From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 26, 2018
This was the scene at the Arlington Park dog park Thursday evening as the Parks and Recreation Department hosted its first ever "Bark-O-Ween".  Pampered pooches dressed up for Halloween and strutted their stuff  with a chance to win one of several awards including Funniest Costume, Most Creative, Judge's Choice and Best Overall.  Cowgirl Madeline Davis, 8, rounded up the Judge's Choice award with her "cattle", a German short hair and Boxer.   By all accounts, it was a howling good time!  Thanks to all  who participated in this fun, family-friendly event.   More pics are posted on Facebook.


  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., October 31 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Commercial Plans Examiner
Commission Reporter
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Equipment Mechanic II - Refuse Collection
Event Production Runner, VWPAH 
Facility Maintenance Tech/Janitorial - Van Wezel (Part Time)
GIS Analyst - IT
GIS Coordinator
Golf Course Attendant (Part Time)
Golf Shop Attendant (Part Time)
Park & Rec - Facility Maintenance Tech (Part Time)
Parks & Rec - Head Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard (Part Time)
Parks & Rec - Recreation Specialist (Part Time)
Parks Service Worker (Part Time)
Pension Specialist
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant - Robert L. Taylor Community Center (Part Time)
Risk Management Analyst
Senior Internal Auditor
Utility Construction Inspector - Engineering Tech III     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

FDEP Grant - Resilient Coastlines Program    Just as we commemorated the installation of the City's first ever living seawall last week at Bayfront Park, we received word the City was awarded a $174,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to help restore and protect a portion of Sarasota Bay near the Van Wezel at the foot of the Boulevard of the Arts.  This is outstanding news for our beloved Bay, resiliency and sustainability initiatives!
With the grant, a crumbling seawall will be removed and replaced with a sloped riprap design -- a more resilient way to adapt to natural sea level rise and better absorb wave action.  Also, a living shoreline and breakwater will be restored.
The area encompasses 328 feet of shoreline that has experienced severe erosion, threatening City infrastructure and nearby private property.  It's also located within Phase I of The Bay master plan recently approved by the City Commission. 
This dilapidated seawall will be replaced with a sloped riprap.

When the City conducted a climate vulnerability assessment, prior to the City Commission adopting a Climate Adaptation Plan in January 2018, this portion of the Bayfront was considered the most vulnerable public property within the "critical buildings" category.  This project will help implement specific recommendations identified in the City's Climate Adaptation Plan.
The design phase of the project is well underway and implementation could begin as soon as Spring 2019.
Many thanks to grants writer Laura Wittenbauer, Project Manager Georges Nicolas and our Sustainability team, Jeff Vredenburg and Stevie Freeman-Montes for their hard work on this winning grant proposal.  
Saprito Pier Cleanup    Sarasota Bay beneath the Tony Saprito Fishing Pier is cleaner now thanks to the efforts of Sarasota Bay Watch and 49 volunteers last weekend.
30 scuba divers retrieved all kinds of debris including 13 fishing nets,
A barnacle encrusted hammer was retrieved from Sarasota Bay during the cleanup.
15 pounds of fishing line, 15 pounds of rope, 50 pounds of recyclables and a grand total of 322 pounds of trash.  Two of the more unusual items plucked from the Bay bottom were a hard drive and a barnacle encrusted hammer.  Once the material was brought to the surface, volunteers on land sorted and recorded the items.
Two boats, two jet skis, a kayak, as well as a floating dock were used during the top to bottom cleanup with support from Scuba Quest, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota Underwater Club, SPD and the City.  
49 volunteers participated on land and sea during the cleanup.

Thanks to Sarasota Bay Watch and all the volunteers for their commitment to keeping this critical part of our Sarasota environment healthy, clean and attractive. 
Conde Naste Traveler - Top Small U.S. Cities    Congratulations, Sarasota!  Once again, our special coastal community is among the best on a top visitors list!   
In the 2018 Conde Naste Traveler Readers' Choice Awards,  Sarasota is ranked #5 in the category  "Top Small Cities in the U.S." 
The article points out that Sarasota has beautiful beaches, a thriving local food scene, plus world class cultural arts venues including the Sarasota Opera and Ringling Museum.    
Others on the list include Scottsdale, AZ; Asheville, NC; and Monterey, CA.      
Sarasota is included in the Conde Naste Traveler Readers' Choice Awards.

