From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
November 16, 2018

Using an array of Florida-friendly plants and vegetation, our talented and dedicated landscapers in the Parks and Recreation Department strive to create enjoyable public spaces, like this one at City Hall in downtown, where the natural environment is an urban oasis and attraction for all.


  • City Commission
    Mon., November 19 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Mon., November 19 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., November 21 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 


This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Beach - Emergency Renourishment     The dredging for the emergency renourishment of Lido Beach is expected to begin within the next several days, after a cold front moves through Sarasota and the high seas die down.
Dredging will begin soon after the
choppy seas calm down.

You may have noticed the contractor, Coastal Dredging, began staging heavy machinery on the beach earlier this week.  This is in preparation to start returning sand to Lido Beach, restoring a buffer to protect the public infrastructure including the pavilion, pool and restrooms.  
Once the project gets underway, crews will work from north to south, with construction zones cordoned off.  The beach will remain open to the public throughout the restoration process, which will take approximately three months.  Please be aware, though, that portions of the beach will be active work areas.
We'll continue to provide updates via Weekly Briefs and social media.
Recycling - Test Your Knowledge  As we prepare for the first-ever America Recycles Day celebration on Saturday, November 17th, we encourage you to take a quick, simple quiz to test how much you know about recycling.  From bottle caps to garden hoses to plastic bags, this online quiz will check your knowledge of recycling Dos & Donts.
And, join members of our Solid Waste Division at the America Recycles Day event, hosted by Sarasota County, at the Central County Solid Waste Disposal Complex, 4000 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis this Saturday the 17th.  Hours are 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  The celebration is free to all with opportunities to tour the landfill and learn how to preserve our precious Mother Earth by recycling and composting.    
Architecture Students    About three dozen USF architecture students working toward their master's degree had the unique opportunity this week to present a mock development to members of our Planning Department and Development Services.
A USF architecture student using a model to explain his architectural design.

For the past seven weeks, the students worked on a class assignment that required them to create a mixed use development along Lemon Ave. with residential, office, and retail space.  Working in teams of three, they had to design a building which meets the City of Sarasota Code, while adding their own creative flair and solutions for parking, connectivity and pedestrian activation. 
The course professor, Michael Halflants, is a former member of the Planning Board and conducted a similar academic exercise with architecture students years ago when world renowned urban planner Andres Duany was drafting the Downtown Code.   
12 presentations were given using schematics and models to help explain and highlight aspects of each proposal.       
USF Architecture students giving their class presentations to City planners.
Thanks to the students for making the drive from the USF Tampa campus and for their thoughtful designs and presentations.  Our staff members were impressed with these young minds and their many and varied architectural approaches to the same proposal.  And, thanks to our staff for giving these students the "real world" experience of presenting a development proposal to City planners.     
Bobby Jones Golf Club -  Thanksgiving "Turkey Shoot"    Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than one week away!  Duffers who enjoy hitting the links will have an opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise during the 10th Annual 'Turkey Shoot' at our historic municipal golf course Bobby Jones Golf Club.
The event will kick off with a shotgun start at 8:45 a.m. on the British Course.
For less than $30, you can play 18 holes with a golf cart plus enjoy a continental breakfast at the Bobby Jones Grill.  Breakfast will be available for 'Turkey Shooters' from 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
18-hole play will be available on the American Course from 6:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., then 9-holes until 11 a.m., when the Golf Shop will close.
Interested?  Stop by the Golf Shop to register or call 941-954-GOLF (4653).   
Citizens' Academy -  Registration Open   A handful of spots are still open for the 2019 Citizens' Academy, a no-cost course where you can learn the ins and outs of our municipal government.
Each week, over eight weeks, participants will learn about a different City of Sarasota department including Utilities, Parks & Rec, SPD, Van Wezel and more.  
 Following a 5-year hiatus, we're excited to offer the Citizens Academy once again.  A common observation from those attending the Academy is that they didn't realize everything that goes into running the City, including maintaining healthy drinking water, bringing star-studded performances to the Van Wezel and the rigorous training our SPD  officers go through to help them make prudent split second decisions.
Most of the eight sessions will be held Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., starting January 24.  While there is no registration fee, participants are asked to attend every class.
The deadline to register is December 14th.
Interested?  Or know a City resident who might be?  Please contact Nancy Kelly, Neighborhood Planner:  941-954-2612.
Thanks to the newly established Planning Department for offering this great civics lesson once again!
Create a Gingerbread House -  Dec. 8    We're gearing up for the holidays with a festive, family-friendly gingerbread house event at Arlington Park!
The City's first-ever Gingerbread House Making community event will be held at Arlington Park on Sat., December 8.  No experience or supplies needed -- everything will be provided (except, of course, your individual creativity).
Families will compete for "Most Creative" and "Most Edible" awards.
There is a $20 registration fee per family.  Deadline to register is Nov. 30 and space is limited.   
To register, please contact the Arlington Park front desk:  941-316-1346 or sign up online.    

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The Lion King makes its premiere at the Van Wezel in March 2019 -- and tickets are now on sale!
To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Sold out 
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas 
Sat., November 17 -  2 p.m. & 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory 
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 
KC and the Sunshine Band will be at the Van Wezel Nov. 24. 
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.
A Christmas Carol will be at the Van Wezel  Dec. 16.

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