From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 28, 2017
Photo of the Week
Happy Arbor Day!  We celebrated this significant annual event with a tree planting ceremony at the historic Bidwell House. Staff, with assistance from Mayor Willie Shaw and Marsha Fittler with the Historical Society of Sarasota County, planted a white Geiger tree that will flower twice a year.  As a City, we're committed to maintaining a strong urban canopy and expanding it whenever we can.  Recently, with much community input, the City Commission adopted a revised tree ordinance to further protect and enhance the tree canopy. (More on that below.) We appreciate everyone's thoughtful input and dedication to this important environmental issue.  And, once again, the Arbor Foundation has taken note of the community's commitment.  For the 31st year, the City of Sarasota has been honored as a Tree City USA.  Congratulations, everyone!


  • City Commission
    Mon., May 1 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., May 2 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., May 2 - 10:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 109
  • Community Workshop
    Tues., May 2 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Development Review Cmte
    Wed., May 3 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.  

Director of Utilities
Golf Course Attendant (Part Time)
Golf Shop Attendant (Part Time)
Junior System Administrator
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Maintenance Mechanic I
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Newtown Redevelopment
Police Officer, 2nd Class
Recreation Attendant (Children's Fountain - PT)
Recreation Attendant (RLTCC - PT)
Summer Internship (Part Time)
Utilities Reliability Engineer  


This Week's Items to Know:

Pineapple Park - Feedback Sought   We're taking our show on the road, so to speak, as we seek community feedback with the master planning process for Pineapple Park and Lemon Avenue streetscape.

Staff will be on hand at the Farmers Market tomorrow (Sat., April 29) 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. to discuss the project and hear from residents and visitors about how they envision the area.

Pineapple Park in downtown Sarasota.
A landscape architect, contracted by the City for the project, has created two concepts. Both designs keep the existing public art and fountain in Pineapple Park.  One concept offers changes to modernize the area and make it more accessible to the public.

Renderings of both concepts will be on display near Pineapple Park, and the architect and City staff will be on hand to discuss them and the master planning process.

If you're unable to see us at the Farmers Market event, don't worry -- we plan to post the two concepts on the City of Sarasota website for review.   
Community Canopy - FREE Trees!   As part of our Arbor Day celebration, we unveiled an exciting new pilot program to boost the tree population in the city limits.  Bottom line:  You can get a tree delivered to your house at no cost -- plus, learn where to plant it for optimal energy savings. 

Through the Community Canopy program, 125 trees will be given to City residents for free.  You can reserve your tree at your convenience online at:  And, it gets even better:  On the website, you can use a tool to calculate the estimated energy savings from planting the tree in the most strategic spot on your property. 

Four kinds of native, locally sourced trees will be offered: dahoon holly, red maple, wax myrtle and yaupon holly.  Once selected, the tree will be mailed to your home in a one gallon container.  Can't get much easier!  (Participants are expected to care for the tree and plant it in the location specified by the online calculator tool.  One tree per household can be reserved.)

For more information click here.

Thanks to our Senior Arborist Mark Miller who heard about the program and shared that information with Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes who coordinated bringing the Community Canopy to Sarasota on a trial basis.  
CitySide Apts. - New Tree Ordinance   More good news dealing with our urban canopy!  We're seeing positive outcomes with our newly revised tree ordinance. 

As part of a required tree mitigation plan, CitySide Apartments
Newly planted trees by CitySide one block north of the development.
planted ten beautiful, mature trees near their development in the Rosemary District.  The ordinance provides some latitude to developers when trees are removed from a construction site.  They can be replaced on site, within 1,000 feet, or an agreed upon location nearby. 

After meeting with residents and City staff about the issue, a pocket park one block away at Cocoanut Ave. and 10th St. -- the site of a lift station -- was selected as the mitigation site. Mark Miller, the senior arborist involved with the project, is very pleased with the process, and the cooperation and coordination between the developer and the Utilities Department -- and the final result.

