From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
January 11, 2019
What better way to enjoy one of our world renowned sunsets than peddling to the Bayfront and relaxing waterside taking in the colorful splendor and serenity?  We captured this peaceful slice of paradise adjacent to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Wednesday evening just before the performance of the 3 Redneck Tenors. What a grand welcome to a New Year!


  • Special City Commission
    Mon., January 14 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., January 16 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Wed., January 16 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Wed., January 16 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Convocation of Governments
    Fri., January 18 - 9 a.m.
    Suncoast Technical College - 4748 Beneva Road
Featured Job of the Week 

  Other great opportunities!

This Week's Items to Know:

Community Survey - Open through Feb. 9    With the start of the New Year, we'd like to take the pulse of the community on a variety of issues affecting our special city.  We invite you to participate in the 2019 Community Survey!
The City last conducted a survey five years ago.  With that input, we've been working toward making Sarasota the best city it can be. Although we hear from residents on specific issues regularly, this is a compilation of questions on a wide range of topics which will help guide the City's decision making process in the near future.  
The survey is available online and consists of 27 questions asking you to prioritize issues ranging from transportation to green space to recreation and development.   
You should be able to complete the survey in about 15 minutes perhaps over a cup of tea, coffee or other preferred beverage.
Anyone with an interest in Sarasota is invited to participate:  full-time and part-time residents, business owners, visitors and those who work here.  
The data will be analyzed and presented to the City Commission in Spring 2019.  
Already, over 2,400 people have taken the survey.  Have you?   
Thank you in advance for your feedback. 
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Bird Count    With its annual Christmas Bird Count, the local chapter of the National Audubon Society confirmed once again that our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club, is an important watershed and urban refuge where an array of wildlife congregates.   
At the beginning of December, a team of three birders visited Bobby Jones twice on the same day:  at sunrise then again at sunset.   
What did they see?  A total of 45 species of birds just at Bobby Jones!   Varieties included:  a loggerhead shrike, bald eagle, Cooper's hawk, red-shouldered hawk, limpkin, kingfisher, kestrel, barred owl, pileated woodpecker, woodstork and osprey.  The shrike was spotted on the Gillespie Executive Course with a green heron as well as a raccoon.
A green heron at Bobby Jones Golf Club (Photo Credit:  Mark Schocken) 

To see more incredible photos taken by Mark Schocken during the bird count at Bobby Jones please visit the City's Facebook page.
Thank you to the local Audubon chapter for including this 300 acre  property in their count and helping us better understand the number and variety of birds that call Bobby Jones home.  

Calls to Artists:  Deadline Feb. 28    Not one but two Calls to Artists are currently underway for landmark public art sculptures that will
BRAVO!, the City's most recent public art addition, was installed at Ringling Blvd. & Orange Ave. in August.   
be placed in the roundabouts currently being built on U.S. 41 at 10th Street and 14th Street.
Submissions for both pieces will be considered by the Public Art Committee with a recommendation going to the City Commission for a final decision.  Since the sculptures will be placed on a State road, the Florida Department of Transportation also will review each design.
Specific requirements for each entry are posted on 
10th Street & U.S. 41 - Call to Artists 
14th Street & U.S. 41 - Call to Artists  
The budget for each sculpture is $150,000, which will be paid for by developer payments into the Public Art fund.  
Sarasota is blessed with an active cultural arts community and many talented artists.  And, we encourage qualified artists from our region to consider submitting concepts for one or both locations.  
Next month, our public art collection will grow as a new sculpture called "Jumping Fish", approved by the Public Art Committee and City Commission, will be installed at the roundabout at Palm Ave. and Cocoanut Ave.  Stay tuned!   
Manasota Neighborhood Summit - Feb. 22    For the second year, Manatee and Sarasota Counties are teaming up to offer a neighborhood summit where residents can ge t together, network and learn from each other on similar issues. 
This year, the City of Sarasota is hosting the event at the Robert L.  Taylor Community Complex on Fri., February 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.  
The inaugural summit featured discussions on best communications methods for neighborhoods, hurricane preparedness, crime prevention and Florida-friendly landscaping initiatives.   
Registration is $20 and available online.    
SNN City Report:   Community New Year's Resolution   The focus of this week's 'City Report' on SNN is a look at how we can all work  together to resolve to protect the environment we love and enjoy and do our part to reduce red tide.
During these early days of 2019 my suggestions include:
1.  Eliminate or reduce fertilizer usage

2.  Stop blowing grass clippings and leaves into the streets

3.  Use renewable energy whenever possible

4.  Please do not put baby wipes, cooking oil, grease, and large
     objects down the drains.  (This causes sewer blockages and spills
     which can end up in our waterways.) 
With each of us individually doing our part, collectively we can make a difference with this significant issue.
Red tide along Florida's west coast. 
Tune in to SNN tonight at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. for the report or check out previous "City Report" segments online.   

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Air Supply 
Sun., January 13 - 7 p.m.
The Righteous Brothers 
Tues., January 15 - 8 p.m.

Linda Eder 
Thurs., January 17 - 8 p.m. 
Pilobolus Shadowland:  The New Adventure 
Tues., January 22 - 7:30 p.m.
Howie Mandel 
Wed., January 23 - 8 p.m.

The Midtown Men 
Fri., January 25 - 8 p.m.
  Catch Howie Mandel on Jan. 23 at the Van Wezel.

Gladys Knight 
Sat., January 26 - 8 p.m.
Jerry Lee Lewis 
Sun., January 27 - 7 p.m.
Tony Orlando 
Mon., January 28 - 8 p.m.
Dick Fox's Golden Boys 
Tues., January 29 - 7:30 p.m.
Neil Berg's 110 Years of Broadway 
Wed., January 30 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 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 CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Tom Barwin
City Manager