From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 5, 2017
While playing at Eloise Werlin Park, 5-year-old Honesti slowed down just long enough to pose for a quick photo opp.  She and her mom were visiting the park for the first time earlier this week and fell in love with it. Starting next Monday, May 8, the park will be temporarily closed for some improvements.  More on that below in Weekly Briefs.


  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., May 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., May 10 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Golf Course Attendant (Part Time)
Landscape Maintenance Tech I (Part Time)
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic II
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Utilities Reliability Engineer

This Week's Items to Know:

10th Street Boat Ramp & Dredging - Update   If you've visited the 10th Street Boat Ramp recently, you probably noticed there's a lot of construction activity!  All of it is to improve the area for boaters, marine life and the overall health of Sarasota Bay.

Good progress is being made with the replacement of the docks with three of the four already removed and replaced.  We expect the dock replacement component of the project will be wrapped up in the next several weeks, hopefully in time for the busy Memorial Day weekend. As promised, at least one boat ramp has remained open at all times, since it's such a popular area.

A construction crew knee-deep in water replacing a boat dock.

Meanwhile, the dredging of the boat basin is underway.  The basin has never been dredged, and, over the years, it has filled in substantially with silt clogging the area.  For the health of Sarasota Bay and safety of boaters, we're ensuring it's cleaned out and restored.

Please keep in mind:  The parking lot at the Van Wezel, near the Coast Guard Auxiliary, is reserved for Van Wezel patrons on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Signs have been installed to remind boaters to be courteous and keep the parking open for those attending a performance at our popular cultural arts venue. 

Pelicans perched on the protective barrier in the basin. 
You'll see machinery and protective barriers at the basin, which the seabirds don't seem to mind and are now using as new perches. Most of the equipment, though, will be removed prior to the annual July 4th power boat races, a large-scale charitable event for Suncoast Charities for Children, which has a significant economic impact in the Sarasota area. 

Thanks to all for your patience as we work to be the best possible stewards of Sarasota Bay for all the dolphins, manatees, seabirds and wildlife who live in the Bay and people who enjoy this majestic gem.

Eloise Werlin Park - Closed May 8-26    Starting next Monday, May 8, Eloise Werlin Park, adjacent to Hart's Landing, will be temporarily closed while it gets a makeover, including new sod and fresh landscaping. 

Resident Doc Werlin, whose late wife the park is named after,
Eloise Werlin Park will be closed for upgrades May 8-26.  
adopted the area in 2015.  In collaboration with the City, Doc sponsored the construction of the playground and installation of benches, trees and plants to create a more inviting atmosphere for families. And, it's been a success!  The park has become a destination for adults who want to enjoy time on the Bayfront while their children have fun exploring the playground. 

Doc's generosity is continuing with the upcoming improvement project.  We greatly appreciate Doc's heartfelt philanthropy, which  is a model for public-private partnerships throughout the community.   

Community Canopy - Success!    The first phase of the Community Canopy initiative, a new pilot program giving away trees to residents, has been a resounding success!  Within the first two days of announcing the
The wax myrtle is part of the Community Canopy program.  

program, two of the four species of trees (wax myrtle and red maple)  were all spoken for. That was 80+ trees!  At this writing, just a handful of holly trees remain. First come, first served! It's possible all 125 trees could be reserved within just one week of announcing the program.

Using a website, residents are able to pick the best location to plant a free tree on their property for optimal savings on their electric bill.  The trees soon will be delivered door-to-door in a one gallon container.

We're committed to growing our urban forest -- and giving away 125 trees is a step in the right direction toward achieving our goal.  Now, program participants will be responsible for planting their new tree in the proper location and caring for it. 

To learn more about the program and reserve a holly tree (while they last) visit

Bravo to all involved!

Pineapple Park - Community Input    We had a very good turnout at the Farmers Market last weekend to discuss the two concepts for the master planning process for the Lemon Ave. streetscape and
Project Manager Todd Kucharski explaining
the details of the two concepts.

Pineapple Park.  Project Manager Todd Kucharski and landscape architect consultant David Conner were on hand to talk one-on-one with residents and visitors about Option A & Option B. So many people were interested in learning about the concepts, staff stayed two hours longer than scheduled, so the conversation could continue.

There are significant differences between the two concepts. It's  important to note, though, that both options keep the existing fountain and public art.

The renderings and descriptions are posted on the City of Sarasota website and will be available for comment until Sunday, May 8 at 5 p.m.

Feel free to email comments to:  Todd.Kucharski@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Lift Station 87 - Update    The second and final 30-foot deep microtunnel continues to go well.  Following the first week, approximately 25% is completed.  The microtunnel equipment is now boring under Luke Wood Park and will meet at the same receiving shaft used for the first microtunnel.  This will connect the Lift Station 87 site with the 36-inch wastewater main that was recently installed under Hudson Bayou.

Demobilization on Osprey Ave. has started.

Meanwhile, crews are beginning the process to restore the work zone and reopen Osprey Ave.  Construction equipment and materials are now being removed from the site.

The installation of a new manhole in Opsrey Ave. is being completed, then workers will start the street and sidewalk restoration.  We are optimistic Osprey Ave. will reopen to pedestrian traffic in June, followed by vehicular traffic a short time later.

Bobby Jones - Tournament Wrap Up    The best amateur male golfers in the area will wrap up the second and final weekend of competition during the 46th Annual Men's City Championship at Bobby Jones Golf Club May 6 & 7.

Following the first round of 36 holes, Bobby Jones Logo 3-time champion Phil Walters is leading the pack with an impressive -6 under. That's just one stroke ahead of Bradley Knight at -5 under.  Last year's winner, Dave Perna, is in the hunt at -3 under.

Good luck to the nearly 100 amateurs this weekend as they vie to earn the right to have their name etched on the championship trophy alongside prominent past winners including Paul Azinger and Scott Dunlap!

Thanks to our Bobby Jones staff for ensuring this longstanding tradition continues and remains the top amateur event in our region. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Sat., May 20 8 p.m.

Idina Menzel
Sat., May 27 - 8 p.m.
Catch Idina Menzel on Sat., May 27 at the Van Wezel.


Friday Fest:  Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones
Fri., June 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Diana Ross
Fri., June 23 - 8 p.m.

Friday Fest: Kettle of Fish
Fri., July 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Friday Fest:  Jah Movement Reggae Band
Fri., August 25 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Friday Fest:  Reverend Barry & the Funktastic Soul
Fri., September 15 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Buddy will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 5.


Tues., December 5 - 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

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