From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 6, 2016
Photo of the Week
Hoops, anyone?  When he's not working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 22-year-old Marshal Gay likes to shoot baskets on the public courts at Arlington Park near his home in the city limits.  There are four nets (or two full courts) at the park, which can accommodate night play.  The courts are free and open to the public.  


  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., May 10 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 109
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., May 10 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Special Meeting

    Wed., May 11 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio

  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., May 11 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., May 11 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission Workshop
    Thurs., May 12 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Administrative Specialist I
Arborist I
Arborist II
Control System Technician I
Electronic Traffic Signal Tech
Facility Maintenance Tech
Golf Course Attendant
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Special Events Rep./Monitor
Spray Tech
Sr., Transcriber - SPD
Utilities Capital Projects Manager 


This Week's Items to Know:
Hotel Curio: Temporary Street Closure Planned    Plan Ahead:  We've talked about pending construction near Cocoanut Ave. and Palm Ave. as we've been making plans for special events downtown -- and now that construction is upon us. 

Starting next Monday, May 9, Cocoanut Ave. between First Street
Artist's rendering of Hotel Curio.
and Palm Avenue is scheduled to be temporarily closed for approximately six weeks.  This Phase I closure is necessary while critical infrastructure, including force mains and stormwater lines, is installed underground in conjunction with the building of Hotel Curio, adjacent to the Palm Ave. Garage.  Both north and southbound lanes of Cocoanut will be temporarily closed for the project.  (Please note:  Northbound will remain open on May 9th to help accommodate traffic flow while The Jewel mills and resurfaces a portion of Gulfstream Ave.)

A boutique hotel, slated to have 160 rooms, Hotel Curio is the third hotel currently under construction in the downtown core.  The new Aloft on Palm & Ringling opened in February. As Sarasota continues to draw visitors from around the world, Visit Sarasota County foresees these additional hotel rooms will help ease the need for accommodations for tourists and business meetings.

St. Armands - Pedestrian Management Feedback Wanted    You may recall, the Florida Department of Transportation tried something new this past spring to help with traffic flow around St. Armands Circle:  pedestrian traffic managers were stationed at crosswalks in
Pedestrians wait with a FDOT Pedestrian Traffic Manager while vehicular traffic is allowed to flow - March 2016. 

March.  It was hoped the managers would be able to ensure pedestrians traversed the crosswalk safely while providing designated opportunities for traffic to flow.

FDOT is now assessing the pilot program and is looking for feedback, including whether you think it helped traffic circulation, improved pedestrian safety and whether the program should return.

If interested, you're encouraged to download a survey here and return the completed form to FDOT.

We appreciate FDOT following up on this matter so quickly and already planning for next season.


Building-side Lighting Exhibit  -  Stop by the Rivo building (126 S. Osprey Ave.) in the evening to see a colorful and unique lighting
A light sculpture created  by R.O. Schabbach
displayed on the Rivo building.

display.   Known as 'light sculpture', this exhibit was designed by German artist R.O. Schabbach.  The display will be lit each evening from sunset to 11 p.m. through this Sunday, May 8.

City staff approved a right-of-way use permit and a temporary activity permit, so this dazzling exhibit could take place.  We appreciate the community's appreciation of art -- whether it's a traditional sculpture or light sculpture -- and we're pleased this fun exhibit is taking place in downtown.


Public Finance Leadership -  Congratulations to Deputy Finance Director Kelly Strickland who recently graduated from the inaugural class of Leadership FGFOA (Florida Government Finance Officers
Deputy Finance Director Kelly Strickland recently completed FGFOA's inaugural course on leadership.

Association).  She was one of just 20 public finance professionals in the state selected to participate in this new program designed to develop and sharpen leadership skills. Sessions during the week-long course included discussions on team building, ethics, communication, and being a leader in a multi-generational workplace. 

It's important for staff members to receive the training they need to be successful in the workplace.  During the Great Recession, all training except that required to maintain professional certifications was suspended.  Fortunately, as the economic tide has turned we have been able to reinstate training for employees. Staff members are encouraged to obtain at least 40 hours of supplemental training each year.  This will help them stay current on occupational trends and provide us with insight into innovative programs successfully implemented at other governmental entities.

We appreciate Kelly's interest in leadership training and sharing her knowledge at City Hall.  Congratulations!  
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Summer Rates   We're enjoying what might be the last spurt of cool spring weather, but summer rates at our historic municipal golf course Bobby Jones Golf Club are already Bobby Jones Logo in effect!

We're now offering our popular 'Some Like it Hot' special:

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.:  $17.76* for 18 holes with a riding cart
Before 11 a.m.:    $30.84*
After 3 p.m.:        $21.50*
*Tax not included

If you can take the heat this summer, why not save some green while you're on the greens?  For more info, including tee times, visit       

Friday Fest - Free Concert Dates   Our free summer concert series kicks off next month on the lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall along Sarasota Bay.   These are fun, family-friendly events and it's never too early to place them on your summer agenda:

There's something for everyone with these bands performing a variety of musical genres -- classic rock, blues, country, soul, reggae -- you name it!      


Friday Fest is held 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. on the bayside lawn...rain or shine.  You're invited to bring blankets and chairs.  No coolers please.


See you next month for our 2016 kick off!


Join us for a free outdoor concert each month this summer at the Van Wezel.

Blue + You = FREE Movie Night - May 29   Kick off summer vacation with Blue + You Movie Night on Sunday, May 29 at 8 p.m.  The featured film will be Norm of the North, a family-friendly tale.  The event will take place at the usual location:  on the west lawn at the SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane.  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets -- you can stake out a spot as early 7 p.m.
Culver's, the event sponsor, will serve tasty frozen treats throughout the movie.  Complimentary drinks and snacks also will be available.
Thanks to everyone at SPD for organizing the event and helping families build trusting relationships with our police officers.

Upcoming Events 
Free Comic Book Day 
Sat., May 7
All Sarasota County libraries 
10 a.m. 
ArchiFest Sarasota 
Sat., May 7
Herald-Tribune - 1741 Main St.
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival 
Sat., May 7 & Sun., May 8 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Selby Five Points Park

Classic Corvette Car Show 
Sat., May 7
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a current list of shows. For more information visit 

Friday Fest:  Koko Ray & The Keepers 
Fri., June 10 - 5 p.m.
MAKS & VAL - Our Way
Thurs., June 16 - 8 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Jah Movement
Fri., July 29 - 5 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Rebelheart
Fri., August 26 - 5 p.m.

Brian Wilson
Sun., Sept. 11 - 7 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Dr. Dave Band
Fri., Sept. 23 - 5 p.m.

Celtic Thunder
Sat., Oct. 15 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular
Sat., Oct.  22 - 7:30 p.m.

ZZ Top
Mon., Oct. 31 - 8 p.m.
Tickets on sale September 1

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