From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 19, 2019
That's Ozzie, a cairn terrier, decked out in his finest spring attire posing with the Easter Bunny, who made a special appearance during the inaugural Hounds on the Hunt event held recently at Paw Park at Arlington Park.   30+ dogs, along with their humans, participated in a canine-friendly Easter egg hunt searching for special golden eggs that led to prizes.   Thanks to our creative Parks & Recreation staff for organizing this fun, unique event for the whole family!  And, for young swimmers, a special Aqua Egg Hunt is in the works at Arlington Park, Sat., April 20.  Details below.


  • Informal City Commission
    Tues., April 23 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wed., April 24 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., April 24 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., April 24 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Wed., April 24 - 5:30 p.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., April 24 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Community Canopy - Record Setting Tree Giveaway    It took less than 48 hours for residents to claim the 250 trees available this time through our Community Canopy program!  That's a record number of trees given away in a record amount of time.  Bravo, Sarasota!
The trees will be shipped in a one-gallon container directly to
All 250 trees were reserved in less than two days
residents' homes at the end of April.  When they arrive they may look small, but with proper care and water they will grow large.  This time, three species were available to select from with red maple being the most popular, followed by dalhoon holly and live oak. 
The goal of this sustainability initiative is to grow our urban canopy, and we couldn't be happier with the tremendous outpouring of support for the program.  As the trees grow, they'll help clean the air, filter stormwater, and the shade they provide will lower electrical bills.   
Thank you to the Arbor Day Foundation for providing logistical support and the Florida Forest Service for awarding the City a matching grant, allowing us to double the allotment of trees in the giveaway this time.     
Sarasota Bay Cleanup   Our precious Sarasota Bay is a bit healthier with less debris and junk in it, thanks to the exceptional efforts of over 120 volunteers who gave up part of their Saturday morning last weekend.
In all, 1,240 pounds of trash was plucked from the Bay near the U.S. Coast Guard station adjacent to Centennial Park and the Van Wezel.  Volunteers worked on land and under water, pulling out discarded crab traps, a radio, sailboat rudder as well as old tires. Also, a significant amount of Styrofoam was gathered from the riprap along the shoreline.  So much debris was collected, volunteers used a portion to create a fish, representing marine life impacted by the pollution.
80 additional pounds -- or over 15 percent -- of the debris collected was recyclables, including many aluminum cans.
Some of the litter was positioned into the shape of a fish.
A big thank you to the Recycling Partnership, which made the cleanup possible through its Coastal and Waterway Community
Left: Mayor Liz Alpert giving opening remarks during the cleanup; Right: Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch picking up litter 
Recycling Grant with generous support from the Coca-Cola Foundation.  While a portion funded the Bay cleanup, most of the $100,000 grant went toward recycling education and the purchase of new single-stream recycling carts.  We anticipate the new carts with lids will help keep recycling in its place and not pollute the environment.
This initiative was part of Keep Sarasota County Beautiful's Great American Cleanup and was successful due to many partners, including the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Bay Watch and Rethinking Plastic, with special thanks to the SPD marine patrol for helping to keep the area safe for the volunteer scuba divers.
Thank you to Mayor Liz Alpert and Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch for attending the cleanup and the City Commission's commitment to making Sarasota a cleaner, healthier city.    
Farmers Market - Water Taste Test   We're pleased to announce the Utilities Department will have a special booth set up at the popular Downtown Farmers Market over the next couple of weeks to discuss drinking water.
Residents participating in a water taste test during a CCNA meeting in 2018.
We're seeking feedback on the quality of the City's drinking water as well as the level of service.  Staff members will be on hand to talk about the water system and recommendations for improvement. 
Those who visit the booth can participate in a test, rating the appearance, odor, and taste of various drinking water samples, including the City of Sarasota.   
The booth will be prominently located at First Street and Lemon Avenue on April 20 and 27.  We look forward to seeing you!      
Parks & Rec - Aqua Egg Hunt   Ever hear of an underwater Easter egg hunt?  Our creative Parks and Recreation staff at the Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex are hosting an Aqua Egg Hunt Sat., April 20 starting at 1 p.m.
Brightly colored faux eggs will be placed in the pool and youngsters will swim around and collect as many as they can for prizes.   
This "egg-citing" event will take place in the swimming pool with various age divisions jumping into the hunt at different times:
*4 and under:  1 p.m.
5 - 8 years old:  1:20 p.m.
9 - 12 years old:  1:40 p.m.
*4 and under must be accompanied by a guardian in the pool. 
Arlington Park will host an Aqua Egg Hunt Sat., April 20.
Please make sure the kids and grandkids are wearing proper swim attire for the hunt.  $2 fee per child -- early registration is not necessary.   
The Easter Bunny himself has confirmed he will be in attendance and ready for photo opps with the little ones.   
Kudos to the Parks & Rec staff for organizing what is sure to be another fun, family-friendly event at Arlington Park!   
Sustainability:  Earth Day Festival - April 22  The City is once again partnering with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County and several other community organizations to host an Earth Day celebration on Monday, April 22, in downtown Sarasota. 
Visit the Earth Day Festival on April 22 to learn more about bicycle safety, energy efficiency, stormwater pollution and more.
We hope you can take a lunch break and stop by between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Selby Five Points Park. There will be booths set up throughout the park offering information and helpful tips on a variety of environmental issues, including energy efficiency, stormwater pollution, composting, native plants, electric vehicles and more.
You'll be able to check out tiny homes, try an e-scooter and learn how to turn single-use plastics into reusable items. Be sure to visit our transportation team, who will be sharing lots of info about Sarasota in Motion, the City's transportation master plan and the various options we are exploring. 
If that's not enough to entice you, there will also be free stuff available! Bicycle enthusiasts will be able to snag free gear, and some attendees will be able to take home one of more than 70 free native plants and trees, while supplies last, thanks to a grant from the Native Plant Society. That giveaway is in recognition of Arbor Day and our City's 33 years of being designated as a "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation.
There will also be food available for purchase from Spice Boys food truck, plus more demonstrations and useful info about how we can make small changes in our daily lives to protect and preserve our planet. We hope to see you there!

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Alan Cumming - Legal Immigrant 
Sat., April 20 - 8 p.m.

Rosanne Cash and Band 
Thurs., April 25 - 8 p.m.
Rosanne Cash and Band will be at the Van Wezel April 25.


The Temptations and The Four Tops 
Fri., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Whoopi Goldberg 
Sat., April 27 - 8 p.m.
Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle 
Sun., April 28 - 7 p.m.
The Illusionists 
Tues., April 30 - 7:30 p.m. 
Catch Purple Reign at the Van Wezel on May 4.

Purple Reign
Sat., May 4 - 8 p.m. 
Escape to Margaritaville
Mon., Dec. 2 - 7:30 p.m. 
Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical 
Fri., Dec. 13 - Sun., Dec. 15 
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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager