From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 17, 2016
Photo of the Week

We continue to grieve the tragic loss of life in Orlando carried out with a military-style assault weapon. Among the victims:  Eddie Sotomayor, Jr., a Booker High School graduate and Sarasota resident.  The day after the tragedy, a candlelight vigil was held at Selby Five Points Park to remember "Top Hat" Eddie, as he was known to friends, and to show solidarity in the gay community.  We appreciate the organizers immediately reaching out to City staff, who worked quickly to ensure the processes which needed to occur before the event, were expedited, including closing a road, setting up barricades, issuing a sound permit, and devising a public safety plan.  Special thanks to the Sarasota Police Department for their visible presence at the vigil and keeping us safe during this heartfelt community event with an estimated 1,500 people in attendance.  


  • General Employees' Pension Board
    Mon., June 20 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Mon., June 20 - 2:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Rules and Appeals
    Wed., June 22 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., June 22 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.  

Facility Maintenance Tech
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Maintenance Services
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Spray Tech


This Week's Items to Know:
Active Shooter Training:  Run, Hide, Fight  It is regrettable that do to increasing incidents across the country, training for citizen responses to active shooter situations has become a law enforcement training module.  With that said, we remind all that Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino offers training to civic groups, neighborhood associations etc. about how to respond during an active shooter situation. 

In a crisis situation, it's crucial to have your wits about you so you can make rapid decisions.  Your survival could depend upon it. You should always have an exit strategy wherever you're located.  And, if faced with an active shooter situation, you should consider three options:

Run:  If you can get out, do so.  Leave your belongings behind.  Don't let the indecisiveness of others slow you down.

Hide:  If you can't get out, hide.  Act quickly and quietly.  Secure the location as best you can, including locking the doors. Silence your phone.

Fight:  If your life is at risk, fight.  Improvise weapons.  Work with others and commit to incapacitating the shooter.

Awhile ago, in Weekly Briefs, we provided a link to an educational video. It contains such helpful information we wanted to share it again:

YouTube Video:  Surviving an Active Shooter Event 
YouTube Video: Surviving an Active Shooter Event

We want to emphasize that we have no reason to believe an active shooter might appear in Sarasota or anywhere.  But, in light of the seemingly random incidents across the country, it's good practice to be prepared.

We remain hopeful policy makers at all levels of government will adopt strategies, policies and laws to prevent and minimize the risk of active shooter incidents in America.

If you are interested in having SPD provide active shooter training for a group of individuals, please contact Chief DiPino:

New Play Equipment - Gillespie Park  Children have another fun way to spend their time outdoors in Gillespie Park.  A new climbing structure reaching all the way up 24 feet in the air was recently installed for kids 5 to 12-years-old.   Three spinner seats also were installed in the shade.

These new amenities are possible thanks to a generous $50,000 grant from the Selby Foundation, which we greatly appreciate.  Investing in parks and children is a significant part of community building and we're pleased we were able to boost the amenities at Gillespie Park, thanks to the Selby Foundation.
To complete a safety inspection, Landscape Division employees Randy Bautista and Matt Travis scaled to the top of the climbing net.

Bird Key Bridges - Seawalls to Be Repaired  The seawalls on the four bridges on Bird Key will receive some safety improvements throughout the rest of the calendar year.  At this time, no road closures are expected. 

The bridge on Pheasant Drive will be the first one on the schedule.  Work is planned to begin at the end of June and run through August.  The scope of the work on all the bridges will include repairing concrete, correcting voids behind the seawall, installing sheet piling and replacing seawall caps and anchors. 

For the Pheasant Drive bridge, the water in the area will have to be removed.  To accomplish this, a pump will have to run 24 hours a day throughout the project.  Staff is researching a noise reduction deflector.  Of the four bridges, this is the only one that will require de-watering.

The Pheasant Drive bridge on Bird Key. 

The tentative work schedule for the other bridges: 

*  Wild Turkey Lane:  Mid-July to early October
*  S. Bird Key Drive:   Late July to early November
*  N. Bird Key Drive:   Early August to early December   

Tourism Report - Visitation Down Slightly   After seeing steady monthly tourism growth for the past five years, Visit Sarasota County
Dolphin Fountain at Bayfront Park
(Courtesy:  Visit Sarasota County) 
is reporting a slight decline for April.  This reflects national trends as well as what VSC prognosticated.

While visitation numbers are considered flat, spending actually increased 3%. We're told that consumer uncertainty tends to prevail leading up to an open presidential election. 

As we enter into the hot summer months, some might consider a stay-cation right here in our special city!

Yoga in the Park - June 18    If you enjoy yoga, or perhaps you've been interested in trying it, you're invited to participate in a free session, Yoga in the Park, on Sat., June 18 at Bayfront Park. 

The class will be taught by Claudia Baeza, a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer who recently moved to Sarasota.  She reached out to our Parks and Rec Director, Jerry Fogle, inquiring about how she could share her love of wellness and yoga while giving back to her new community.

The class will be one hour and held on the grassy area in Bayfront Park between the marina and O'Leary's Tiki Bar.  Everyone is welcome!

There is no cost to participate in Yoga in the Park.  Donations will be accepted and directed to the youth programs at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.     

Upcoming Events 
Yoga in the Park 
Sat., June 18 
Bayfront Park 
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 

Saturday Golf Clinic 
Sat., June 18
Bobby Jones Golf Club
10 a.m.

Fathers and Fenders 
Sun., June 19
Selby Five Points Park
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is the current show schedule through 2016. For more information visit    
Friday Fest:  Jah Movement
Fri., July 29 - 5 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Rebelheart
Fri., August 26 - 5 p.m.
Rebelheart will perform at
Friday Fest on August 26.


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

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

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

Doo Wop Spectacular
Sat., October 22 - 7:30 p.m.
ZZ Top will be at the Van Wezel on Oct. 31.


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

Mannheim Steamroller
Fri., November 18 - 8 p.m.

Wed., December 7 - 8 p.m.

Beach Boys Christmas
Mon., December 12 - 7:30 p.m.

Rogers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Tues., December 27 - 8 p.m.
Wed., December 28 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Thurs., December 29 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

42nd Street
Fri., December 30 - 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

For all the dads out there -- we hope you have an especially nice weekend in our special city.  Happy Father's Day!

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