From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
January 5, 2018
Don't let the sunshine fool you! It was a chilly week here in Sarasota. The arctic blast brought cooler temperatures all the way from Canada down to Florida. The unusual weather didn't keep Tony and Jane Mills from enjoying Lido Beach though. They were just two of many who persistently bundled up and hit the beach.


  • Informal City Commission Meeting
    Tues., January 9, 2018  - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Community Workshop
    T ues., January 9, 2018 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112

  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Wed., January 10 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Planning Board
    Wed., January 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.
Accounting & Payroll Systems Supervisor
Chief Transportation Planner
Commission Reporter
Financial Accountant
Golf Course Attendant 
Irrigation Technician I
Janitorial/Maintenance - Van Wezel  
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Manager Maintenance Service
Operations Manager, Business Improvement District
Parks Service Worker - Part-time 
Part-time Parking Garage Attendant
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC) 
Refuse Equipment Operator- Yard Waste- Temporary Full-Time
  Senior Pension Accountant
Senior Planner
Solid Waste Helper - Collections, Part-time
Solid Waste Helper - Yard Waste 
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern     

This Week's Items to Know:

Homeless Outreach - Cold Weather  This week was a rare one weather-wise for Florida with wet and cold conditions that lasted several days. 
For many of us, cooler temperatures mean adding an extra layer, but for the homeless individuals in the area, those colder conditions can be life threatening. 

I was proud of the response from members of our Homeless Outreach Team, who spoke to each homeless person they encountered, encouraging them to seek shelter from the cold.

Senior Case Manager with the Homeless Outreach Team Krystal Frazier speaks to a homeless woman about the importance of seeking shelter from the cold. 

The Salvation Army is serving as an emergency cold weather shelter until tomorrow morning, offering a warm place for those in need free of charge. Clothing and other items needed for these conditions are also offered at the Salvation Army. 

Beyond these colder temperatures, our Homeless Outreach Team is a very unique and important part of the fight to end homelessness. The team works several days a week, partnering with outside agencies in the Continuum of Care and reaching out to homeless individuals to connect them with the services they need.  

If you know of someone in need of help, contact our new Homeless Coordinator Kevin Stiff at 941-554-3263. 

EV Charging Stations    Good news for electric vehicle owners! We recently added three new electric vehicle charging ports and updated 7 existing ports in parking lots and garages around the City. It's an important step for Sarasota as EV technology is more widely-used and continues to evolve. 

Like the original EV charging stations which were installed in 2011, these new and updated stations came at no cost to the City thanks to a renewable energy agreement that was negotiated when the City adopted a 30 year franchise agreement with Florida Power & Light.
Charging stations were updated or added at the Palm Ave. Garage, St. Armands south parking lot (pictured here) and the City Hall parking lot.
Here are the locations of all EV charging stations city-wide: 
  • City Hall Parking Lot (1565 1st St.) 
    1 port added, 1 port updated 
  • Palm Ave. Garage (1289 N Palm Ave.)
    2 ports added, 4 ports updated 
  • St. Armands South Parking Lot (58 Fillmore Dr.)
    2 ports updated
Charging ports are also available in the State St. Garage and the Bayfront Park parking lot. In total, we own and maintain 16 EV charging ports. 
Once constructed, the St. Armands Garage will also feature 5 new EV charging units, including one fast charging station.
Created by a company called ChargePoint, the new technology uses a screen-based operating system to make it particularly user friendly for drivers. Plus, with more than 40,000 connected EV charging stations, EV drivers are introduced to a massive network of charging spots in cities across the state and country.  
This is yet another example of our commitment as a City to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding the use of renewable energy as we work together to create a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable community. There's no charge for charging your vehicle, so we invite EV owners to take advantage of this great amenity!
Orange and Ringling    Progress is being made at the intersection of Orange Ave. and Ringling Blvd. as it's transformed into a one-lane roundabout. This week, crews shut down the southwest corner of the sidewalk to pedestrians while removing a stormwater structure and doing additional utility work. 
The southwest corner of the sidewalk at the intersection of Orange Ave. and Ringling Blvd. will be closed for two weeks.
That section of the sidewalk will reopen in two weeks. In the meantime, crosswalks will be available for pedestrians across Orange Ave. and the east end of Ringling Blvd.  
As for drivers, the intersection remains closed to traffic. Detours are available via State St., Lemon Ave. and Pineapple Ave. Construction should be completed in May of 2018.
This project will become one of several roundabouts added to the urban core in the past 8 years and another step towards our larger vision for downtown Sarasota. 
As we continue to add roundabouts to the blueprint of our City, we will create a more walkable, bikeable, driveable downtown.  In the end, this project will make the intersection not only more attractive, but also safer for all who use it. 
We thank all drivers, pedestrians and businesses for your patience during this project and look forward to the finished product.   
Fredd Atkins Park - Closed Thru Jan. 19    Fredd Atkins Park, located at the corner of U.S. 301 and Dr. MLK Jr. Way, is temporarily closed through Friday, Jan. 19 as the park is redesigned. 

