From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
February 12, 2016
Mayor Willie Shaw demonstrated his serving skills earlier this week when he stepped behind the counter as a guest barista for the grand opening of Kahwa Coffee on Second Street.  Kahwa joins the many businesses opening in downtown Sarasota where the retail vacancy rate stands at a low 3 percent.  To see a brief video of the ribbon cutting ceremony and hear our Downtown Economic Development Coordinator discuss vibrancy in downtown click here.


  • City Commission
    Tues., February 16 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., February 17 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Community Workshop
    Wed., February 18 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
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
Network Analyst - SPD
PART-TIME Parking Attendant
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Reliability Maintenance Planner I
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utilities Capital Projects Manager
Utilities Review of Building Permit Apps 


This Week's Items to Know:
Presidents' Day - Feb. 15    City administrative offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 15 in observance of Presidents' Day.

There will be no change to garbage, recycling and yard waste collection.

Also, the City's recreational facilities will have regular hours on the holiday:

Robert L. Taylor Community Complex:  6 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Bobby Jones Golf Club:  6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Regular City Commission meeting will be held the following day on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Doug Logan - Returning to the Private Sector    Doug Logan will leave his position as the Director of Special Initiatives on Chronic Homeless on Feb. 29 and return to the private sector.  He and the City mutually separated after it was determined his endeavors to help create a private nonprofit Housing First organization would be legally challenged under current interpretations of Florida law. 

We appreciate Doug's work, particularly his advancing Housing First initiatives to better the lives of those impacted by chronic homelessness, as well as his extensive discussions with the philanthropic community and the growing statewide coalition addressing this difficult issue.

To read my letter on the issue click here.
To read a letter from Doug Logan click here.

Over the next two weeks, Doug will assemble a list of contacts, potential partners and other key information to assist with a smooth transition as he returns to the private sector.

Pineapple Park - Improvements Begin Feb. 16    Following recent action taken by the City Commission, Pineapple Park at Lemon Ave. and Pineapple Ave. will be temporarily closed while crews make necessary repairs and improvements to the area.
Pineapple Park will be temporarily closed
for repairs starting Feb. 16. 

Bricks will be repaired, the concrete surface will be pressure washed, and the planter walls will be cleaned and painted. These improvements are expected to be finished in approximately three weeks and the park reopened by March 11. 

Soon afterward, the fountain will be restored to working order and the artwork, known as Good Heart Place, will be refurbished by the original artist Nancy Goodheart Matthews.

A long term master plan for the park, including enchanced lighting, will be drawn up in the near future.

Bobby Jones Open - Feb. 13 & 14    If you enjoy golf as a spectator, you may want to consider attending the 3rd annual Bobby Jones Open this weekend. 

A full field of 96 professional golfers from the West Florida Golf Tour will compete over two days for a guaranteed $4,000 cash prize going to the champion.  And, this will be the first time these players compete on the new greens on the British Course.  Some of the competitors have been on the links practicing this week and are very complimentary of the new greens and the overall condition of the course.
2015 Bobby Jones Open champion Adam Schenk with Bobby Jones Golf Club Assistant Professional Daniel Bailey and Professional Christian Martin

If you're interested in being part of the spectator's gallery, admission is $10 per person.

If this year's tournament is anything like last year's, we're in for a  treat.  Last year, Adam Schenk won the title following a 3-way playoff.  Good luck to all the players -- and to the Bobby Jones staff who have worked diligently to bring this high quality golf competition to our historic municipal course. 

'Lose Big, Win Bigger' - Challenge Starts Feb. 29   Registration is now open for those interested in getting fit and joining the 'Lose Big, Win Bigger' fitness challenge at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.

We know the best way to improve one's fitness is through exercise
Pam Allen won the 'Lose Big, Win Bigger'
fitness challenge last year.

and diet.  So, for 8-weeks, participants will be challenged to make lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and well being.  Winners will be determined by the highest percentage of body weight lost.

Registration is $25 per person and includes a 3-month full access pass to Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 3 free fitness classes each week and a 10 percent discount card to Fit2Run, a sponsor of the challenge.

The challenge begins on Feb. 29 with a weigh-in and concludes April 25 with a final "weigh out".

For more information click here or call the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex:  941-954-4182.

Finance Dept. - Recognition Continues   We're continuing to celebrate the Finance Department's achievement of earning three professional awards from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada!   Sarasota is one of just 21 local government agencies -- out of more than 500 in Florida -- to accomplish this.

We mentioned last week such an impressive achievement is known in the government finance world as 'The Trifecta'. The awards are for excellence in budget presentation, financial reporting, and producing an easy-to-understand budget report for the general public.  Well done!

So, what's the atmosphere like in the Finance Dept. after being honored with 'The Trifecta'?  We get a "behind-the-scenes" peek with this fun video produced by Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg.  Although acting looks like fun, we all probably should stick to our day jobs!  Congratulations once again to the Finance Team.
YouTube:  Finance Awards - 'The Trifecta' 

Upcoming Events 

2nd Friday Cruise Night
 Fri., February 12  
5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  
Lemon Ave. & Main St.

Vintage & Collectibles Fair  
Sat., Feb. 13:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 14:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Municipal Auditorium

Downtown Festival of the Arts 
Sat. & Sun., Feb. 13 & 14
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Main Street

Jazz in the Park 
Sat., February 13
Noon - 2 p.m.
Fredd Atkins Park

United Way Tax Preparation
Mon., February 15   
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 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 Moscow Festival Ballet - Cinderella will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 24.

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 Midtown Men will be at the Van Wezel on March 25.


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