From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
March 4, 2016
Payne Park is a crown jewel in the central portion of our city.  Located on the south edge of downtown, west of the Sarasota Police Headquarters, it's an ideal setting to relax or get a bit of exercise.  And, the latter is what we encountered on the half-mile track around the park earlier this week.  This trio of ladies (Samantha, Jan and Monica) work at the Health Department nearby and were enjoying a healthy lunchtime stroll.


  • CCNA
    Sat., March 5 - 9 a.m.
    Waldemere Fire Station - 2070 Waldemere St.
  • City Commission
    Mon., March 7 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., March 8 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., March 8 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Historic Preservation Board Workshop
    Tues., March 8 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Rules and Appeals
    Wed., March 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Planning Board
    Wed., March 9 - 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
Facility Maintenance Tech
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Spray Tech
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utilities Capital Projects Manager
        Utilities Review of Building Permit Apps         

This Week's Items to Know:
Climate Change Adaptation Training   As we prepare for expected sea level rise in Sarasota, several City employees recently attended a 3-day training session, "Climate Adaptation for Coastal
Asst. City Engineer Daniel Ohrenstein working on an exercise at the NOAA seminar.

Communities", hosted by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  The timing was excellent as we are initiating a climate adaptation plan and studying the impacts of sea level rise, storm surge and increased precipitation leading to flooding.

One focal point of the seminar was community vulnerability -- how to conduct a vulnerability assessment and then identify possible adaptation measures.  This is valuable knowledge which we expect to put to good use as we move forward to protect our special coastal community.

With the City's infrastructure being vulnerable, three key employees attended the seminar:  Public Works Director Doug Jeffcoat, Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes and Assistant City Engineer Daniel Ohrenstein.   We appreciate their focus on this important issue.

The training was a regional event held in Englewood with meteorologists, and representatives from a variety of government agencies (from as far away as Atlanta) attending. 
Attendees of the "Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities" seminar hosted by NOAA. 

MLK Way - Street Improvements   As the Newtown community embarks on its 101st year as a neighborhood, significant improvements are underway to restore Dr. MLK Jr. Way to a pedestrian-friendly business district between U.S. 301 and Cocoanut Ave.

Wherever possible, sidewalks are being widened -- and perhaps more importantly, over a dozen FPL utility poles, currently placed in
Wider sidewalks are being created along MLK Way. 
the middle of the sidewalk, are being relocated.  New landscaping is being planted and pedestrian enhancements, including brick crosswalks and a mid-block crossing at Janie's Garden, are also underway.  Plus, to help bolster the revitalization of the business corridor, 20 angle parking spaces are being added at Janie's Marketplace.

Once the heavy work is finished, MLK Way will be resurfaced from U.S. 301 to Central Ave.  The remainder of the road to U.S. 41 will be repaved in coordination with the ongoing construction at the Ringling School of Art and Design.

These pedestrian-friendly improvements have been in the pipeline since 2006 when they were included in the Newtown CRA Plan.  We anticipate the improvements will further help connect the Newtown community and the MLK Way corridor to the Ringling campus as the college builds a new library and soundstage, and Sarasota expands its identity as a center for education and creativity.

To see a video of what's been going on recently click below.

Dr. MLK Jr. Way improvements 
'Lose Big, Win Bigger' - Record Participation   Following media coverage of the 'Lose Big, Win Bigger' fitness challenge at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, this week, interest in the event soared!  An additional three dozen people registered to participate this past Monday after seeing or hearing about it on ABC 7.  That brings the total number of participants to 68 -- by far, the most since we started the event three years ago. 

A big thank you to Alix Redmonde and ABC 7 for sharing this healthy news story and helping to inspire and motivate individuals in our community to get fit!

The challenge runs for eight weeks and the winners are determined by the highest percentage of body weight lost.  Anyone, though, who accepts the challenge to exercise more and eat healthier is a winner!  We'll keep you posted.

ABC 7 reporter Alix Redmonde talking to RLTCC Manager Jerry Fogle
about 'Lose Big, Win Bigger'.

Southeastern Guide Dogs - Sculptures   Southeastern Guide Dogs has launched a new fundraising and community awareness campaign, "Superheroes on Parade", featuring life-size dog
"Triumph", sponsored by Visit Sarasota County, is on display at the visitors center on Main Street.

sculptures.  A total of 50 hand-painted statues will be placed in the Sarasota area, including several locations in downtown.

A talented blend of local and international artists created the sculptures, nine of which were unveiled during a recent celebration at Dimmitt Automotive on State Street.  For the next six months, the sculptures, which are being generously sponsored, will be on display.  The campaign will culminate with a 'parade' on Palm Avenue scheduled for October 8 and 9.

Currently, six sculptures are located in downtown Sarasota:

1.  Dimmitt Automotive - 1518 State Street
2.  Mattison's Grille - 1. N. Lemon Avenue
3.  Visit Sarasota County - 1710 Main Street
4.  Hyatt Regency - 1000 Boulevard of the Arts
5.  Sarasota Herald-Tribune - 1741 Main Street
6.  SRQ Media Group - 331 S. Pineapple Avenue

For more information about the "Superheroes on Parade" campaign visit:

Blue + You = Movie Night:  March 12     You're invited to attend SPD's next Blue + You event -- free Movie Night on Sat., March 12.  The family friendly movie 'Annie' will be shown outside on the west lawn of the SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane.  The movie starts at 7 p.m.  We're told a special live performance, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., is in the works.  So, plan to arrive early!  Bring blankets and chairs -- the viewing area opens to the public at 6 p.m.

Thanks to SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino and the many individuals at SPD involved with the Blue + You Movie Night.  These events have become popular with the community and help bolster positive relationships between residents and police officers.

Upcoming Events 

Vintage & Collectibles Fair 
 Sat., March 5:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun., March 6:  10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Municipal Auditorium

Chillounge Night 
Sat., March 5
7 p.m. - 11 p.m.
 Palm Ave. at Main St.

Sun Circle Art Festival 
Sat., March 5
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sapphire Shore Park

Sister Cities "One World Award" Luncheon 
Sun., March 6
11:30 a.m.
Michael's on East - 1212 S. East Ave.

United Way Tax Preparation 
Mon., March 7
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 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
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.
Bullets Over Broadway will be at the Van Wezel March 21.


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.

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.
An Evening with Sophia Loren - March 31 at the Van Wezel.


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