From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 19, 2017

The 14th annual Embracing Our Differences international art exhibit will be on display at Bayfront Park through the end of the month.  If you haven't strolled the grounds and taken in these compelling pieces, which address tolerance and diversity, I highly recommend it.  This year, a staggering 10,700 submissions from 115 countries were received by Embracing Our Differences, the not-for-profit organization which coordinates this thought provoking program and promotes community conversation.  Congratulations to all involved!  


  • City Commission Workshop
    Mon., May 22 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Bobby Jones Master Plan Discussion
    Tues., May 23 - 9 a.m. & 1 p.m.
    Bobby Jones Golf Club - 1000 Circus Blvd.
  • Police Complaint Cmte
    Wed., May 24 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Vehicle Seizure Hearings
    Thurs., May 25 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Bayfront 20:20 - Stakeholders Meeting
    Thurs., May 25 - 4:30 p.m.
    Sarasota Garden Club - 1131 Blvd. of the Arts
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 (Part Time)
Maintenance Mechanic I (Part Time)
Maintenance Mechanic II
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Utilities Reliability Engineer
Utilities Mechanic I

This Week's Items to Know:

10th St. Boat Ramp - CLOSED May  23-25   Plan ahead, boaters!  We've reached the final stage of the improvements to the 10th Street Boat Ramp:  repaving and re-striping the Centennial Park parking lot. 

That means the boat ramps will be temporarily closed for approximately 36 hours while this work is completed.  The closure will begin late at night (just before midnight) on Tues., May 23.  Weather permitting, the work should be completed and the area reopened to boaters by noon on Thurs., May 25

Please note
:  To repave the parking lot, all vehicles and boat trailers must be removed from the area.  Electronic message boards are posted in the parking lot to alert the public and the Coast Guard has been notified.
The parking lot and boat ramp will be closed May 23-25.

For the past three months, while the four boat docks were replaced, work crews accommodated boaters and ensured public access was maintained at all times. Now, we've reached the point where the area must be closed for approximately a day and a half. To lessen the inconvenience, the repaving is being done at off-peak hours during the week. 

For those seeking alternative boat launches, we encourage you to use the Ken Thompson Park boat ramp or visit the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission website where public boat ramps throughout the state are listed.

FDOT - Upcoming U.S. 41 Road Work    Look for FDOT crews as they begin to stage equipment soon for improvements along U.S. 41.  Two separate projects will be underway with work done at night to lessen traffic disruptions.

First, FDOT crews are beginning to replace the traffic light mast arms from Bay
In June, FDOT crews will begin work on U.S. 41
between Fruitville & Gulfstream. 
Street to the north along the Bayfront. At the same time, the pedestrian crosswalk ramps and push buttons will be upgraded.   

The second project will involve improvements near Fruitville Rd. and Gulfstream Ave.  A new designated right turn only slip lane will be added to northbound U.S. 41 near Fruitville. Traffic separators also will be installed and a pedestrian island will be constructed between Gulfstream and Fruitville.  Work is expected to begin next month (June) and be completed in the fall.  FDOT is confident these adjustments will help improve traffic flow and alleviate the stacking that occurs on the Ringling Bridge during peak hours in season. 
Bobby Jones - Master Plan Input  - Golf architect Richard Mandell will be in Sarasota next week to hear further input from golfers, residents and other stakeholders as he finalizes a master plan for our historic municipal golf course Bobby Jones Golf Club. 
Richard Mandell walking the Gillespie Course with stakeholders in January. 

Recently, he presented to the City Commission a variety of exciting options for the Gillespie Executive Course, including a proposed teaching center and an adjustable course.

Now, his proposed plans for the entire complex are 90% completed and those proposals will be presented during two community sessions on Tues., May 23 at 9 a.m. & at 1 p.m. at the Bobby Jones Clubhouse conference room. 

This is an open invitation to the public to share your thoughts and suggestions as Richard works toward finalizing a proposed master plan.  We look forward to the conversation continuing!   

New Pass Cleanup - Volunteers Needed    Following a successful cleanup at the Tony Saprito Fishing Pier in November, we're co-sponsoring another cleanup event with Sarasota Bay Watch -- this one at New Pass near the fishing piers at Ken Thompson Park. 

On Sat., June 3rd, we'll help remove debris in the water, including lost fishing tackle which will improve the environment and reduce the chances of dolphins, turtles and seabirds becoming entangled and harmed.

Volunteers are needed for the event, particularly experienced certified scuba divers with their own gear (Scuba Quest will provide a free air tank with arrangements in advance); experienced kayakers; and topside helpers to lift debris from the divers. Registration is required and space is limited.

For more information click here.

Discarded items retrieved from Sarasota Bay during the
last Sarasota Bay Watch cleanup. 

The SPD marine patrol also will assist with the cleanup again. During the last cleanup, lots of stuff was retrieved from the Bay including old fishing line, a tire and even a laptop computer.

We appreciate everyone's volunteerism as we all do our part to improve the health of the Bay.


Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Nov. 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.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 16 - 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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager