From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 31, 2018

If you haven't been downtown in a several weeks, vertical construction of The Mark on State Street is well underway.  This mixed-use development, approved years ago as 'Pineapple Square' and shelved during the Great Recession, will include a pedestrian mall between Lemon Avenue and Pineapple Avenue with retail, office space and 157 condominiums.  It is expected to be completed by Fall 2019.  Within the next year, Lemon, from Main Street to Pineapple, also will be modified  to make it more pedestrian-friendly by removing the curbs, similar to the area in this photo near Mattison's City Grille. The redesign promises to make Lemon from Main to Pineapple, which incorporates Paul Thorpe Park, a premier gathering and special events area in the heart of downtown.  Significant projects like these require close communication and coordination, and City staff is working with The Mark developers to coordinate this construction activity and minimize inconveniences to pedestrians and motorists.


  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., September 4 - 9 a.m.

    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio

  • City Commission
    Tues., September 4 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., September 5 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., September 5 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • St. Armands BID
    Thurs., September 6 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Special City Commission
    Thurs., September 6 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Assistant Head Usher
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
GIS Coordinator
Maintenance Tech
Parking Enforcement Specialist
Parks & Rec - Facility Maintenance Tech - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Rec Specialist - Part Time
Parks Service Worker - Part Time
Part Time Garage Attendant
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Redevelopment Manager
Senior Internal Auditor

     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Labor Day:  Holiday Hours - Sept. 3   The City will observe the national Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 3.  City Hall will be closed and the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting will be held the next day at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.   
Garbage, recycling and yard waste collection on Monday and Tuesday will be delayed one day.  So, Monday's regular pickup will be on Tuesday.  And, Tuesday's regular collection will be on Wednesday.  The rest of the week will be on schedule as usual.    
Many of the City's recreation facilities will be open, although some may have reduced hours:
Bobby Jones Golf Club:  Open  6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Children's Fountain:  Winter hours will begin:  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Lido Pool: Closed
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex: Open  6 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Van Wezel:  Box Office Closed  
Traditionally, Labor Day signals the end of summer, and we hope the red tide clears up enough to enjoy one last sizzling weekend of surf and sand and fun in the sun.   
Red Tide Update    With favorable winds, the presence of red tide on Lido Beach and Sarasota Bay appears to have diminished this week.  Nonetheless, because it can return, after consulting with the City's Emergency Manager, Todd Kerkering, our local State of Emergency for red tide has been extended an additional week.
The red tide bloom stretches approximately 150 miles along the west coast of Florida from Collier County to Pinellas and ranges from 2 to 10 miles wide.  Fortunately, we are experiencing favorable winds and ocean currents, which is helping to alleviate the noticeable signs of red tide in Sarasota. 
Satellite image showing the presence of red tide. 
Red, yellow and orange indicate high amounts. 
We're conducting daily site inspections, and the number of dead fish observed this week was down significantly as well as the telltale red tide odor.  Our Sarasota Police Department marine patrol noted that although the heavy red tide bloom appears to be migrating west, the Gulf of Mexico is still a brownish color until 9 miles out, where the water returns to the beautiful blue hue we're accustomed to seeing from ashore.
This week, I had an insightful conversation with Vincent Lovko, Ph.D., a staff scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory who is their Phytoplankton Ecology Program Manager.  He elaborated on the massive size of the bloom affecting southwest Florida and concurred that the winds are providing moderate relief to our area.  He's hopeful favorable winds will push the bloom offshore and cause it to dissipate.
Dr. Lovko provided a helpful satellite image of the bloom (above),
The Karenia brevis organism as seen through a microscope.

with the red/orange/yellow areas indicating high levels of Karenia brevis, the red tide organism.  He also shared an image from a microscope which shows the actual organism, including the whip-like attachment it uses to move through the water. Millions of these organisms are causing the fish kills and strong odor. 
We greatly appreciate our friends and partners at Mote who are working tirelessly tracking and forecasting the current bloom.  They're also researching and experimenting with viable solutions to disperse this naturally occurring phenomenon, which is exacerbated when it interacts with land-based nutrients.     

Lido Beach - Trap Bag Placement    Earlier this week, City staff began placing heavy-duty sandbags along the shoreline on the public beach areas of Lido Beach. The City received a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for these "trap bags," which will remain in place through the end of hurricane season (Nov. 30) and the start of our emergency beach renourishment project.
Trap bags with approximately 500-600 tons of sand were also previously installed in front of the Lido Pavilion and pool to help protect this important infrastructure from potential flooding.  The City coordinated with Mote Marine Laboratory and the state on the placement and installation of another roughly 500 tons of sand in trap bags down on the beach so as not to disturb sea turtles during their nesting season. These bags will help fortify the dunes, which serve as a home to vegetation and wildlife but also act as a natural barrier to prevent inland flooding.
City staff are installing sandbags on Lido Beach
to help prevent erosion and flooding.

The City has worked with private landowners to help coordinate state permits for their own trap bags in an effort to help prevent any further erosion before the emergency beach renourishment begins in November, to be followed by our long-term renourishment project expected to start in 2019.
Gillespie Dog Park - Grand Opening   For those with furry, four-legged friends of the canine variety, we have good news!  The Canine Club at Gillespie Park will have a grand opening on Monday, September 10 at 9 a.m.
Located on the north side of Gillespie Park near the corner of North
The Canine Club at Gillespie Park is located on 10th St. near Osprey Ave.  
Osprey Avenue and 10th Street, the dog park will have two separate fenced areas:  one for big dogs and the other for little ones, so all can run, play and have fun in a comfortable environment.  Doggie drinking fountains also have been installed, trees planted, and shade structures built for humans.   
This will be the second dog park in the city limits, with the other located within Arlington Park.   
We invite man and friendly beasts to join the festivities...and help make sure the park passes the sniff test!
CEO Program - Openings Available    Aspiring entrepreneurs in the Newtown - North Sarasota area will have the chance to learn the fundamentals of launching a business during the Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO):  Introduction to Business Development course.
This 10-week program helps individuals assess their business sense through classroom lectures, 1-on-1 counseling and networking opportunities.  The goal is to help determine whether an idea can translate into a strong business concept and what would be needed to start or grow that business.  
While there is no cost for participants, there is a 10-week commitment.  The Fall 2018 CEO class will be held Tuesday nights starting September 11 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.   
This will be the 21st CEO training series offered by CareerSource Suncoast in partnership with the City of Sarasota and sponsored by SunTrust and Wells Fargo.
To register, please reach out to our Economic Development Office:  941-365-2200 ext. 3220 or Rowena.Elliott@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The Van Wezel's full 2018-2019 season goes on sale Sat., September 8 at 10 a.m. (The Lion King goes on sale November 2.)   
To view the full Van Wezel season, visit    

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Celtic Thunder X will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 18.

Jerry Seinfeld 
Thurs., September 20 - 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.

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 
Sun., October 21 - 8 p.m.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 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.
Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
  Mannheim Steamroller Christmas will be at the Van Wezel on Nov. 17.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 
Dave Koz 
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. 
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live  
Tues., December 11 - 7:30 p.m.
Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 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

Hope you enjoy a good holiday weekend in our special city!
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