From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 10, 2016
Photo of the Week
As soon as our Emergency Operations Center learned of the expected trajectory for Tropical Storm Colin, Public Works crews went into storm preparation mode last week.  Several days before landfall was anticipated, crews began inspecting streets and checking storm drains to ensure the drains were free of debris to help minimize the possibility of street flooding.  We experienced few storm related issues in the city limits, primarily restricted to low lying areas which tend to be flood prone, particularly in the U.S. 41 area between Fruitville and Gulfstream, at high tide.  In this photo, we caught up with Phil Worline and Henry Carter as they cleared a drain on 24th Street near Links Avenue before the squalls started.  We appreciate the crews in the Public Works Department who helped prepare for TS Colin, and also crews in the Landscape Division who were dispatched to remove 14 downed trees after the storm brushed by Sarasota. 

Webber St.:  Code Compliance 

The Webber Street code compliance case, which garnered so much publicity on Facebook over the Memorial Day weekend, was officially closed this week with all fines and costs waived.  Code Compliance Special Magistrate Richard Ellis took that action Thursday afternoon at the recommendation of staff, following an inspection indicating that the property now meets safety and health codes.

At the invitation of staff, the homeowner's daughter, who lives out-of-state, joined the proceedings via conference call.  

Neighborhood and Development Services Director Tim Litchet with Marie Louise Sikorski during the final code compliance hearing declaring her property in compliance.  All fines and costs associated with the cases were forgiven.

The property began deteriorating when it was vacated for six years ago. The City received a code compliance complaint from the public in 2014, and since that time staff has been meeting and talking with the elderly homeowner to reach an amicable resolution.  Within the past few months, the owner returned to live in the house which did not meet health and safety codes.

We greatly appreciate Revlis Construction, a local licensed contractor, who stepped up and offered their services pro bono so this case could be resolved in a positive manner.  And, I'd like to thank staff in the Neighborhood and Development Services Department, which, led by Director Tim Litchet, went above and beyond working on this challenging case for two years. 


  • Community Workshop
    Mon., June 13 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., June 14 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parking Advisory Committee
    Tues., June 14 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., June 15 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board
    Fri., June 17 - 11 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission Retreat
    Fri., June 17 - 1 p.m.
    Bayfront Community Center - 803 N. Tamiami Trail

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.  

Administrative Specialist II
Electronic Traffic Signal Tech
Facility Maintenance Tech
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Maintenance Services
Parking Enforcement Specialist
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Recreation Attendant
Spray Tech


This Week's Items to Know:
TS Colin - Yard Waste Collection    Although Tropical Storm Colin just brushed by Sarasota, there were enough strong wind gusts and heavy rains to bring down large palm fronds, branches and some trees.  So, it's anticipated that as we do our weekend yard work, there will be an increase in residential yard debris for crews to collect next week.
The City of Sarasota contracts with Waste Management for yard waste collection.  We'd like to remind you of a few tips to help ensure your yard debris is picked up:

1.  Bundle branches and tie them together
2.  Debris should be 4 feet maximum
3.  No more than 50 pounds
4.  Grass clippings, leaves etc. can be placed in a 45 gallon container


Yard waste will be collected as usual during regular residential pick up days.

Also, with regard to trash collection, as we enter the hot summer months, please close the lids on your trash carts to help with odor control, thwart rodents and insects, and keep rain water out. 

We appreciate your cooperation to help keep our special city clean and beautiful.

Orange Ave.: Temporary Minor Closure   If you travel Orange Ave. just south of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, expect a slight detour for a few days next week. 

Starting June 13, one block of Orange Ave. -- between Hawthorne
Orange Ave. between Hawthorne and Arlington will be closed for 3 days starting June 13.

and Arlington -- will be temporarily closed for 3 days for road work.

An electronic message board announcing the temporary closure is in place near Orange Ave. to advise motorists of the temporary closure. If you can help spread the word, we would appreciate it.

We understand this is a major north-south travel pattern for many motorists, and we'll do our best to ensure the roadway is reopened by Thurs., June 16.

Arlington Park Amenities - Public Input Sought    Arlington Park is one of our most popular neighborhood parks, and we want to hear  from residents and those who use it about their vision for it in the near future. 

An interactive workshop will be held at the Arlington Park gym at 10 a.m. on June 18th.  A facilitator will focus on three areas: 

* Unused amenities
* Top needs
* Desired improvements

A one-half mile paved fitness trail around the park is a popular amenity at Arlington Park.

Arlington Park offers much including a lap pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, walking trail and dog park.  The rec building -- and the light fixtures, lockers and restrooms inside -- are decades old and in need of a makeover.  We hope feedback from the public will help determine a path for capital improvements.

While Arlington Park is owned by the City, it's operated and maintained by Sarasota County through an interlocal agreement. 

If you're unable to attend the workshop on June 18, you're invited to send your comments to Todd Kucharski, Public Works General Manager:        
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Saturday Golf Clinic   Over the past several summers, the golf pros at our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club, have offered clinics and camps for youngsters.  This summer, adult duffers also will have the opportunity Bobby Jones Logo to hone their skills!

For one hour each Saturday morning from June 18 to July 23 (with the exception of July 2nd), students will learn to drive, putt, chip, and pitch with resident PGA Professional and Teacher of the Year Christian Martin and PGA Pro Daniel Bailey. 

Sessions start each Saturday at 10 a.m.  A package of five sessions is $100 per person.
Click here for more information or contact the Golf Shop:  941-954-4163.

Sustainability - Green Team     We've mentioned in Weekly Briefs recently that we've renewed our focus on sustainability and ways we can help reduce our carbon footprint -- both community wide and at City Hall.

There are many ways we can work internally to improve our City operations.  And, to help lead us in the right direction toward to implementing sustainable practices and increasing our efficiency, we've assembled a volunteer Green Team.  Comprised of 14 employees, representing departments throughout the City, the group will help educate staff about sustainability, set goals for departments and also come up with innovative ideas that will lower greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately, evolve the culture of how we do business in the City.  The inaugural Green Team meeting was held last week.

Thanks to all on the Green Team for their interest in making City operations greener and more sustainable.  And, thanks to Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes for formulating the idea to include employees as we work toward a more planet friendly organization.

L to R:  Green Team members - Front Row:  Steve Brown, Jessica Smith, Mike Keim, Stacey Monroe, Rowena Elliott, Stevie Freeman-Montes; Back Row:  Dennis Baker, Mark Nicholas, Scott Neary.  Not Pictured: Kim Denais, Briana Dobbs, Ben Kunkel, Claraessa Williams, Paul Shumway. 

Upcoming Events 
Friday Fest
Fri., June 10 - 5 p.m.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

St. Armands Craft Festival 
Sat., and Sun., June 11 and 12
St. Armands Circle Park
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Flag Day Celebration 
Tues., June 14
Selby Five Points Park
10 a.m. - 4 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.
Brian Wilson will perform at the Van Wezel on Sept. 11.


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., September 23 - 5 p.m.
Catch Mannheim Steamroller at the Van Wezel on Nov. 18

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

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

ZZ Top
Mon., October 31 - 8 p.m.

Mannheim Steamroller
Fri., November 18 - 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

Our first Friday Fest of the summer is tonight -- June 10.  The fun starts at 5 p.m.  Hope to see you on the lawn of the Van Wezel for live outdoor music and a sunset on Sarasota Bay.

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