A variety of mature trees, including live oaks, elms and magnolias, were planted in time for Arbor Day.  And the developer hosted an Arbor Day celebration with Mayor Willie Shaw in attendance.

This appears to be a good example of different parties coming together for the good of the community with the end goal of enhancing the urban canopy.  Congratulations to all involved!

Bobby Jones Golf Club - Summer Loyalty Club   Many year-round golfers who enjoy playing Bobby Jones in the spring and fall are tempted to visit private clubs during the summer months, when those facilities offer enticing loyalty memberships and golfers can save a lot of green.  After researching the issue, our staff members at Bobby Jones sharpened their pencils and came up with our own impressive Summer Loyalty Club offer:  $295 for unlimited golf May 1st through October 31st.


Participants also receive special perks including scheduling tee times one week in advance, taking one junior golfing for free after 11 a.m., 10% off regularly priced merchandise with the Bobby Jones logo, free golf clinics, and a free basket of range balls each visit.

Riding or walking fees apply.  To learn more click here.

This is a great incentive for golfers to continue playing at Bobby Jones through the hot months.

Thanks to our staff at Bobby Jones for positioning the complex to continue to be an attractive option for golfers. With the master planning process underway, led by golf course architect Richard Mandell, who recently provided a detailed progress report to the City Commission, the possibilities for this community jewel are exciting.

Men's City Championship: April 29-30 & May 6 & 7   One of the top amateur golf events in the area will take place at our very own Bobby Jones Golf Club over the next two weekends:  The Men's City Bobby Jones Logo Championship on April 29-30 and May 6 & 7. 

This is a popular tournament that is open to all amateur male golfers.  Once again this year, we expect to have close to 100 competitors in the field.

Good luck to all the golfers...and thanks to our staff members who will be there helping to ensure the tournament runs smoothly.

Farmers Market - Commissioner Recognitions  As two of our City Commissioners wind down their terms, the Farmers Market thanked them recently for their service and support over the years. 
Commissioner Suzanne Atwell and Commissioner Susan Chapman with Phil Pagano, the Famers Market Manager.  

At-Large Commissioners Suzanne Atwell and Susan Chapman were honored with the 'Friend of the Market' award for their consistent support. 

The Farmers Market is considered one of the top markets in Florida with 10,000 weekly visitors on average -- and  Commissioners Atwell and Chapman are regular visitors, mingling and purchasing items for the week.

Each Saturday, the Market is a vital part of the downtown Sarasota scene and we appreciate all who support it and help make downtown a special destination.      

Bring Your Kids to Work Day   Typically, we don't see a lot of kids at City Hall, so it was a fun change of pace when over a dozen children of City employees descended upon us earlier this week for 'Bring Your Kids to Work Day'. 

The children started the day by getting a photo ID badge, then set off for a tour of City Hall.  They visited Payroll, Purchasing, Parking, IT and the Building Division  --  where they learned about the many and varied jobs that are performed to help keep the City running smoothly.  They also had the chance to meet with Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioner Susan Chapman, who encouraged them to consider public service and reminded them they are the future.

Lots of photos are posted on the City of Sarasota Facebook page.

Special thanks to Dominique Anderson in the Human Resources Department who volunteered to organize the event and ensured there would be plenty of kid-friendly learning opportunities. 

Human Resources Generalist Dominique Anderson watches over her daughter, Lilly, who was ready for the day with her own junior-sized desk.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is the current show schedule through September 2017.  For more information visit    
Kinky Boots 
Sat., April 29 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun., March 30 - 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons  
Sat., May 20 - 8 p.m.

Idina Menzel  
Sat., May 27 - 8 p.m.

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones 
Fri., June 16 - 5 p.m.

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

Reverand Barry & the Funktastic Soul 
Fri., September 15 - 5 p.m.
Free Concert  

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