From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 17, 2019

This was the serene scene earlier this week looking through a tunnel of mangroves on Sarasota Bay at Ted Sperling South Lido Nature Park.  The park, which is free and open to the public, is a popular kayak launch for tour companies and individuals with their own kayak or paddleboard.  When visiting the area, keep your eyes open for wildlife.  It's common to see manatees, dolphins and an array of shorebirds who call this special area of Sarasota home.


  • General Employees' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Mon., May 20 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Citizens with Disabilities Advisory Board
    Mon., May 20 - 10 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • City Commission
    Mon., May 20 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wed., May 22 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Wed., May 22 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., May 22 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Lemon Ave. Streetscape: Work Starts May 28  As we make every effort to coordinate with ongoing construction in downtown, the schedule for the Lemon Ave. Streetscape improvement project has been adjusted.
Construction is now slated to begin Tuesday, May 28, with a full closure of the Lemon Avenue/Main Street intersection to vehicular traffic.  The temporary closure will extend on Lemon to just north of State Street and will be in place for approximately 4-5 weeks while crews create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, similar to Lemon Plaza just to the north. Pedestrian access to all businesses will remain open.  While the intersection will be closed to vehicles, turnaround areas on Main Street on both sides of the intersection will be created to help drivers navigate the area.   
The Lemon Ave./Main St. intersection will temporarily close to vehicular
traffic on May 28 and will reopen in time for the powerboat block party.

The intersection will reopen in time for the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival "Boats on the Block" block party on Main Street.
Over the past few days, the project team canvassed the Lemon Ave./Main Street area to personally inform merchants about the schedule adjustment, what to expect and when.  We appreciate everyone's patience, understanding and flexibility, as we adapt to other construction in the area.
To learn more about the project, please visit , which will be updated regularly throughout the construction phases.  
Sustainability - PACE Workshop May 29   Considering investing in improvements to make your home more energy efficient or storm-ready?

Residents are invited to a workshop later this month to learn about financing options available for home improvements such as impact windows, solar panels, water heaters, energy efficient air conditioning units, roof upgrades and more.    
The presentation will review the new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program now allowed within the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County.
The PACE program allows property owners to finance improvements related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and hurricane hardening through a special assessment levied on their property tax bill by special districts created just for that purpose.
This workshop, entitled "Financing Energy and Hurricane Improvements in Your Home:  PACE and Beyond" will explain the basics of PACE and how the program works, including the financial terms.  As with any financing program, PACE comes with benefits and risks, which should be understood when compared to other financing solutions.      
In addition to PACE, information will be provided about other energy financing alternatives, so homeowners can make a well-informed decision about which option is best for them.  
The workshop will be held Wed., May 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.  There is no cost to attend, and registration is now open.    
Archived Commission Meetings - Available on Demand    If you need to view an older City Commission meeting, dating as far back as 1990, it's now available on demand for you at no cost via the City's website www.SarasotaFL.Gov   
The Office of the City Auditor and Clerk recently finished digitizing hundreds of Regular and Special City Commission meetings and City Commission Workshops prior to 2006 that previously had been preserved on VHS videotape.  The City began live streaming and digitally archiving meetings 13 years ago in 2006. 
Congratulations to Interim City Auditor and Clerk Shayla Griggs and her team for taking on and successfully completing this Herculean task.   
Parks & Rec - Birds of Arlington Park    Our Parks and Recreation team at Arlington Park continues to come up with creative, interactive
A trio of young birders. 
and educational activities for the whole family!  Last weekend, they hosted "Discovery Saturday:  Birds of Arlington Park."
The ecology and natural resources educator with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, Dr. Katherine Clements, discussed species of birds found in the park, their habitat, physical characteristics, bird calls and songs.  She also explained how to use a bird guidebook and provided binoculars as she led a small group of adults and children around the park, identifying birds, including a great blue heron and muscovy duck.
What a pleasant, relaxing way to spend the morning outdoors while learning about our urban feathered friends! Thanks to all who coordinated this discovery program.     

During "Discovery Saturday:  Birds of Arlington Park", participants learned how to use a bird guidebook and identify birds using binoculars.  

Van Wezel:  Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Friday Fest - Big Night Out 
Fri., June 21 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Rebel Heart 
Fri., July 19 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Reverend Barry and the Funk 
Fri., August 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Ari and the Alibis 
Fri., September 20 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
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