From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 15, 2016

Photo of the Week
We're into the dog days of summer!  What better place to relax and cool off with a breeze from the Gulf of Mexico than our beautiful Lido Beach.  We captured this photo earlier this week as storm clouds gathered in the distance over the sweeping shades of the blue green sea.  What you won't see here is blue green algae, which has been problematic at the beaches on the east coast of Florida.  There have been no reports of blue green algae in Sarasota.   Our friends at Visit Sarasota County are encouraging those on social media to share their current photos showing our beautiful, algae-free beaches -- and use the hashtags #MySarasota #FloridaNow.   


  • General Employees' Pension Plan
    Mon., July 18 - 8:30
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Mon., July 18 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Tues., July 19 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., July 20 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Parks, Rec & Environmental Protection
    Thurs., July 21 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers


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

Computer Support Specialist II
Facility Maintenance Tech
Golf Course Attendant
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Maintenance Services
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Property and Evidence Specialist
Rec Attendant
Spray Tech
Utilities Capital Projects Manager


This Week's Items to Know:
Arlington Park - Survey   Our Parks & Rec Department is looking for your input about how Arlington Park is currently used and what improvements you would like to see in the future.  If you have a few minutes, we'd appreciate you taking an online survey about the park.  Click here to take the survey.

The survey is comprised of 7 questions, many of which inquire about
Amenities at Arlington Park include a 50-meter lap pool.
information gathered during a recent community meeting about the park.  For example, the following comments were made during the meeting:  'gym is underutilized'', 'add dog park lighting', 'repair fountain in pond', 'add family friendly programs' etc.  You're asked to agree, disagree, or give no opinion.  You also have the opportunity to provide detailed written comments.

Arlington Park is a popular neighborhood park with amenities ranging from a 50-meter lap pool to basketball courts to a one-half mile fitness trail.  Some of the facilities are showing their age and staff's intention is to gather input from the community to help map a course for future capital improvements.

We appreciate your participation! 

Osprey Ave. Bridge Closure - Aug. 1   The Osprey Avenue Bridge over the Hudson Bayou will be closed starting Monday, August 1 as crews begin the complex process of microtunneling under the bayou  to install a wastewater gravity main before constructing Lift Station 87.  The contractor is  allowed one year to finish this phase of the project with Osprey Ave. closed, although we are cautiously optimistic it will be completed early.

Our Utilities Department and Engineer of Record for the project, McKim & Creed, have been and will continue to be in close contact with residents and businesses in the vicinity.  We understand the inconvenience of the road closure and the natural response by drivers to want to use neighborhood streets as cut-throughs.  Please note:  while the closure is from Mound Street to Hillview Street, local traffic from Hillview to Bahia Vista Street will be allowed.  Signage directing drivers to businesses will be installed as well as electronic message boards indicating that the official detour is Mound Street, U.S. 41 and Hillview Street.

We're hosting a community meeting regarding this initial detour plan -- or as it's officially called, maintenance of traffic plan.  The meeting will be held Tues., July 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the SRQ Media Studio at the City Hall Annex, 1565 First Street.

The City is still in litigation to recover funds expended on this project before it was halted.  It has been confirmed that the original Engineer of Record miscalculated the microtunneling to the point that if work had continued the base of the bridge would have been struck.   

Please visit for notices and progress report updates throughout the construction. 

Orange Ave. - Temporary Lane Closure July 25-28    As we endeavor to coordinate Utilities and Public Works projects to lessen traffic inconvenience as much as possible, street repairs on Orange Ave. will need to be done before Osprey Ave. closes next month.  The good news:  it's expected to be a short closure and one lane of traffic will remain open.

Starting Monday, July 25, Orange Ave. between Bay Point (just south of the Hudson Bayou) and Alta Vista Street will be reduced to one lane for three days for street repairs. The work is expected to take 3 days. 

The northbound lane will remain open throughout the project and a flag person will be on site to facilitate traffic flow.  Southbound traffic will be detoured to Osprey Ave.  The road is scheduled to reopen completely on Thurs., July 28.

On July 25, Orange Ave. between Bay Point and Alta Vista will be reduced
to one traffic lane for three days.  

Bayfront 20:20 - Visit to Carmel, IN    As part of a fact finding and firsthand learning experience, Commissioner Susan Chapman, Van Wezel Executive Director Mary Bensel and I traveled to Carmel, Indiana (just north of Indianapolis) this week with a group of Bayfront 20:20 representatives.

Over a whirlwind two days, we experienced an impressive cultural
With the Sarasota delegation in Carmel. 
arts district comprised of a 1,600 seat symphony hall, 500 seat performing arts theater, and a 220 seat black box theater.  Completed six years ago, the TIF funded entertainment complex cost $200 million.

Mayor James Brainard and others provided us with insight into how Carmel's cultural arts district functions, how it was created and how it was funded.  The district is the result of pro-active redevelopment using a total of 32 Tax Increment Financing districts. We also learned Indiana's taxing structure is different than Florida's, with income taxes used to fund public schools.  

Downtown Carmel is walkable and features engaging sculptures by Seward Johnson, who created "Unconditional Surrender" in Sarasota.

To better manage traffic, Carmel also has been on the cutting edge of integrating roundabouts and protected bicycle paths in the community.  With 100 roundabouts already in place, we observed firsthand how well they keep traffic flowing and learned of the dramatic reduction in serious traffic accidents and injuries.

It was a helpful experience as we discuss how to move forward with creating a cultural arts district and mobility enhancements in Sarasota.  Thank you to Mayor Brainard and all the City of Carmel for the hospitality.

Top Left:  Commissioner Susan Chapman and Carmel Mayor James Brainard pose with a sculpture during a walking cultural arts tour.  TOP RIGHT:  With renowned Sarasota architect Frank Folsom Smith and several life-like sculptures outside the Pallidium at the Center for the Performing Arts. BOTTOM LEFT:  Van Wezel Executive Director Mary Bensel poses with a sculpture in downtown Carmel.  BOTTOM RIGHT:  Commissioner Chapman preparing to bicycle the Monon Greenway, a 5-mile trail along Carmel's cultural arts district. 

Upcoming Events 
2-Man North South Championship 
Sat., July 16
River Run Golf Links
1801 27th St. East - Bradenton
7:30 a.m.

Vintage & Collectibles Fair 
Sat., July 16:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Sun., July 17:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Municipal Auditorium

2-Man North South Championship  
Sun., July 17 
1000 Circus Blvd. - Sarasota 
7:30 a.m.

NAACP Community Conversation 
w/FOCUS & Local Law Enforcement
Mon., July 25
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
6:30 p.m. - 8 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.
  The next FREE Friday Fest will be July 29 --- rain or shine!


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.
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 29.


Fame The Musical
Wed., December 7 - 7 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 10

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.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 10

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