From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 21, 2019

16-month-old Avery Nonnemaker has the right idea on how to stay cool!  Earlier this week, she was enjoying the portion of the Children's Fountain designed for the wee ones with her dad, Sean, while her two older brothers played in the larger fountain area.  The Children's Fountain is a family favorite and this was little Avery's inaugural visit. Located in beautiful Bayfront Park right on Sarasota Bay, the Children's Fountain features not only cool flowing water but colorful animal sculptures, and is free and open to the public.  Summer hours are now in effect:  open daily (weather permitting) 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 


  • St. Armands BID
    Wed., June 26 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., June 26 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Environmental Resiliency - FDEP Secretary Visit   When the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Noah Valenstein, visited Sarasota this week to tour a restored living shoreline completed with a $189,000 FDEP grant, he noted that the City of Sarasota is a statewide leader with environmentally conscious projects like this one.  Secretary Valenstein has toured many coastal communities throughout Florida and to place our special city at the forefront with sustainability and environmental issues -- and to encourage other municipalities to follow our lead -- is a feather in the City's cap.  We're proud and appreciative of the recognition.
The recently completed living shoreline project is located on Sarasota Bay at the terminus of Boulevard of the Arts, and will be included in Phase I of The Bay activating the area and transforming it into a large, welcoming green space for the community.
An educational display provides information about the shoreline resiliency project.

A massive concrete seawall on Sarasota Bay was deteriorating and the adjacent shoreline was experiencing severe erosion and threatening nearby property.  The City was awarded a Resilience Planning Grant from FDEP to replace the traditional seawall with more resilient natural-based infrastructure and restore the living shoreline and breakwater.     
As it turns out, this more environmentally conscious option cost less (by approximately $50,000 to $100,000 depending upon wall repair or replacement) and will greatly enhance resiliency and prepare the area for the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
Mayor Liz Alpert, Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and I were in attendance to tour the area with Secretary Valenstein, which gave us the opportunity to thank the Secretary for his forward thinking approach with shoreline resiliency and erosion reduction.  We also expressed our gratitude for the Secretary's accessibility and helpfulness addressing the City's needs post Hurricane Irma.    
We appreciate the partnership with FDEP and look forward to working with the state to be the best environmental stewards we can be.    
(Left): Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, Project Manager Georges Nicholas, City Manager Tom Barwin, Mayor Liz Alpert (Right): FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein, Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes, FDEP Resilient Coastl i nes Program Manager Whitney Gray
FPL Agreement - Energy Makeovers   When the City renegotiated a franchise agreement with Florida Power and Light in 2010, it included a Renewable Energy Agreement outlining ways FPL will invest in our community and support energy efficiency within the Sarasota city limits.   
As part of the agreement, two non-profits received energy
The energy makeover at Goodwill Manasota included installing more energy efficient lighting.

makeovers this week from FPL:  Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) and Goodwill Manasota.  FPL installed new energy efficient lighting and is in the process of conducting extensive energy evaluations at each of the non-profits' locations throughout the area.  FPL values this investment at over $11,000. Not only will SPARCC and Goodwill Manasota be more energy efficient, resulting in lower energy bills, they'll be able to continue to focus on their missions, investing in services for the community rather than funding energy efficiencies.
Over the years, through the agreement with the City, FPL has performed 450+ home energy audits, installed 15+ EV charging stations, five solar power streetlights and a solar installation at Bay Haven School.  FPL has also conducted energy efficiency upgrades at Girls Inc, the VFW and St. Martha's Preschool, bringing the total nonprofit energy makeovers that FPL has conducted as part of the Renewable Energy Agreement to five.  
This is an important community collaboration with FPL and we look forward to continuing to see the requirements of the Renewable Energy Agreement fulfilled.    
FPL values the SPARCC energy makeover alone at $7,900.  
Sarasota in Motion - Community Outreach   After hosting two community visioning workshops recently soliciting input for our transportation master plan, Sarasota in Motion, our planners are continuing the input process by taking their show on the road, so to speak.  
Earlier this week, the team was at St. Armands Circle talking with
Sarasota in Motion community outreach on
St. Armands Circle. 
residents and visitors about how they get around Sarasota and options to improve their travel experience whether they're driving, bicycling, walking, taking transit or even possibly one day using a water taxi or e-scooter.  There's much to consider and discuss!
Look for our planners at Friday Fest on June 21.  Also, next Monday, they will be stationed at the Walmart on the North Trail late in the afternoon.  Other locations will be added where possible.  And, we're not leaving out the younger generation!  We'll be soliciting input from children, attending our Parks & Rec summer camps, with fill in the blank exercises plus a drawing component to help describe their transportation vision for the next 10 years.  
Have you taken the Sarasota in Motion survey yet?  It's available online through June at    
Security Screenings - City Commission Meetings   This past Monday, the City began enforcing a state law prohibiting firearms in meetings of governing bodies. A private security team was on hand inspecting computer bags, purses etc. and scanning individuals with a small handheld device -- very similar to security before entering a large sporting event.
A private security firm conducting security screenings prior to entry into the City Commission meeting on June 17, 2019. 
The City Commission meeting was well attended with over 100 people going through the security screening.  And, the community response to this added level of security has been overwhelmingly positive.    
The security screenings will be in effect for all City Commissions meetings and workshops.  Please plan accordingly and arrive a few minutes earlier than usual to go through this brief, simple process.
We appreciate everyone's understanding as we do our best to ensure everyone who wants to participate in our local democratic process in person feels safe and secure.    

Van Wezel:  Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Friday Fest - Big Night Out 
Fri., June 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Rebel Heart 
Fri., July 19 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Reverend Barry and the Funk 
Fri., August 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Ari and the Alibis 
Fri., September 20 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
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