From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
February 5, 2016
The community celebrated the official grand opening of the State Street Garage this morning (Feb. 5) with a rooftop ribbon cutting ceremony.  With 395 parking spaces, five parking decks and retail space on the ground floor, this structure provides another impressive example of the City meeting the basic need of public parking downtown while thinking outside the box with architectural design.  If you haven't visited it yet, we encourage you to check it out -- perhaps tomorrow for the Farmers Market.   Parking is free.  You can take a 'quick look' at the Garage with this brief video produced by Sr. Communications Manager Jan Thornburg:


  • Citizens with Disabilities
    Mon., February 8 - 10 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., February 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Newtown CRA Advisory Board
    Tues., February 9 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., February 10 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., February 10 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Assistant Purchasing General Manager
Capital Projects Engineer
Maintenance Mechanic II
PART-TIME Parking Attendant
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Reliability Maintenance Planner I
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utilities Capital Projects Manager
Utilities Review of Building Permit Apps

This Week's Items to Know:
Sarasota Music Half Marathon - Feb. 7    Runners and walkers will hit the streets of Sarasota this Sunday, Feb. 7 for the second annual Sarasota Music Half Marathon.  This event has quickly become very popular with runners who come from around the country to participate.

To plan your morning getting around town, here's what you need to know:  The 13.1 mile race will take place from 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.  The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will serve as the start and finish point.  The course takes runners down U.S. 41, over the Ringling Bridge, around St. Armands Circle, then down Orange Ave. and Osprey Ave.  To see a course map click here.

To help ensure the safety of runners, there will be lane closures along the route.  Please noteOrange Ave. between Mound St. and Osprey Ave. will be closed to all vehicular traffic from approximately 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.  For more details on specific lane and street closures and approximate times click here.

Half Marathon 2016

Once again this year, event organizers met with neighborhood groups in advance to discuss the course, lane and street closures, and the expected impact on residents. 

We're told the half marathon is sold out with at least 3,000 runners and walkers expected to participate.  20 bands (the music portion of the Music Half Marathon) will be located in designated entertainment areas throughout the course.  To review a map of where the bands will be located and a description of each musical ensemble click here.

Good luck to everyone!    

Green Business Partnership    With a renewed focus on sustainability, the City of Sarasota is now included in Sarasota County's Green Business Partnership.  This countywide program recognizes businesses which make a concerted effort to function in an environmentally responsible fashion.
To qualify as a member, the City was required to document many processes and behaviors including energy usage, water and wastewater and purchasing.  For example,  we showed that the waste generated at City facilities is assessed, and  that printer cartridges, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs are recycled. The City also plants Florida friendly vegetation for landscaping, collects rainwater and uses low flush toilets.  In addition, the City documented that a professional energy assessment was conducted at City facilities, and the City participates in FPL's "Business On Call" program which gives the City a monthly credit for authorizing FPL to cycle off the air conditioning if absolutely necessary.  There are many other examples of how the City is taking steps to be more sustainable.

Over 200 businesses belong to the Green Business Partnership.  Individually, the organizations benefit from cost savings and healthier work environments.  Collectively, the Partnership promotes members via marketing and a directory, which lists each business, giving consumers an opportunity to locate and patronize businesses committed to the environment.  Click here for the directory.

Kudos to Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes for taking the lead and ensuring the City of Sarasota is part of the Green Business Partnership!

Employee of the Quarter - Joe Cascio    Once every three months, we recognize an employee who has gone above and beyond and provided exceptional service.  During the City Commission meeting Monday night, Public Works employee Joe Cascio was honored as the Employee of the Quarter for his diligence getting to the root of a problem which saved the City $100,000 in potential liabilities. 
Vice Mayor Suzanne Atwell recognizing Joe Cascio
as the Employee of the Quarter.

The City received two claims originally deemed to be sidewalk issues; however, after a thorough and meticulous review of the area, Joe discovered the claims were not the City's liability, but due to other circumstances.  While in the process of reviewing the issue, Joe talked with the business owner about the water problem and even helped to caulk the front of the store to prevent further damage during the investigation. 

Joe has been with the City of Sarasota since October 2014, and as a supervisor in the Streets and Highways Division of the Public Works Department, oversees 17 people. 

Congratulations, Joe -- and thank you for serving with excellence and pride!

Upcoming Events 

Stamp Show & Sale
 Fri. & Sat., Feb. 5 & 6:  10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
Sun., Feb. 7:  10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Municipal Auditorium

Mardi Gras Music & Food Festival 
Fri., Feb. 5:  6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Sat. & Sun., Feb. 6 & 7:  Noon - 10 p.m.
Payne Park

Lido Tides Arts & Craft Show   
Sat., & Sun., Feb. 6 & 7
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lido Beach Pavilion

Sarasota Masters Art Show 
Sat. & Sun., Feb. 6 & 7
  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Palm Ave. at Main St.

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 
Sat., February 6
Noon - 4 p.m.
Fredd Atkins Park 
Sarasota Music Half Marathon
Sun., February 7 
6:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

United Way Tax Preparation
Mon., February 8  
3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through March 2016.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
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 Beach Boys will be at the Van Wezel Feb. 25.

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 Young Irelanders will be at the Van Wezel on March 17.


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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager