From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 5, 2018

Pool's open!  Arlington Park and Aquatic Facility reopened this past Monday, Oct. 1, under the operation and maintenance of the City of Sarasota.  Many regular users of the outdoor lap pool were excited the facility reopened on time as planned and the pool looked very inviting.  More on the parks transition below. 


  • St. Armands Business Improvement District
    Tues., October 9 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio

  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., October 9 - 3 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • City Commission - Informal Meeting
    Tues., October 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Wed., October 10 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., October 10 - 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.

Commercial Plans Examiner
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Equipment Mechanic III - Refuse Collection
Financial Accountant
GIS Coordinator
Information Technology Manager
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Office Assistant - Payne Park
Parking Enforcement Specialist
Parking Garage Attendant
Parking Meter Maintenance Tech
Park & Rec - Facility Maintenance Tech - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Life Guard - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Recreation Specialist - Part Time
Parks Service Worker - Part Time
Part-Time Garage Attendant
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Property and Evidence Specialist
Rec Attendant - RLTCC
Refuse Equipment Operator, Residential - Parks
     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Form Based Code:  Draft Available   We're excited to announce that a draft of the City's new Form-Based Code has been completed and is now available online for review by the community.
As planners describe it, Form-Based Code is a modern response to the challenges of urban sprawl, deterioration of historic neighborhoods and the need for safe and efficient multi-modal transportation options for pedestrians and cyclists. It is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form, rather than separation of uses, as the organizing principle for the code. 
The Form-Based Code includes zone districts, known as transects, that address the relationship between building facades and public spaces such as roads and parks, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in easy-to-understand words, diagrams and other graphics. The code incorporates specific elements within the public realm, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, transit, on-street parking and street trees. 
The draft is the result of hard work by our Urban Design Studio, which engaged citizens and stakeholders to create a City-wide code that would replace the current zoning code. City staff will be reviewing the code in the coming months, and during that time, citizens can also take a look and share their comments and questions with us. A schedule for community workshops, public meetings and hearings will be forthcoming.

Parks Transition  The responsibility for the operation and maintenance of five City parks officially returned to the City earlier this week on October 1.  Many regular users at Arlington Park and Aquatic Facility were thrilled the facility reopened on time, as planned, and the pool was very inviting.   
Arlington Park hours of operation are:
Monday-Friday:  9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (gym) and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (pool)
Sunday:  Closed
And, something new is already in the works for the park.  A cross fit recreation area is under construction near the playground, just off Waldemere Street, and will open to the public mid-month.
Construction is underway for a cross fit workout area at Arlington Park. 
The other three parks without recreational buildings -- Ken Thompson Park, Centennial Park and Lawn Bowling -- remained open throughout the transition, so it's likely most people didn't notice the hand-off this past Monday. Payne Park Tennis Center also reopened as planned and has been buzzing with activity.
Thank you, again, to our Parks & Recreation staff who worked diligently to ensure a smooth transition. The work is just getting started, though, as we take stock of these five parks, among the 50+ others we already own and maintain, and contemplate what, if any, programming and funding options should be considered.   
Saprito Pier - Benches    For those casting a fishing line or those who just want to rest and take in one of our world-renowned sunsets from the Tony Saprito Fishing Pier, jutting into picturesque Sarasota Bay, benches have now been installed along the pier.  

Our Parks & Recreation Department recently placed several metal  benches around the pier.  They're durable, attractive and comfortable.  The specific placement of the benches on the pier is not definite.  We're testing to see what the public prefers.   
One of the new benches located on the Tony Saprito Pier

We're not sure how many people will be visiting the pier with the on-again, off-again physiological effects of red tide.  But, they're there for your use and convenience.    
What do you think?  Send us your feedback at CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov  
Also, plans are in the works to install shade structures as well as other improvements to the pier. 