After receiving feedback from the community, we're moving forward with plans to enhance the park, which serves as a major hub for the Newtown community. 
Fredd Atkins Park is closed through Friday, Jan. 19.

Our plan is to create an open park setting by removing the gazebo, restrooms and retaining walls to make way for new landscaping and improved seating areas for activities. 

So far, crews have successfully removed the gazebo and are beginning to remove the bathrooms and walls, followed by the installation of a new irrigation system and the addition of sod to the area. 

While the park will reopen on Saturday, Jan. 20 with a substantial part of the work completed, additional work may continue into February. 
This project is an important step in the restoration and rejuvenation of this history-rich neighborhood. It's one of many projects we're undertaking to ensure the MLK corridor is a place for our residents to relax and enjoy all that the area has to offer. 
New Year's Resolutions - RLTCC Fitness Center   Many of us kicked off 2018 with New Year's resolutions, and chances are likely some of those include a focus on improved health and fitness.
Here's an option to consider:  You can join the Fitness Center at the
Some of the workout equipment at the RLTCC Fitness Center. 
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex for just $10 a month. (That's not a typo. It's ten dollars a month.) That gives you access to all the work out equipment in the facility, from treadmills to weights in a comfortable workout  environment.  The terms are flexible -- month to month -- with no contract to sign.      
For more information on how to join the RLTCC Fitness Center and help lead an even healthier lifestyle, call 941-954-4182 or visit 

RLTCC - Winter Break Camp   The past few weeks at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex have been extra busy and fun with staff hosting two Winter Break Camp sessions.
This is the third year the camp has been offered and for the first time both sessions were at capacity -- with 30 children in each session having a safe, fun place to go all day during winter break.
In addition to playing games and making crafts (including photo frames and necklaces) a highlight from each session was a visit from our friends at Mote Marine Laboratory, who offered the children hands-on learning experiences about sharks.  They even had a chance to peer through a microscope and see the texture and pattern of shark skin up close.
Learning about sharks with Mote at the RLTCC Winter Break Camp.
Many thanks to the hard working staff at RLTCC for this program, which gives parents and grandparents peace of mind knowing the little ones are in a safe environment -- and having a good time. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Van Wezel seats

The following is a list of shows through Jan. 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit      
'A Genteman's Guide to Love & Murder' will be at the Van Wezel on Jan. 6 & 7.
Peter Cetera 
Fri., January 5, 2018 - 8 p.m.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder 
Sat., January 6, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Sun., January 7, 2018 - 3 p.m. 
A Night with Janis Joplin 
Mon., January 8, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Steve Soloman - Cannoli - Latkes 
Tues., January 9, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli 
Wed., January 10, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Catch Renee Fleming on Jan. 16th at the Van Wezel.   

Sarasota Concert Association 
Thurs., January 11, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Tango Fire 
Fri., January 12, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Sarasota Orchestra 
Sat., January 13, 2018 - 8 p.m. 
Sun., January 14, 2018 - 2:30 p.m. 
Legendary 5th Dimension 
Mon., January 15, 2018 - 8 p.m. 
Renee Fleming 
Tues., January 16, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Chita Rivera & Tommy Tune 
Wed., January 17, 2018 - 8 p.m.
The Drifters, The Platters, & Cornell Gunter's Coasters 
Thurs., January 18, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Musical Thrones:  A Parody of Ice & Fire 
Sun., January 21, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Ringling College Library Association Town Hall
John Brennan
Mon., January 22, 2018 - 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tapestry - A Tribute to Carole King 
Tues., January 23, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Jackson Browne with Greg Leisz 
Wed., January 24, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Cabaret will be at the Van Wezel
Jan. 30 & 31.

Paul Anka 
Thurs., January 25 , 2018- 8 p.m. 
Masters Of Illusion 
Fri., January 26, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited 
Sat., January 27, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Michael Feinstein 
Sun., January 28, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Sarasota Concert Association 
Mon., January 29, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Tues., January 30, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Wed., January 31, 2018 - 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

Thanks to those who made New Year's Eve a successful event in downtown Sarasota!  The Downtown Sarasota Merchants Association, SPD, Public Works and Utilities Department all did a yeoman's job organizing, cleaning up and ensuring the tens of thousands of visitors were safe during the festivities.   
And, special thanks to resident photographer Norm Schimmel who captured the brilliant fireworks bursting over Marina Jack and Sarasota Bay to ring in the New Year, as seen below in 'Sarasota Scene'.
Hope 2018 is off to a good start for all! 
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

Tom Barwin
City Manager