From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
November 9, 2018
A small troupe of professional acrobats is training at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex for the next  five weeks as they learn a new routine from a Sarasota resident who is a retired circus performer.  The young acrobats' act is unusual in that it is performed 100 percent on a trampoline (which they shipped here from out of state for training) -- spinning, twirling, jumping, and even landing on another performer's shoulders.  Their new routine will be included in upcoming shows of UniverSoul Circus, a national circus which is scheduled to be in Tampa in January.  The group's practices are free and open to the public at Robert L. Taylor Monday - Friday 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. through December 14.


  • St. Armands BID
    Tues., November 13 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Historic Preservation
    Tues., November 13 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., November 14 - 1 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Planning Board
    Wed., November 14 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Employee Retirement Account Committee
    Thurs., November 15 - 10 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 


This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Beach - Emergency Renourishment Underway    With the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and sea turtle nesting season coming to an end, the City has begun its urgently needed Lido Beach emergency renourishment project.

Crews from the contractor, Coastal Dredging Corp., have already begun staging equipment and piping at the site, with the sand dredging and pumping expected to start this weekend, weather permitting.
Construction vehicles and equipment are in place at Lido Beach for the start of the emergency renourishment project, which is now underway.
The beach will remain open throughout the duration of the project. Beachgoers are advised to use caution and be mindful of active work zones and any equipment operating in the area. The contractor will be working north to south, making every effort to confine the work to one area at a time so that the public may enjoy the rest of the beach. The project will take approximately 90 days to complete.
This emergency project addresses the critical erosion caused by Tropical Storm Hermine (2016), Hurricane Irma (2017) and subsequent storms and tidal action. About 185,000 cubic yards of sand will come from collection areas in the New Pass area and will be utilized to renourish Lido, adding about 50 feet of beach to restore the shoreline. The added sand will replenish the dunes and protect public property and infrastructure, including the Lido concession, pavilion, public restrooms and swimming pool.
Following this interim project - which is a partnership between the City, Sarasota County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - the City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will proceed with the long-term renourishment of Lido Beach that would regularly recycle additional sand from massive accretions in the Big Pass area over a 50-year period as needed. That project is permitted, funded and expected to begin in the summer or fall of 2019. 
We instituted a Local State of Emergency for Lido Beach back in May, recognizing the serious threats that just one more storm could pose for our environment, our local economy, properties and infrastructure on Lido Key. We eagerly await both this short-term renourishment and our long-term shoreline stabilization plan to protect our shoreline and restore Lido Beach to its breathtaking beauty.

