From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 24, 2016

Photo of the Week
Significant progress is being made with the new multi-purpose artificial field at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.  This week, crews installed the bright green field turf.  Every 10 yards, the material was sewn together to ensure it will stay in place.  The project is on schedule to be finished on budget and on time in early August.  Already, many athletic leagues have expressed interest in reserving the field.  It will be a significant new asset for the region and we're pleased, so far, with the project and excitement surrounding it.  By the way, a grand opening celebration is already planned for September 13. The community is invited to attend!

Although the RLT Community Complex is a regional facility with over 50 percent of the users being non-City residents, we have been informed that Sarasota County has discontinued its financial support of the facility, which has been in place since RLTCC opened.  User fees may have to be increased to make up for the loss of regional funding support.   

  • City Commission Workshop
    Mon., June 27 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission Workshop
    Tues., June 28 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Tues., June 28 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • City Commission Workshop
    Wed., June 29 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., June 30 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.  

Accounts Receivable/Payable Specialist
Engineering Tech II
Facility Maintenance Tech
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Maintenance Services
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Spray Tech
Technical Support Tech II (SPD)


This Week's Items to Know:
Coon Key Bridge - Construction Suspended Thru July 4    Following extensive talks between the City and Florida Department of Transportation, FDOT has reopened both westbound lanes of the Coon Key Bridge through the July 4th holiday. 

FDOT temporarily suspended construction on the bridge due to
All traffic lanes on the Coon Key Bridge are open thru July 4. 
expected heavy volumes of traffic heading to Lido Beach over the holiday weekend for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix.  

The bridge is undergoing structural repairs and crews reached a point where they could stop and reopen both lanes of traffic this past Monday.

Work is expected to resume Tues., July 5, with the bridge narrowed to one lane of westbound traffic.  At that time, pedestrians and cyclists will not be able to use the sidewalk.  FDOT will construct a temporary pedestrian crossing. 

The project is expected to be finished by mid-August. 

Powerboat Grand Prix - Share the Beach  With some festivities for the 32nd Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix starting this weekend, people are being reminded to be aware and kind to sea creatures and share the beach.

Grand Prix organizers have launched a campaign, "Share the Beach", cautioning festival goers that Lido Beach is
Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix organizers are reminding people to be careful and share the beach with wildlife.

home to sea turtles and seabirds who are in nesting season -- and we need to be careful on the beach. 

To help protect the nests, the public is being reminded about a new beach rule this year during the Grand Prix:  You must wait until sunrise to set up on the beach.  The Sarasota Police Department will be on patrol keeping an eye out for those who may be overly anxious and try to claim a beach spot before sunrise.

Also, swimmers or boaters who encounter manatees and other wildlife should give these creatures a wide berth and leave them to their own devices.  It's important for us to share the shoreline!

We appreciate Lucy Nicandri and her team with the Powerboat Grand Prix being proactive and communicating this important information before the races begin over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Expanded "Boats on Main" Block Party - July 1 at 6 p.m.   Rather than holding a parade this year, Grand Prix organizers are opting to have the powerboats escorted by the Sarasota Police Department from the 10th Street boat ramp to Main Street, where they will be featured in a stationary display.  The "Boats on Main" block party will be held Friday, July 1 from 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. on Main Street from Orange Ave. to Palm Ave., and along Lemon Ave. between State Street and 1st Street. 

For a full schedule of events visit: 

Seabird Stewards Needed   Once again this year, the Audubon Society is asking for volunteers to educate beach goers about the black skimmer colony at Lido Beach during the busy July 4th holiday weekend.

Volunteers are needed to help educate the public about the
black skimmers nesting at Lido Beach. 
The Audubon Society is concerned about these nesting seabirds due to the increased number of people on the beach as well as habitat loss.

If you're interested in being a bird steward for the weekend, you just need an enthusiasm for our special black skimmers and the beach.  Umbrellas and parking will be provided.

To learn more contact:

July 4th - Holiday Schedule   City Hall administrative offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.  

Please noteTrash, recycling and yard waste collection will be one day later:
* July 4 collection will be on July 5
* July 5 collection will be on July 6

On Monday, July 4th, hours of operation at City recreational facilities will vary:

Bobby Jones Golf Club:  Regular hours - 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Children's Fountain:  Closed
Lido Pool:  Regular hours - closed
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex:  6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

The regularly scheduled City Commission meeting will be held the following day on Tuesday, July 5 starting at 2:30 p.m.

We greatly appreciate all our employees who will be working on the July 4th holiday, especially our men and women in blue who will be outside in the heat ensuring the Powerboat Grand Prix is a safe community event.

SPD - Boating Safety Tips    Traditionally, the July 4th holiday weekend is a very busy time on our beautiful waterways.  The Sarasota Police Department is reminding boaters to run through a safety check before heading out, including making sure you have a life vest for each person on board, a whistle or air horn, flare gun and fire extinguisher.  Although a VHF radio is not required, consider having one on your boat in case of an emergency.

For other boating safety tips, we encourage you to check out this brief public service announcement produced by the Sarasota Police Department  -- and have a safe, enjoyable time on the water.

YouTube:  SPD Boating Safety Tips 
SCOPE -  Seniors +Transportation Survey    Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence, better known by its acronym SCOPE, is conducting a transportation survey to assess the challenges our older population may face in our community.  Sarasota County residents age 65 and older are asked to take 10 minutes and fill out a short survey.  Click here to take the survey.

All responses are anonymous.  And, participants will be eligible to win one of ten $25 gift cards to Publix.  

Upcoming Events 
Gluten Free Expo 
Sat., June 25 
Municipal Auditorium  
9 a.m. - 4 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.
Celtic Thunder will perform Oct. 15
at the Van Wezel.


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
Mon., October 31 - 8 p.m.

Mannheim Steamroller
Fri., November 18 - 8 p.m.
Rogers + Hammerstein's Cinderella will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 27 & 28.


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

Weekly Briefs will be on hiatus through July 4th.  Have a wonderful and safe holiday in our special city.  Weekly Briefs will return Friday, July 8.

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Tom Barwin
City Manager