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Although City Hall will be closed, garbage, yard waste and recycling will be collected as usual.

To remember and honor the life and achievements of Dr. King, a celebration will take place in Newtown.   Starting at noon, there will be a unity walk from the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex to Dr. MLK, Jr. Park.  Once at the park, family friendly festivities, including live music and food will go on until 5 p.m.  Hope to see you there!

Neighborhood News - Jazz in the Park   In our last installment of 'Weekly Briefs', we mentioned there's a community effort underway to re-energize Fredd Atkins Park in Newtown.  Two more
Free Jazz in the Park concert last weekend
at Fredd Atkins Park. 
events have taken place, and organizers are pleased with the interest and turnout. 

Just before Christmas, horse drawn carriage rides were offered to the community and the family friendly event was received with so much enthusiasm, plans already are in the works to do it again.  And, last Saturday, the second Jazz in the Park concert was hosted with trumpeter James Suggs and his jazz ensemble  entertaining a diverse crowd. 

These events are all free to the public and are being organized by a Newtown community partnership called One Community One Block.  We greatly appreciate this group voluntarily investing so much into the park.  
One Community One Block offered free carriage rides just before Christmas.

Jazz in the Park is scheduled to occur the second Saturday of each month.  The next one is planned for Sat., February 13th noon to 2 p.m. 
'We Are Downtown' Campaign    A marketing campaign is underway to help make it easier for visitors to find restaurants and retail stores in downtown.  The campaign is called 'We Are Downtown' and you may have already seen the new glossy directory map showing the location of the 300+ businesses in downtown as well as the Rosemary District and Burns District. 

The map also is available online with an interactive format, which is helpful for those who prefer to use their smart phone.  Check out the site on your mobile device:

Users can search by category including eating/dining,
Hard copy maps and an interactive map for smart phones are now available.

shopping, arts, and health.  Each business location can be clicked on to reveal information about the business including address, photo, synopsis, and links to websites and menus. 

Within the first week of launching the website, there were over 5,000 hits.  Our Downtown Economic Development Coordinator, Norm Gollub, who helped develop and roll out this marketing strategy, believes the interactive map will quickly become the go-to source for downtown shopping information.  Thank you, Norm, for your initiative and effort -- and thanks to the business owners for taking time to participate in this worthwhile campaign by supplying information.

The campaign was funded by the City (using CRA dollars) and the Downtown Improvement District, and there is no charge for businesses to participate.          
Landscaping Division: 'Now You See It, Now You Don't'     Our landscaping staff likes a good challenge where they can use their creativity to boost the visual appeal of an area -- and, we have an impressive example to share with you.

In the Bay Point Park neighborhood, a small cluster of utility pipes was noticeable in the median between Bay Point Dr. and Gulfview Dr.  So, the Landscape Division set out to camouflage it.  Crews cleverly hid the utilities in a rock garden, then finished the project by adding a variety of plants and vegetation.  Now, it's a little oasis.  Check out the before and after photos.
An impressive landscaping makeover in the Bay Point Park neighborhood. 
Thanks to the Landscaping Division, led by Supervisor Candie Pedersen, for their creativity and ingenuity.  Keep up the good work!            
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Specials    If you're interested in saving some green on the greens, our historic municipal golf course offers regular specials every day. 

Early Birdie Special 
*  Saturdays & Sundays - Before 10 a.m.
*  18 holes with riding cart
*  $30.84 (plus tax)

Twilight Special
*  Every day - Starting at 2 p.m.
*  18 holes with riding cart
*  $25.23 (plus tax)

Walking Special 
*  Every day - Starting at 3 p.m.
*  9 holes walking
*  $10.28 (plus tax)

Specials are not valid with any other offer or rain checks.  Dates and fees are subject to change without notice.

For more information about Bobby Jones and to schedule a tee time visit
New & Emerging Supervisors Program    Over the past year, we've had a renewed focus on training and development for City employees.  To help employees grow in their positions, we've instituted what I like to refer to as the 'College of Municipal Knowledge'.  Our goal is to have every employee receive 40 hours of training during the year to help bolster their knowledge in their field which, in turn, provides a better service for the Sarasota community.