Community Canopy - Sold Out!    Our most recent Community Canopy initiative was another big hit with our environmentally conscious residents.  Registration for a free tree (crape myrtle, dahoon holly or red maple) opened for registration Monday at midnight --- and all 100 free trees were spoken for in less than a day and a half!
This was our fourth free tree giveaway.  Over the recent years, over 400 trees have been given away.  When mature, it's estimated they will absorb over 7,500 pounds of air pollutants and filter 22 million gallons of stormwater, which is particularly significant as we look for ways to help reduce red tide.
Thanks to all for your interest in growing our urban canopy and helping with climate mitigation and adaptation efforts simply by claiming a tree and agreeing to plant and properly care for it.
The lucky 100 should expect their tree to arrive at their front door within the next 2-3 weeks when they ship out in one-gallon containers.
And...stay tuned for future free tree giveways! 

Algae and Nitrogen:  Educational Information    During the City Commission meeting this past Monday, over a dozen Sarasota area residents requested City support to ban fertilizers -- and anything else that can be done to reduce future K. brevis blooms, also known as red tide.    
While red tide has been documented for centuries as a naturally occurring phenomenon, scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory note that human activity can disrupt nature's delicate balance and spark more intense and longer lasting blooms as the bacteria interacts with excessive nutrients near the coastline.  
F ertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous is banned throughout Sarasota County during the rainy season (June 1 - Sept. 30).   
From October through May, applied fertilizer must contain 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.   
It's a good practice to watch the weather and not fertilize when heavy rain is expected, since the chemicals will wash away into our storm drains and waterways.  To learn more about fertilizer management in Sarasota,  click here
Other suggestions to reduce your nitrogen footprint:    
  • Adhere to a 10-foot wide No Fertilizer Zone near bodies of water.
  • Use Florida-friendly plants, which require less fertilizer and pesticides
  • Only fertilize when plants need it
  • Add compost to naturally boost and enrich soil
"We all contribute to nitrogen pollution" is the title of an informative article by Abbey Tyrna, a water resources agent for the University of Florida Extension Office and Sustainability Sarasota County.  It's  another helpful resource to learn how we all can reduce our nitrogen pollution.  
Commission Meetings - New Start Time    Effective November 5, Regular City Commission meetings will start an hour earlier -- at 1:30 p.m.    City Logo
The Commission approved the time change this week following discussion on how to streamline meetings and potentially reduce late nights for the public and staff members for some agenda items.   
Public hearings and items which are expected to generate community interest and input will continue to be placed on the evening agenda with the start time remaining unchanged at 6 p.m. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The Van Wezel's full 2018-2019 season is now on sale. (The Lion King goes on sale November 2.)   
To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 

Eddie Izzard 
Thurs., October 11 - 8 p.m.

Lord of the Dance 
Sun., October 14 - 7 p.m.
Kenny G 
Fri., October 19 - 8 p.m.
Bob Dylan & His Band 
Young Guns of Country 2018 will be at the Van Wezel on Nov. 11. 
Sun., October 21 - 8 p.m.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen 
Tues., November 6 - 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps  
Wed., November 7 - 8 p.m.
Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock & Roll Part II 
Fri., November 9 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular Vol. 3 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Young Guns of Country 2018
Sun., November 11 - 7 p.m.
Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 
Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2018 
Fri., November 23 - 8 p.m.
KC and the Sunshine Band 
Sat., November 24 - 8 p.m. 
Black Violin 
Tues., November 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Jim Brickman:  A Joyful Christmas 
Wed., November 28 - 7:30 p.m. 
The King and I 
Tues., December 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., December 5 - 7:30 p.m.
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live  
Tues., December 11 - 7:30 p.m.
A Christmas Carol 
Sun., December 16 - 6 p.m.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 22.

Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 p.m.
The Sound of Music 
Wed., December 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 20 -  2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker  
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Sat., December 22 - 6:30 p.m.
On Your Feet! 
Wed., December 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 29 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 30 - 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The Sweet Caroline Tour 
Mon., December 31 - 9 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