From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 5, 2016

Photo of the Week

When you're 16 months old and it's sizzling hot, what better place to be than the Children's Fountain at Bayfront Park!  We caught up with little Hattie as she paused briefly from romping through the cool fountain.  She was visiting the park with her family members who were enjoying a stay-vacation from Orlando.  They discovered the Children's Fountain after conducting a Google search of children's activities in Sarasota.  By the way, the Children's Fountain is free and open daily (weather permitting) 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day.    

  • Citizens with Disabilities
    Mon., August 8 - 10 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., August 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parking Advisory Committee
    Tues., August 9 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop
    Tues., August 9 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., August 10 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., August 11 - 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.  

Computer Support Specialist II
Facility Maintenance Tech
GIS Coordinator
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Landscape Maintenance Tech I (Part-time)
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant
Spray Tech
Treatment Plant Operator C
Utilities Capital Projects Manager
Utilities Mechanic I


This Week's Items to Know:
Osprey Ave. Bridge - Construction Underway    As planned and announced to the public, the Osprey Ave. bridge over the Hudson Bayou closed this past Monday to accommodate microtunneling and directional drilling under the bayou for the Lift Station 87 project.  Already, crews are excavating an aging water main and preparing to install a temporary main which will be used during the directional drilling process.  Ultimately, as part of the project, the old 10-inch water main will be replaced with a new 24-inch pipe, providing increased reliability and capacity.

The official Osprey Ave. detour route is U.S. 41 to Hillview Street.  We're monitoring traffic patterns to ensure new signage is directing drivers to businesses which are open at Southside Village.  We're also keeping a close eye on cut through traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Although we're just a few days into the detour, we're able to report drivers are adjusting well and traffic is flowing in the area.

As a reminder, we have a designated website for this project:   Also, if you have questions or questions please contact the project hotline:  941-356-8071. 

A crew member with Vadnais Trenchless prepares to install a temporary water main, which will be used during the horizontal directional drilling under the Hudson Bayou.   

Bobby Jones Golf Club - Sales Tax Holiday    Florida's 3-day sales tax holiday will be held Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7, as families begin to purchase back-to-school items.

Bobby Jones Golf Club will participate in the sales tax holiday.  So, if you're in need of golf shirts, pants, skirts, cleats and hats....consider stopping by the Golf Shop, 1000 Circus Blvd., and peruse the tax free eligible items.  The shop is open daily 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The list of exempt and non-exempt items for the 2016 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is very detailed. To review the list, provided by the Florida Department of Revenue, click here.  
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Pokemon Go!    Pokemon Go continues to be popular....and the popularity is expanding to our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club.

Recently, staff was contacted by a Pokemon Go enthusiast who wanted to gain access to the course to 'catch 'em all' -- including a rare Pokemon creature, which he believes may be roaming the links via the phone app. 
A charmander on the British Course?  You never know.... 

So, we've developed a plan whereby Pokemon players can coexist in harmony with golfers.  Pokemon enthusiasts can rent a cart for $10 for 2 hours and play between noon and 5 p.m. to their heart's content -- provided they stay on the cart path and do not interfere with golfers.

We're not sure how much interest there will be, but if you want to 'catch 'em all' you may have to visit Bobby Jones.  Thanks to Bobby Jones Manager Sue Martin who sees the Pokemon Go phenomenon as a fun opportunity to be inclusive and introduce new people to our golf an augmented reality.     
Procurement  - Achievement of Excellence Award    Congratulations to our Procurement Division within the Finance Department!  For the second consecutive year, they've been honored with the Achievement of Excellence award from the National Procurement Institute.

Our small staff works diligently to ensure all City procurements -- from a small paper clip to a large infrastructure construction contract -- are conducted in a professional, fair and ethical manner.   For our Procurement Division to be honored by their peers is indeed an honor and high praise. 

In fact, the NPI award committee was so impressed with the Procurement Division's user friendly webpage, it was added to the NPI's benchmarks indicating it's an example of excellence that should be replicated by other organizations.  You can check it out here.

Congratulations to Purchasing Manager David Boswell and his team on a job well done!
Front: Jessica Smith, Lou Ciferno, Purchasing Manager David Boswell, Rob Schanley; Back:  Danielle Duchene, Denise Donohue, Barney Kavanagh, Assistant Purchasing Manger Carlos Marmolejos, Finance Director John Lege.

Payne Park Playground - Closed 8/8 & 8/9   The circus playground at Payne Park will be temporarily closed next Monday, August 8 & Tuesday, August 9 for pressure cleaning and sanitizing.  Weather permitting, we expect the playground to reopen on Wednesday.

In the meantime, we encourage families to explore other nearby parks, including our very popular Bayfront Park which has a playground as well as a fountain where children can cool off.  


RLTCC - Volunteers Needed    One of the many commendable aspects of the Sarasota community is the desire to help others through volunteerism.

As our regional recreational facility, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, grows in popularity we're seeking more volunteers to provide assistance with students and sports programs.  Not only is RLTCC an impressive rec center, it's a safe haven for individuals of all ages.  And, the generous support of volunteers helps keep it operational. 

The current volunteer need includes: homework assistants; concession stand attendants; and youth basketball, volleyball and flag football league coaches and officials.  Volunteers also are being recruited for two specific upcoming events:  Punt, Pass and Kick on Sept. 8, and the RLTCC Turf Field Grand Opening and Open House on Sept. 13.

With Sarasota County opting not to fund this regional facility, we anticipate we may need to rely on volunteers a little more in the future, while considering an increase with user fees.

We appreciate all our volunteers throughout the City, including those at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, SPD, and Robert L. Taylor Community Complex -- thank you! 

Upcoming Events 

Folk Dance
Bayfront Community Center 
Wed., August 10  
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Scottish Dancers 
Bayfront Community Center
Thurs., August 11
7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 


Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is the current show schedule through 2016. For more information visit    

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

Brian Wilson
Sun., Sept. 11 - 7 p.m.
Brian Wilson will be at the Van Wezel on
Sept. 11.


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.

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Fri., October 28 - 8 p.m.

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

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

Jim Brickman
Tues., November 29 - 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for Jim Brickman go on sale Sept. 10.

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

Oak Ridge Boys
Sat., December 10 - 8 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.  We'll be on sabbatical until mid-September. 

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