Veterans Day Parade - Sun., Nov. 11    We invite you to join us for a good old fashioned parade in downtown Sarasota on Veterans Day, Sunday November 11th, to honor our military veterans and their service to our country. 
The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Main Street & Osprey Avenue,
The Veterans Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. at
Main St. & Osprey Ave. on Nov. 11th.    
proceeds down to lower Main and ends at Gulfstream Avenue where a ceremony will be held at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park at approximately 11 a.m.
A flyover by a helicopter with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is expected prior to the start of the ceremony.
We greatly appreciate the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, a dedicated volunteer team of veterans and patriots, who coordinate this parade and the Memorial Day parade every year.  And, thanks to all who will walk, ride and march in the parade and to the spectators who will line the streets to honor our vets.
Veterans Day - Observed Mon., Nov. 12    With Veterans Day falling on a Sunday, City administrative offices will be closed Monday, November 12th in observance of this national holiday.
Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual.
With the City being a 24/7/365 operation, we will have SPD officers patrolling neighborhoods, Utilities crews monitoring critical infrastructure, Public Works collecting solid waste and Parks & Recreation helping folks to have fun and relax.  
Some facilities will have limited hours.  A full list of holiday hours is available on the City of Sarasota website.     
Sustainability - Partners for Places Grant    Sarasota is one of just
six locales across the U.S. selected to receive a competitive grant  called Partners for Places, which helps build partnerships between government sustainability offices and local foundations.  The City of Sarasota and Sarasota County sustainability programs were selected for their joint proposal to provide financial savings to area nonprofits through assisting them with energy improvements.  
A $150,000 grant from Partners for Places will be matched by $75,000 each from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation. The dollars will fund energy, water and solar audits at nonprofit facilities and also some implementation funds to help the energy improvements become a reality.
This grant program is especially important since nonprofits typically cannot afford the high up-front costs associated with many energy efficiency improvements. The initiative aims to help local nonprofits become more energy efficient and install renewable energy, which was a high priority through the public input received within our Ready for 100 effort.   
And, we're pleased to announce three nonprofits in Sarasota -- Children First, Harvest House and Historic Spanish Point -- will be part of a pilot program to implement improvement projects and track the cost savings.    
Congratulations to our City Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes and Sarasota County's Director of UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Lee-Hayes Byron -- and all involved with submitting and receiving this significant grant. And, a heartfelt thank you to our local philanthropic partners who are making this sustainability program even more meaningful through their generosity and commitment to future generations in Sarasota.
Bobby Jones Golf Club - American Course Reopens   The American Course reopened this week with much needed improvements to the drainage system on all 18 fairways.
During heavy rain events, the course was unplayable due to wet conditions and extreme puddling caused by poor drainage.  Starting in August, crews dug narrow trenches in the fairways and placed pipes to direct the water to the rough or catch basins. 
Post-rain event on the American Course - Before and after the drainage
improvements on the American Course. 
And, immediately, staff at Bobby Jones could see a vast improvement with course conditions.  Downpours that would have left the course overwhelmed with rainwater are now draining quickly and efficiently.
This summer the City Commission approved limited capital improvements at Bobby Jones Golf Club to keep it open and playable while the phases of the master plan are determined and implemented.  We expect the Commission to resume discussions on the long range future of Bobby Jones and funding for the implementation of the master plan.  
New Election Cycle   City voters gave overwhelming approval (63%) to the Decide the Date initiative, which means there will be new election dates for City elections. 
Election for the current District 1, 2, and 3 seats, which would have occurred in March and May 2019, will now be pushed forward to  August and November 2020.  Similarly, the terms for the two At-large seats will be pushed forward to August and November 2022.   
So, by the fall of 2022 the City election cycle realignment will be complete.
This will be a one time only term extension for the current City Commissioners.  We look forward to continuing the progress we're making on many of the City Commission top priorities including creating a more livable, workable, sustainable and eco-friendly city. 
Vintage & Collectibles Fair  - Nov. 10 & 11    If you're fond of shopping and classic items (clothing, books, antiques etc.), we have an event for you this weekend!  The Sarasota Municipal Auditorium will host the Vintage & Collectibles Fair Sat., Nov. 10 & Sun., Nov. 11.   
This is one of the few community events hosted by our Municipal Auditorium in which the proceeds from vendors go back into the operation of the facility, a beloved community gem with its Art Deco architecture and rich history.
The Vintage & Collectibles Fair is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is free to all this holiday weekend.  On Sunday, you may want to consider stopping by after attending the Veterans Day parade just a few minutes away.  
America Recycles Day - Nov. 17    Saturday, November 17th will be a day to recognize the importance of sustainability and recycling with the first-ever America Recycles Day celebration in Sarasota County.
This free community event will feature tours of the County landfill, a composting demonstration, close up look at garbage and recycling trucks, games and activities and a musical performance by The Garbage-Men band.  The City's Solid Waste Division will be in attendance providing information about curbside collection and upcoming changes to our recycling program to make it easier to recycle. 
America Recycles Day will be held at the Central County Solid Waste Disposal Complex, 4000 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  on Nov. 17. 
As the City moves toward single stream recycling in Spring 2019, we encourage all to learn more about  the positive environmental impact we can have by diverting plastic, paper, glass, cardboard and other recyclables from the landfill.   
Thanks to Sarasota County Solid Waste for hosting this event and to Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski for helping to educate the community about what we can do to help make Sarasota a more sustainable city.   

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 
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.
Young Guns of Country 2018
Sun., November 11 - 7 p.m.
Catch Young Guns of Country 2018 at the Van Wezel Nov. 11.    
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. 
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.
The King and I will be at the
Van Wezel  Dec. 4 & 5.

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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager