From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
January 29, 2016
Mother Nature gave us quite a variety of weather conditions this week from blustery to chilly to rainy to mild.   Whatever the conditions, people love to spend time in the City's parks  enjoying the green space, like this lone person we encountered bundled up in a coat reading a book in the middle of Arlington Park.


  • City Commission
    Mon., February 1  - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., February 2  - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., February 3 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Community Workshop: Right-of-Way Vacations
    Thurs., February 4 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Meeting:
    Marian Anderson Place Site Update
    Thurs., February 4 - 6 p.m.
    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex - 1845 34th St.
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Golf Course Attendant
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Reliability Maintenance Planner I
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utilities Capital Manager
Windows System Administrator   


This Week's Items to Know:
State St. Garage - Grand Opening Feb. 5    You're invited to attend the official grand opening for the State Street Garage next Friday, February 5 at 10 a.m. on the top floor.  The Garage, with just over 400 parking
The official grand opening for the State Street Garage
is set for next Feb. 5.

spaces, has been open to the public since late summer and is getting a lot of use by the many visitors who frequent downtown.  Also, the first business in the retail space on the ground floor opened recently -- Dimmitt Automotive, a luxury car showroom.

The Garage is an impressive addition to the City's public parking inventory with striking architecture.  We look forward to celebrating this achievement with the community.  Light refreshments will be served during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

FDOT - Bee Ridge/Osprey Ave. Improvements    Heads up!  The Florida Department of Transportation started a significant roadway improvement project this week which will impact traffic patterns on the edge of the Sarasota city limits along U.S. 41 & Bee Ridge Rd. and also in the Osprey Ave./Siesta Dr. area.

A major component of the project will be the replacement of large stormwater pipes located under Bee Ridge Rd. stretching two miles to the east -- from U.S. 41 to Sawyer Rd.  Seven lanes of traffic on Bee Ridge have been reduced to five to accommodate the construction work. 

The scope of the project includes FDOT digging under U.S. 41 to replace a water main for the City of Sarasota near Bay Rd. and Brown Ave.  That work will require lane closures along U.S. 41, but FDOT tells us that portion of the project is at least 6-7 months away.  Once the construction is completed, the roadways will be resurfaced. 

The project is expected to be completed in Summer 2017.  So, be prepared for delays when you're in that area.

Finance Dept. Awards - GFOA 'Trifecta'   Congratulations to the Finance Department for being honored recently with not one, not two, but three prestigious professional awards from the Government Finance Officers Association.  In the government finance realm,  receiving these three awards is referred to as 'The Triple Crown Trifecta'.

The awards are:

1.  Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
2.  Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
3.  Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting

Of the 400+ governmental bodies in the State of Florida, Sarasota is one of just 21 agencies to receive all three awards -- The Trifecta.  Well done!

Just as impressive is the longevity and consistency of exceptional professionalism within the Finance Department.  This is the 34th consecutive year the team has earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, and the 25th straight year for the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award.  Some of our team members have worked diligently on nearly all of these budgets.  Their institutional knowledge and expertise are tremendous assets and we value and appreciate them  -- especially as they gear up for the City's next fiscal year budget cycle.

Congratulations to Finance Director John Lege and the entire Finance team!
Back Row (L to R):  Mark Stinson, Susan Dodd, Kelly Strickland, Laura Wittenbauer, Margie Holman; Middle Row:  David Flatt, Dolly Gamble, Michele Keeler, John Lege, Michelle Valentich;  Front:  Lisa Shay

Teens for Jeans    The Sarasota Police Department just wrapped up a successful campaign to provide blue jeans for homeless teenagers.  Approximately 500 pairs of new and gently used jeans were donated to the 'Teens for Jeans' campaign, including a significant gift from City Commission administrative assistant Diane
Denim jeans donated at SPD Headquarters
for 'Teens for Jeans'. 
Taylor who donated about 50 pairs.  (She tells us she has a couple of clothes horses in the family who favor jeans.)

All the jeans will be taken to the youth shelter at the YMCA where they will be distributed to homeless teens and children in need.
Many times, teens end up at the shelter with just the clothes they're wearing, and  a pair of blue jeans to wear to school can help them feel comfortable and fit it with their peers.

This is the third year SPD participated in the program with Capt. Corrine Stannish spearheading the effort. 

'Teens for Jeans' is a national program launched by Aeropostale in conjunction with Thanks to everyone for their generosity and to Capt. Stannish for seeing the need in Sarasota and coordinating our local campaign.
Bobby Jones Open - Feb.  13 &14   The 3rd annual Bobby Jones Open will be held the weekend of Feb. 13 & 14.  96 professional golfers are expected to play in this competitive tournament which is a Bobby Jones Logo featured event on the West Florida Golf Tour. The event will be played on the British Course, featuring the new greens.

With a guaranteed $4,000 purse for the first place winner, the event attracts talented professionals.  The British Course can be challenging, so this should be an exciting tournament to watch.  The public is invited to be part of the spectators' gallery with a $10 admission fee per person.

Upcoming Events 

Achieva Run for Good
Sat., January 30
7:30 a.m. - 10 a .m. 
Payne Park

St. Armands Winter Art Festival 
Sat. & Sun., January 30 & 31
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sarasota Opera:  Street Dedication Ceremony  
Sat., January 30
5:30 p.m.  
Pineapple Ave. between 1st St. & Main St.

United Way Tax Preparation
Mon., February 1 
3 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Executive Director Mary Bensel with renowned soprano Renee Fleming earlier this week.

The following is a list of shows through March 2016.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
Dancing With The Stars:  LIVE! Dance All Night Tour
Fri., January 29, 2016 - 8 p.m.
  Yanni will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 2.


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.
The McCartney Years will be at the Van Wezel on March 2.

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
Sun., March 20 - 7 p.m.

Bullets Over Broadway
Mon., March 21 - 8 p.m.
  The Irish Tenors will be at the Van Wezel on March 23.


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.

Aretha Franklin
Tues., March 29 - 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

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