From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
February 19, 2016
The beautiful weather this week contributes to attracting many visitors to Sarasota, including this couple from Kansas City.   We encountered them at Ken Thompson Park taking in the majestic view of Sarasota Bay and downtown one more time before they headed to the airport.  We're glad they enjoyed their stay in our special city.


  • Bayfront 20:20 Stakeholders
    Mon., February 22 - 10:30 a.m.
    Sarasota Orchestra - 709 N. Tamiami Trail
  • City Commission Workshop
    Mon., February 22 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., February 24 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., February 24 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Fruitville Road Streetscape Enhancement
    Tues., March 1 - 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Accounting Specialist - SPD
Capital Projects Engineer
Network Analyst - SPD
    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:
Pineapple Park - Improvements Underway    Pineapple Park in downtown is now temporarily closed until March 11. 

This week, Public Works
Pineapple Park is closed for improvements
until March 11. 
crews started repairing and replacing damaged bricks in the area.  As we mentioned in last week's edition of Weekly Briefs, the park area will be thoroughly cleaned, painted and the benches repaired.  Once those improvements are finished, repairs will begin on the mermaid fountain which will include restoration of the artwork by the original artist, Nancy Goodheart Matthews.

2nd Street Apts. - Tower Crane    Another crane has migrated to the Sarasota skyline -- a construction tower crane.  Earlier this week, a small portion of Second Street was temporarily closed while the crane was erected at
A tower crane is now erected at the 2nd St. Apartments construction site. 
the Second Street Apartments construction site adjacent to Whole Foods on the north side.

The development is slated to have 180 rental units of approximately 1,200 sq. ft. each. It's anticipated the combination of unit size and accompanying rent rate will attract young professionals to our ever increasingly active and pedestrian oriented downtown.

Commercial space also will be on the ground floor.  This development is adjacent to the new Kahwa Coffee shop, which just celebrated its grand opening last week.

Bobby Jones Open Champion - Domenico Geminiani    Congratulations to Italian golfer Domenico Geminiani who earned top honors at the 3rd annual Bobby Jones Open last weekend with a total score of 12 under par.  As champion, Geminiani claimed a $4,000 cash prize. 

Competition was tight in the field of 99, with the first, second and third place winners separated by just three strokes:

1st Place - Domenico Geminiani (Italy):  12 under par
2nd Place -  Greg O'Mahony (Florida):  10 under par
3rd Place -  Brent Witcher (Georgia): 9 under par
L to R:  West Florida Golf Tour Coordinator Ross Hanson; 2016 Bobby Jones Open Champion Domenico Geminiani

The 2-day tournament was played on the British Course featuring the new greens, which seemed to go over well with the field. We're pleased the Bobby Jones Open is now an annual stop on the West Florida Golf Tour, a professional golf circuit.

Planning the Future of Bobby Jones -  Two days after the tournament concluded, the City Commission approved moving forward with a recommendation from a citizens' committee to renovate our historic municipal golf course, including both courses, a new clubhouse and player development center.  We appreciate the citizen committee's time researching and reflecting on
The British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club. 
the issue.  The next step will be to hire a golf course architect to develop an updated master plan for Bobby Jones.

Bobby Jones is a significant and treasured part of the City.  With the support of the City Commission, staff is now researching how this vast 300 acres in the city limits can remain in City ownership in perpetuity for passive recreation and environmental purposes.

Sister Cities - Tel Mond Renewal    Since 1998, Sarasota and Tel Mond, Israel have been sister cities, and the citizens group which oversees the Sarasota Sister Cities program thought it would be good practice to renew the partnership agreements with our nine sister cities spanning the globe.

On Wednesday, a delegation from Tel Mond visited City Hall where
Mayor Willie Shaw presenting the Key to the City to
Tel Mond Mayor Roni Golan.
Mayor Willie Shaw and the Tel Mond Mayor, Roni Golan, signed dual partnership renewal agreements in English and Hebrew.  They also exchanged gifts on behalf of the Sister Cities program before discussing cultural and economic issues.

Sarasota is proud to continue its relationship with Tel Mond seeking and cultivating a broad spectrum of shared interests including the cultural arts, economics, and education.    

To learn more about the Sarasota Sister Cities program click here.   

Street Teams - Featured in QC Magazine   An article highlighting the City's successful efforts getting homeless individuals off the street and back to work is featured in the current edition of "Quality Cities", a magazine published by the Florida League of Cities.
The Street Teams program featured on page 18. 

The two page story explains how the City and The Salvation Army joined forces in 2012 and launched the Street Teams program.  The Salvation Army provides free room and board for those enrolled in the program, which requires the individual to help the Public Works Department with landscaping and litter collection. 

The program gives homeless individuals a chance to gain work experience and adapt to having a regular daily routine as they prepare to return to the work force. The Street Teams program is funded using CRA dollars.

One of the graduates of the Street Teams is a recent City of Sarasota Employee of the Quarter:  Wes Byington.  His compelling story is also featured in the article.

To read the articles online click here.    

"Quality Cities" is read by Florida's top elected and appointed city officials and reaches approximately 4,100 people. 

Thanks to Senior Communications Manager Jan Thornburg for sharing one of the many ways Sarasota is responding to the homeless issue  -- and seeing success.  We hope our experience encourages other municipalities and perhaps provides them with a path forward to help the homeless in a collaborative way.

Upcoming Events 

Gem & Jewelry Show & Sales

 Fri., Feb. 19 - Sun., Feb. 21 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Municipal Auditorium

Orioles SpringFest
Sat., Feb. 20 
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Sarasota Exotic Car Festival 
Sat., February 20 
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
 Main Street

Art at J.D. Hamel Park 
Sat., Feb. 20 & Sun., Feb. 21 
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
J.D. Hamel Park (Main & Gulfstream)

Galilee Cemetery Cleanup 
Sat., February 20 
10 a.m. 
Galilee Cemetery 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through March 2016.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
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.
 Josh Groban will be at the Van Wezel on Feb. 28

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

In our 'Sarasota Scene' below, resident photographer Norm Schimmel captured a sure sign that spring is around the corner:  Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training.  Welcome back to Sarasota, pitchers and catchers!  The Orioles' first home game at Ed Smith Stadium this year is March 2.  To see the 2016 Spring Training calendar click here.

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