Crosswalk Art - Pilot Program    This Sunday, October 28 we will launch a small demonstration project featuring artwork along a pedestrian crosswalk in downtown.
The demonstration crosswalk will be located in the 1500 block of Main Street near C'est La Vie and Cask & Ale.  Careth Christine, a local freelance artist and muralist with a fine arts degree from the Ringling College of Art and Design, will hand paint an attractive design featuring, among other things, an orange and a lemon -- since the crosswalk is located between Orange and Lemon Avenues.  It's intended to be attractive, colorful and add to the delight of our increasingly walkable community.   
Artist's depiction of the crosswalk artwork that will be in the 1500 block of Main Street.

The artist will begin work at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning and is expected to finish by noon.  That small section of Main Street, though, will be temporarily closed until later in the evening, to allow the paint to dry.   
Within the next couple of weeks, the crosswalk in the 1400 block of Main Street, near Smokin' Joe's, also will be painted.
Citizens and staff members in our Planning Department have been intrigued by art displays in crosswalks in other urban areas throughout the country.  And, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce recently expressed interest in such a project. So, we thought we'd test the idea in our special city.  We'll look forward to seeing it and hearing your feedback.  
Procurement - Reverse Trade Show   Congratulations to our Purchasing Division which hosted a "reverse trade show" this week in conjunction with the local chapter of the National Institute of Government Purchasing.  
With a reverse trade show, local companies have the opportunity to meet with government procurement professionals from multiple agencies in one convenient location and learn about the possibilities of doing business with those agencies.   
Vendor turnout was impressive with representatives from over 90 local businesses descending upon the Municipal Auditorium to meet with local agencies including the City of Sarasota, City of North Port, Town of Longboat Key, Sarasota County, Sarasota Schools, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Manatee County and others.
Local business representatives visiting with Sarasota County
purchasing professionals during the reverse trade show.

In addition, four in-depth presentations were offered to help vendors better understand the government bidding process 
This the second reverse trade show the City of Sarasota has co-hosted with participation up about 30% from last year -- well done! 
We appreciate Purchasing General Manager David Boswell and his team's initiative to use creative ways to reach out to local businesses to inform them in detail about the government procurement process and the requirements behind our practices. 
Mobility Day - Nov. 1    We hope you can join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, November 1st as we co-host a free Mobility Day event at Lemon Avenue Mall, located at the corner of First Street and North Lemon Avenue downtown.
The event is being held in partnership with Sarasota County and  Commuter Services' Florida Department of Transportation District One Program. It is part of the larger Mobility Week statewide initiative, a  grassroots effort to promote awareness of safe and sustainable transportation choices and how those choices can build stronger communities, reduce traffic congestion and improve community health. 
Thursday's celebration will include free bicycle safety kits, plus representatives of local agencies offering information on cycling, transit, trails and more. We hope you can stop by (especially if you can walk, bike or take a bus there!) and hear a little more about  alternative modes of transportation, especially for your work commutes.
To learn even more,  visit  

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The Van Wezel's full 2018-2019 season is now on sale. (Individual tickets for The Lion King go on sale November 2.)   
To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen 
Tues., November 6 - 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps  
Wed., November 7 - 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps will be at the Van Wezel Nov. 7th.

Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock & Roll Part II 
Fri., November 9 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular Vol. 3 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Young Guns of Country 2018
Sun., November 11 - 7 p.m.
Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Sold out 
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas 
Sat., November 17 -  2 p.m. & 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory 
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 
Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2018 
Fri., November 23 - 8 p.m.
Catch Dave Koz's Christmas Tour 2018 on Nov. 23rd.

KC and the Sunshine Band 
Sat., November 24 - 8 p.m. 
Black Violin 
Tues., November 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Jim Brickman:  A Joyful Christmas 
Wed., November 28 - 7:30 p.m. 
The King and I 
Tues., December 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., December 5 - 7:30 p.m.
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live  
Tues., December 11 - 7:30 p.m.
A Christmas Carol 
Sun., December 16 - 6 p.m.
Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 p.m.
The Sound of Music 
Wed., December 19 - 7:30 p.m.
The Sound of Music will be at the Van Wez el on Dec. 19 & 20.

Thurs., December 20 -  2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker  
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Sat., December 22 - 6:30 p.m.
On Your Feet! 
Wed., December 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 29 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 30 - 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The Sweet Caroline Tour 
Mon., December 31 - 9 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

With Halloween coming up on Wed., October 31st, a few spooky events will be held throughout Sarasota during the next week.   
The Gator Club will host its annual Halloween Block Party this Saturday the 27th starting at 6 p.m. at the Lemon Ave. mall.  And, don't miss the 10th annual Fright Night at St. Armands Circle on Halloween night from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Sarasota High School Drama Department will put on a "Thriller" performance around 8 p.m.      
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 CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Tom Barwin
City Manager