From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
June 29, 2018
After many years of effort, the long awaited and much anticipated on-demand pedestrian signal at U.S. 41 and First Street is now operational!  FDOT activated the HAWK (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) signal Thursday morning.  As more pedestrians traverse between the Bayfront and downtown, it's been clear enhanced safety was needed.  It will take some patience as drivers adjust to stopping briefly on U.S. 41 to allow downtown pedestrians to safely cross the road.  We encourage all -- drivers and pedestrians -- to be especially vigilant as everyone adjusts and FDOT tweaks the system to be more responsive to pedestrians.  The more people can be comfortable walking downtown, the less inclined they will be to drive, which will reduce traffic volumes circulating in the heart of the city.


  • City Commission
    Mon., July 2 - 2:30p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., July 3 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Thurs., July 5 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Commercial Plans Examiner
Irrigation Technician I
Parks Service Worker - Part-time
Pension Specialist
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant/RLTCC
RLTCC Lifeguards
     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

July 4th - Holiday Hours   With the Fourth of July falling right in the middle of the week next Wednesday, we'd like to remind you about holiday hours.  
City administrative offices will be closed on Wed., July 4th.  Many of the City's recreational facilities will be open, but with holiday hours.  Please check the hours before you head out: 
Fourth of July is one of the busiest holiday weekends in Sarasota, especially for our police officers.  Nearly every officer will be working Saturday and Sunday during the Powerboat Grand Prix, which attracts significant crowds on Lido Beach.  We appreciate all who are sacrificing their weekend to help maintain peace and order in our special city. 
10th Street Boat Ramp:  Closed June 29 - July 1     Heads up!   To accommodate this weekend's boat race event, the 10th Street Boat Ramp at Centennial Park will be temporarily closed prior to the July 4th holiday.  The temporary closure, again, is necessary to accommodate staging for the 34th annual HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival.
The 10th St. Boat Ramp will be temporarily
closed until Sun., July 1.

There will be no boat ramp access from midnight on Friday, June 29  to Sunday, July 1 at 6 p.m.    
For those who plan to launch a boat on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we suggest using the next closest ramp at Ken Thompson Park.    
Also, please note that boating access to New Pass (west of the New Pass Bridge) also will be temporarily closed for the powerboat races on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.     
Powerboat Grand Prix:  Races Sat., June 30 & Sun., July 1    The actual powerboat races will take place Sat., June 30 & Sun., July 1 in the Gulf of Mexico just off shore near Lido Beach.     
Race times:   
Sat., June 30:  9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun., July 1:  9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
A detailed race schedule is available on the Grand Prix website
The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix races will tak e place June 30 and July 1. 
For those heading out for this popular community event, we'd like to share a few reminders:
  • Beach Erosion: Since last year's Grand Prix, 11-15 feet of beach has eroded.  The beach is very narrow in places, so your viewing experience this year may be different than previous years.  The beach remains expansive north of the Lido Pool and Pavilion in the area across from the Holiday Inn on the west side of Ben Franklin Drive. 

    The necessary environmental permits are approved for emergency sand replacement to start this fall, followed by an even larger project in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  So, when the boat races are held next year, we expect a fully restored, wide beach to be in place, making for an enjoyable beach going experience while protecting the nearby infrastructure. 
  • Beach Hours:  With turtle nesting season underway, Lido Beach opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. Personal belongings cannot be left unattended or stored on the beach. 
  • Share the Beach - Lido Beach is home to sea turtles,
    Black skimmers nesting at Lido Beach.
    manatees, dolphins and seabirds, including black skimmers, a species designated as threatened.  This is their habitat and we ask that all be respectful, maintain a safe distance, and do not chase, feed or molest the wildlife.

The races attract thousands of spectators to the beach as well as extensive television coverage on Fox Sports and CBS Sports. We hope everyone is safe, stays hydrated, wears sunscreen, is respectful of the wildlife -- and has fun!  
Bayfront Fireworks - Wed., July 4 at 9 p.m.     The sky will light up over Sarasota Bay the night of Fourth of July with the annual Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular!
Hosted by Marina Jack in conjunction with Suncoast Charities for Children, this is a fireworks display you won't want to miss!
Best viewing areas are Bayfront Park and downtown Sarasota.
Plan to arrive in downtown early and park at the Palm Ave. or State Street Garage.  Both are a short, healthy stroll to the Bayfront.
The 2017 Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular.  (Photo - Norm Schimmel) 
Osprey Ave. Improvements - Update  Improvements along a 1.4-mile stretch of Osprey Ave. are going well.
The new curb on the east side of Osprey between South Dr. and Boyce St. is now completed.  The sidewalks and driveways have been restored and most of the ramps have been installed and meet ADA requirements.  
Two-way traffic is maintained along Osprey Ave. as crews install new curbing. 
It's expected sod will be installed along the right of way the first week of July.   
Then, the second week in July, crews will begin milling and paving, weather permitting.  Throughout it all, two-way traffic will be maintained, which is especially important along this well traveled north-south route. 
This segment is expected to be finished by the end of July.  Then, crews will start similar work from Boyce St. to Arlington St.
Thanks to project manager Georges Nicolas for keeping a close eye on this project and working to minimize conflicts and reduce inconvenience.  

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through December 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season, visit    

Reverend Barry & The Funk 
Friday, July 27:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Rebel Heart 
Friday, August 17:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Join us this summer for our free outdoor concert series, "Friday Fest".

FREE Concert

The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live 
Tues., December 11 - 8 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker 
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 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

Have a safe, fun and Happy 4th of July!
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Tom Barwin
City Manager