From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
March 16, 2018
A natural sunburst radiating over Sarasota Bay and the mooring field on a chilly evening in downtown Sarasota earlier this week.  Not a bad way to end the day in our special city!


  • City Commission
    Mon., March 19 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., March 21 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Wed., March 21 - 3 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Community Workshop
    Wed., March 21 - 5:30 p.m.

    City Hall - Room 112

  • Planning Board
    Wed., March 14 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Engineer Tech II
Golf Course Attendant
Golf Shop Supervisor
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Parks Service Worker - Part-time 
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
RLTCC Lifeguards
  Senior Pension Accountant
Summer Camp Counselor - Temporary, Part-Time
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator *Apprentice      

This Week's Items to Know:

Plan Ahead:  Half Marathon Sun., March 18   Expect temporary lane closures in the morning on Sunday, March 18, as runners hit the streets for the 13th Annual First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay.   

The event starts at 6:30 a.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and takes runners over the Ringling Bridge, around St. Armands Circle and back up the North Trail and through the Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores Neighborhood before returning to the Van Wezel.  Participants are required to be off the streets by 11 a.m. to allow all traffic lanes to reopen.

A list of affected streets and a course map are available at
Course map for the 2018 First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay.  

3,000 runners are expected to participate in the 13.1 mile individual run and 2-person relay.  For those who prefer a shorter distance, organizers added a 10K (6.2 miles) this year.

With stunning views of Sarasota Bay along the race route, Sarasota remains a popular destination for competitive runners and fitness enthusiasts. 

Kudos to our Special Events team which works closely with event organizers to ensure the races are properly permitted with minimal traffic lane closures

Whole Foods Garage - Fire Response  It's unusual for us to write about breaking news in Weekly Briefs, but we wanted to share the response to a vehicle fire at the Whole Foods Garage in downtown this week.

A Dodge Caravan parked on the third floor caught fire mid-morning on Wednesday.  The blaze ignited within the vehicle's engine compartment and the fire damage was limited to the van.

With the parking garage connected to many businesses and condos along a one block stretch from Whole Foods to Central Ave., the immediate situation was a serious public safety concern.  The building was evacuated and the garage cordoned off to the public while firefighters tended to the incident. 

Sarasota County Fire Battalion Chief Mark Calderini escorted me to the third floor where I was able to inspect the area and see firsthand that the overhead fire suppression system within the garage worked as designed.  In addition, firefighters carried a hose up the three flights where they connected to the water system and completed extinguishing the fire.

Talking with Sarasota County Fire officials about the fire suppression system in the garage which worked as intended.

Fortunately, the vehicle that caught fire was parked under the sprinkler system with no other cars immediately next to it. A nearby  fire extinguisher box was open, possibly as someone tried to put out the initial flames.

That block of downtown is quite active with shoppers, residents and employees, and it's reassuring to know the designed and approved fire safety measures worked according to plan.

Out of an abundance of caution, Building Official Larry Murphy and Parking Manager Mark Lyons were dispatched to the scene to inspect the integrity of the structure and parking area.  With no safety concerns, the garage reopened in time for the downtown lunch hour crowd.      

Thanks to all involved with this incident which highlights the need to ensure proper safety measures are in place in public facilities.

Roll & Stroll Sarasota - March 24   Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 24!  The inaugural Roll & Stroll Sarasota will be hosted at Payne Park.

Coordinated by the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, the event is designed to encourage people to leave their car behind and consider alternative ways to live, work and play.  Guided walking and bicycle tours of downtown Sarasota will be offered including three proposed route connections for the Legacy Trail extension into downtown Sarasota.

Earlier this week, the Board of County Commissioners approved
Plans and proposed routes to connect the Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota will be featured at the event. 
placing a county-wide bond referendum on the November 6 ballot  to fund the final land acquisition and construction of the extension. Roll & Stroll Sarasota will be a good opportunity to learn more about these exciting plans to enhance connectivity, mobility and encourage fitness.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Payne Park.  In addition to the biking and walking tours, Roll & Stroll Sarasota will feature a bike rodeo, helmet safety fittings, as well as 300 helmet giveaways. 

For more info about the first ever Roll & Stroll Sarasota visit
Volunteer opportunities are available.  Click here to learn more and to register to volunteer.

The City is excited to co-sponsor this community event with an eye on mobility and wellness.  Hope to see you there! 

Spring Break Camp:  March 26-30    Spring Break is right around the corner and our Parks & Rec Department is gearing up for a fun filled week of youth camp.

Spring Break Camp will be offered at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex from March 26 through March 30.  Camp is for children ages 6-12 with a focus on fun, creative, and hands-on activities.  Each session is all day:  from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Registration is $45 per child.  We appreciate the Parks & Rec staff once again offering this affordable Spring Break alternative in a safe, kid-friendly  environment.

For more information, please contact the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex:  941-954-4182.

Human Resources Dept. - Certification   Congratulations to Cheryl Garrett in our Human Resources Department!
Cheryl, a Senior HR Generalist, recently completed an intensive certification program to become a Florida Certified Labor Relations Professional (FCLRP).  The program is a yearlong venture with participants from numerous
Cheryl Garrett earned a certification to become a Florida Certified Labor Relations Professional.

municipalities throughout the state.

The course includes an introduction to collective bargaining and an overview of Florida Statutes Chapter 447 (the public employee relations act), a role modeling program in all aspects of collective bargaining, impasse hearing, and grievance handling and arbitration simulations. The program provides a real-world experience that is interactive and hands-on with trainers who are experienced practitioners in public sector labor relations in Florida.

One of the roles of the City's Human Resources Department is to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with the City's three unions.  And, the Labor Relations Professional certification is a well-earned and important foundation for our Human Resources Professional to be successful in this role. In addition to Cheryl, two others in the Human Resources Department have completed the program: HR Director Stacie Mason and General Manager April Bryan.

It's important to invest in training for employees so they have the professional certifications and latest knowledge to perform their duties proficiently.  


Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through March 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit    
The Four Phantoms 
Wed., March 21 - 8 p.m.

Thurs., March 22 - 8 p.m.

Lewis Black 
Fri., March 23 - 8 p.m.

Academy of St. Martin In The Fields with Joshua Bell 
Sat., March 24 - 8 p.m.

Motown The Musical 
Tues., March 27 - 8 p.m.
Wed., March 28 - 8 p.m.
Thurs., March 29 - 8 p.m.
Fri., March 30 - 8 p.m.

Sarasota Concert Association 
Tues., April 3 - 7:30 p.m.

Illusionist Rick Thomas - Nothing Happens Until You Dream 
Wed., April 4 - 8 p.m.

Robert Dubac's The Book of Moron 
Thurs., April 5 - 8 p.m.

Disney Junior Dance Party ON TOUR 
Fri., April 6 - 6 p.m.

Jersey Boys 
Tues., April 10 - 8 p.m.
Wed., April 11 - 8 p.m.
Thurs., April 12 - 8 p.m.

Wynona and the Big Noise 
Sat., April 14 - 8 p.m.

Chris Botti 
Sun., April 15 - 8 p.m.

Let It Be 
Tues., April 17 - 8 p.m.

ABBA the Concert 
Wed., April 18 - 8 p.m.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma 
Thurs., April 19 - 8 p.m.

Bill Engvall 
Sun., April 22 - 8 p.m.

A Chorus Line 
Tues., April 24 - 8 p.m.
Wed., April 25 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Mummenschanz - You & Me 
Thurs., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Yanni 25 - Live at The Acropolis Anniversary Concert Tour 
Sun., April 29 - 7 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