From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 11, 2018
Congratulations to District 2 City Commissioner Liz Alpert, who was selected by her fellow Commissioners today to serve as Mayor for the next year!   Congratulations also to At-Large Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch who was tapped to be the Vice Mayor.  We look forward to working with both, and the entire City Commission, on many issues in the coming year as we strive to make Sarasota the best community it possibly can be.


  • Community Workshop
    Mon., May 14
    - 6 p.m.
    Sarasota High School Auditorium - 2155 Bahia Vista St.

  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., May 16 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112

Update:  Lido Shoreline Protection 

On Wednesday, we learned Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter sided with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Sarasota and Lido Key residents to allow the fiscally responsible, environmentally sustainable recycling of sand from just north of Big Pass back to Lido Beach.  This is a significant decision to shore up Lido Beach and protect the City's infrastructure, including streets, lights, potable water and wastewater systems, from potentially damaging flood surge from the Gulf of Mexico.

Within the past year, we've witnessed the beach erode significantly, and as we prepare to enter another hurricane season, we're very concerned about the vulnerability of the infrastructure, buildings and wildlife habitat.  Without any legal appeals, and with necessary federal funding budgeted, new sand could be placed on Lido Beach as soon as late fall or early winter.

We urge the Siesta Key petitioners to stop litigation and work together to help protect all the beaches throughout Sarasota County.

Judge Canter was decisive in his opinion, noting that Lido is "critically eroded" and based his decision on fact, research and evidence that recycling limited amounts of accreted sand from Big Pass will not negatively impact Siesta Key and may actually help it.  To read the ruling click here.    

                                          Lido Beach - January 2017                                                     

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

Commercial Plans Examiner
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Technician - SPD
Network Analyst
Office Assistant
Parks Service Worker - Part-time
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant/RLTCC
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution
     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern  
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator  

This Week's Items to Know:

Orange/Ringling Roundabout - Opens Week of May 14   Crews are putting the finishing touches on the new roundabout at Orange Ave. and Ringling Blvd. before it opens early next week.  While the actual roundabout has been completed for about a week, State- required inspections and other cosmetic work, including landscaping, lighting, and the installation of a base for the new public art piece that will be installed in the center of the roundabout, is still ongoing which requires the intersection to remain closed.

The new Orange/Ringling roundabout is scheduled to open early next week. 

Once the concrete base has cured (that takes about a month), Jorge Blanco's sculpture  "BRAVO!", will be installed.  Staff plans to do this during off-peak hours on a weekend to minimize traffic, similar to what was done with "Embracing Our Differences" at Orange Ave. and Main St. 

We appreciate everyone's patience and look forward to having this well-traveled intersection open once again in a safer configuration for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. 

U.S. 41 - Night Work: May 13 - 17     Night work is scheduled next week near 14th Street and 10th Street along U.S. 41 as crews continue underground infrastructure improvements.

At 10th Street, steel piles will be installed at a box culvert.  And, at
Looking east near the intersection of
U.S. 41 and 10th St. 
14th Street, a potable water line will be moved.  Construction noise and vibration from heavy equipment and trucks, unfortunately, is unavoidable on projects of this magnitude.  The work is being done at night to lessen traffic disruptions during rush hours and the typical workday.

At minimum, City staff meets once a week with FDOT officials and the project contractor to receive updates and share information.  We continue to encourage FDOT and the contractor to balance construction activity (especially night work) with our urban living environment and to complete all work as expeditiously as possible.  
Osprey Ave. Resurfacing - Starts May 29   A long-awaited and much-needed street resurfacing project on Osprey Avenue is scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 29.  

With a lengthy 1.4-mile stretch of street to be repaved, from Siesta Drive to Bahia Vista Street, the project currently is scheduled to be done in four segments with a tentative finish in March 2019.  

Segment A:  South Dr. to Boyce St. (June - August)
Segment B:  Boyce St. to Arlington St. (August - October)
Segment C:  Siesta Dr. to South Dr. (November to January)
Segment D:  Arlington St. to Bahia Vista St.  (January to March)

The first segment, from South Dr. to Boyce St., near Southside Elementary, was timed to begin shortly after the school year ends to help reduce traffic impacts.

Resurfacing of Osprey Ave. between Siesta Dr. and Bahia Vista will begin May 29. 

It's important to note road crews will work Monday - Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. Overnight work is not planned at this time.   Osprey Ave. will remain open to two-way traffic throughout the duration of the project.  Also, access to businesses will remain open.

Along with repaving, new curbs, improvements to signalized intersections and ADA ramps will be installed.

The City maintains over 200 miles of City-owned roads. An improvement project of this scale on a well-traveled two-lane street certainly is a challenge for all involved.  Staff has been in close communication with those who live and own businesses along Osprey to help them plan accordingly and know what to expect.

Thanks to Public Works General Manager Mike Del Rossi and his team for staying on top of such a sizable, ongoing improvement program.

For information about the Osprey Ave. resurfacing project please contact the project manager, Georges Nicolas:  941-365-2200 ext. 6367.

Public Art - Murals Approved   This week, the Public Art Committee approved two exterior murals on a new development in downtown.  The developer of BOLD Lofts Sarasota, located at 2nd Street and Goodrich Avenue, petitioned the PAC to consider the murals to meet a public art requirement.

Erik Jones, a 2007 graduate of the prestigious Ringling College of Art and Design here in Sarasota, has been commissioned by the developer to hand paint each of the murals, which will be approximately four stories tall, vibrant and colorful.

"David" and "Victory" will be painted on the exterior of the new BOLD Lofts Sarasota. 
"David" will be painted along Goodrich Ave. and wrap around to 2nd Street.  And "Victory" will be seen along the Fruitville Road corridor.

Building murals like these are a growing trend and are becoming part of a lively, urban culture and skylines throughout the country. 

Erik Jones has painted large scale murals in downtown St. Petersburg as well as the Target flagship store in Los Angeles.  He's also done work for Warner Bros. and Marvel.

Erik tells us he plans to begin painting in mid-June and expects to have both murals finished within four weeks. 

We look forward to seeing this latest public art materialize.  It will be a project to watch!

Friday Fest    It's heating up outside and the regular Van Wezel season has concluded -- and that means Friday Fest is right around the corner!

This popular, free outdoor concert series starts next month and runs through September.  With live bands featuring reggae, funk, country and classic rock, there's sure to be something for most everyone's musical taste.  The fun starts at 5 p.m. and lasts 'til 9 p.m.

Here's this summer's schedule:

The lawn of the Van Wezel is one of the best places in Sarasota to catch a sunset. So, we invite you to bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the music and Mother Nature's own show on Sarasota Bay

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

Friday Fest - Jah Movement 
Friday, June 22:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
FREE Concert

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

Rebel Heart 
Friday, August 17:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
Friday Fest, our free concert series on the lawn of the Van Wezel, will be held monthly June through September. 

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 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

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