Within the mix of training, our Human Resources Department has assembled a program designed specifically for new and emerging supervisors.  The program is a year-long commitment and employees are required to submit a resume and essay explaining how they would utilize the course material in their day-to-day work.  The inaugural class just graduated and we're pleased with the outcome.  Employees tell us they gained valuable insight into leadership and supervisory roles. 

In the inaugural class, two dozen employees, spanning all fields and departments in the City, attended 14 classes during the 2015 calendar year.  Subjects ranged from how to have a difficult conversation, to traits of a great leader, to breaking communication barriers -- all very important issues for new and emerging supervisors.  Before the first class graduated, a waiting list started for the next class which just began.  Congratulations, to the Class of 2015!  And, good luck to the Class of 2016.
The New and Emerging Supervisors Class of 2015.  

Upcoming Events 

Art & Antiques Show & Sale 
Fri., Jan. 15 & Sat., Jan. 16:  10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 17:  Noon - 5 p.m.
Municipal Auditorium

Robert "Bud" Thomas Golf Tournament* 
Sat., Jan. 16
7:30 a.m.
Bobby Jones Golf Club
*Supports the Sarasota MLK Scholarship Fund  
Ringling Bridge Run
Sat., Jan. 16
7:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Ringling Bridge & U.S. 41

Air Potato Roundup 
Sat., Jan. 16
9 a.m. - Noon
North Water Tower Park - 4700 Rilma Ave.

Classic Antique Car Show 
Sat., Jan. 16
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
St. Armands Circle Park

Winter Fine Art Festival 
Sat., Jan. 16:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 17:  11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Gulfstream Ave.

35th Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Memorial Breakfast 
Mon., January 18
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

MLK Unity Walk Stride Toward Freedom 
Mon., January 18
11 a.m.
Start:  Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
End:  Dr. MLK, Jr. Park

MLK Community Celebration in the Park 
Mon., January 18
Noon - 5 p.m.
Dr. MLK, Jr. Park 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through February 2016.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
Lisa Lampanelli
Fri., January 15, 2016 - 8 p.m.

Air Supply
Sat., January 16, 2016 - 8 p.m.
  Paul Anka will be at the Van Wezel Jan. 17.


Paul Anka
Sun., January 17, 2016 - 7 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.
Catch Joshua Bell at the Van Wezel on Jan. 30.

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.
Moody Blues will be at the Van Wezel on March 6.

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.

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Tues., March 1 - 8 p.m.

The McCartney Years
Wed., March 2 - 8 p.m.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Thurs., March 3 - 8 p.m.
Fri., March 4 - 8 p.m.

Moody Blues
Sun., March 6 - 7 p.m.

Disney Fantasia Live in Concert
Wed., March 9 - 8 p.m.

The Joffrey Ballet
Thurs., March 10 - 8 p.m.

Gordon Lightfoot
Fri., March 11 - 8 p.m.

Saturday Night Fever
Wed., March 16 - 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.

The Young Irelanders
Thurs., March 17 - 8 p.m.

The Peking Acrobats
Bullets Over Broadway will be at the Van Wezel March 21.  

Sun., March 20 - 8 p.m.

Bullets Over Broadway
Mon., March 21 - 8 p.m.

Tues., March 22 - 8 p.m.

The Irish Tenors
Wed., March 23 - 8 p.m.

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

The Midtown Men
Fri., March 25 - 8 p.m.

Million Dollar Quartet
Sat., March 26 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

An Evening with Sophia Loren
Thurs., March 31 - 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

The new year is in full swing and, believe it or not, Spring Training is right around the corner.  Major League Baseball allows teams to hold mini camps for up and coming players.  The Baltimore Orioles, who call Sarasota home in the spring, hosted several camps this week.  Although they were closed to the public, our enterprising resident photographer Norm Schimmel was invited inside the camps and captured this week's 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