From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 21, 2017
In response to significant shoreline erosion, the construction of a new traditional seawall adjacent to O'Leary's at Bayfront Park is well underway.  The outer sheet pile wall is in place and crews are working on the forms for the concrete cap of the wall.  We anticipate the first concrete pour will occur next week.  Barring any unexpected weather problems, the first phase of the project is on schedule to be finished by September 22.  Shortly after that, work will begin on the living seawall, which you may have heard about in the local news media this week.   The living seawall, which is being designed and monitored in collaboration with Mote Marine, will be adjacent to the traditional seawall.  Reef balls and other aquatic habitat elements will be installed to protect the Bay floor from wave action while simultaneously promoting sea life.  Many exciting innovations going on to protect our beautiful natural asset, Sarasota Bay!


  • Community Workshop
    Mon., July 24 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wed., July 26 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Police Officers' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Fri., July 28 - 8:15 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Case Manager
Control System Tech I - Plant Maintenance
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Lifeguard I
Maintenance Mechanic (Part-Time)
Maintenance Mechanic II
Manager, Redevelopment
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Refuse Driver and Refuse Operator 

This Week's Items to Know:

Paul Thorpe Park - Dedication Sat., July 22 at 10 a.m. Last month, the City Commission unanimously and enthusiastically voted to change the name of Pineapple Park, in downtown Sarasota, to Paul Thorpe Park. 

Known to many as "Mr. Downtown", Paul is credited with revitalizing
Paul Thorpe, "Mr. Downtown" 
downtown over the decades by launching popular family friendly events including the Farmers Market, the Holiday Parade, July 4th fireworks and New Year's Eve pineapple drop.  He also was instrumental in creating the Downtown Improvement District and uniting merchants to work together for the good of downtown.

Thanks to Paul's vision, the park dedication ceremony was coordinated to occur during the Farmers Market, which draws thousands of visitors to downtown throughout the year.  We expect a strong show of support as we honor "Mr. Downtown", who is now 91 years young.

Thank you, "Mr. Downtown", for your many contributions to Sarasota!   

Mermaid Fountain Rededication   Over the past six months, the Mermaid Fountain at Paul Thorpe Park (formerly Pineapple Park) in downtown has been lovingly restored and returned to its original colorful, whimsical grandeur.

The restoration of the Mermaid Fountain returned this
unique art piece to its original grandeur.

Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, Vice Mayor Liz Alpert, City Commissioner Hagen Brody and Commissioner Willie Shaw represented the City during a well attended rededication ceremony this morning (Fri., July 21) for the fountain, signaling the renaissance of the park.  Former Commissioners Suzanne Atwell, Susan Chapman and Stan Zimmerman also attended.

We'd like to thank resident Renee Hamad and her late husband for their generous donation of $27,500, which assisted with funding the
Residents Renee Hamad and Barbara Campo being recognized by Parks & Rec Director Jerry Fogle.
restoration.  Thanks, also, to the original artist Nancy Goodheart Matthews who worked with artist Danielle Glaysher on the project.  And congratulations to the many involved residents for their unwavering passion for the fountain -- with special recognition to Barbara Campo, who organized the rededication ceremony.

Last but not least, bravo to the City's Landscape Division which went the extra mile installing a colorful, lush flower bed adjacent to the fountain.

More photos are posted on the City's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

This restoration project is a key aspect of creating an inviting park environment which we expect will see increased usage as nearby commercial and residential developments come online.

Wonderful turnout for the rededication ceremony.  
A proposed master plan for the Paul Thorpe Park and Lemon Avenue Streetscape calls for keeping the fountain and artwork in place while increasing the green space, and providing shade for visitors to relax under.  From Main Street to Pineapple Avenue, the curbs along Lemon Avenue will be removed and pavers installed, similar to Lemon Plaza.  This final proposal incorporates all community feedback.  A community presentation of the proposed master plan will be given on Wed., August 16 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. 

Recycling - Single Cart Collection Coming!   To encourage recycling and save expensive landfill space, the City of Sarasota is committed to making recycling as easy as possible for residents!  A different company, Waste Pro, will begin collecting recyclables on September 2 -- and residents will no longer be required to separate plastics and paper etc.  Feel free to co-mingle recyclables!  Waste Pro will separate all the recyclable material later at its facility.  

In about a year, we expect to convert from the rectangular recycle bins to a single recycle cart where all recyclable material can be placed for pick up:  paper, plastic, cardboard etc.

14% of residential waste is recycled through the City's curbside recycling service.  We anticipate the easier process of co-mingling recyclables will encourage more residents to participate.  Ultimately, higher recycling rates will translate into less waste going to the landfill, which is good for Mother Earth and encouraging a sustainable community.

Bobby Jones Golf Club - North/South City Tourney  For the second consecutive year, the Bobby Jones Golf Club hosted half of the North/South City Tournament last weekend.

The tournament was developed last year to generate interest between two municipal courses:  Bobby Jones and River Run Golf Links in Bradenton, with one round being played at each facility.

This year's finish was very exciting!  After 36 holes of regulation play, two teams were tied, forcing a playoff.  Ultimately, Larry Kulchar and Zach Stanger earned the championship.  Congratulations to the players -- and to staff members at both golf courses who worked to facilitate a fun and unique competition in the summer.

Larry Kulchar, Bobby Jones Asst. Manager Christian Martin, Zach Stanger and Dennis Bush, Head Golf Pro with River Run Golf Links. 
Commission Chambers - New Energy Efficiencies   Recent lighting and electrical retrofits in the Commission Chambers are boosting energy efficiency at City Hall! 

Recently, a total of 85 incandescent and halogen bulbs in the  Chambers were replaced with LED lights, which are expected to provide the same color light for as long as 30 years.  A control panel was also upgraded. 

The new lights use less electricity and produce less heat, helping to reduce air conditioning costs. Based on current electricity usage and rates, we expect the retrofittings to save the City $1,000 a year on electric bills. Additional savings are expected through reduced maintenance costs, since LEDs last longer and require less maintenance.

Thanks to our forward thinking staff for continuing to keep energy efficiency and sustainability priorities at City-owned buildings.
The old lights in the Commission Chambers were recently retrofitted
with modern energy efficient LED lights.


Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Dec. 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 

Friday Fest: Kettle of Fish
Fri., July 21 - 5 p.m.
Doo Wop Spectacular will be at the Van Wezel
on Nov. 4.

FREE Concert

Friday Fest:  Jah Movement Reggae Band
Fri., August 25 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Tony Bennett
Fri., September 8 - 8 p.m.

Friday Fest:  Reverend Barry & the Funktastic Soul
Fri., September 15 - 5 p.m.
FREE Concert

Big Stage Ballroom - Fred Astaire 
Sun., October 8 - 7 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Tony Bennett will be at the Van Wezel Sept. 8.


Celtic Thunder
Wed., November 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 16 - 8 p.m.

Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker
Fri., Dec. 29 - 3 p.m. & 7 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

The Lido Beach Pool was struck by lightning earlier this week, damaging the electrical panel which controls the pool pumps.  Staff is working to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible, so the pool can reopen.  In the meantime, we encourage swimmers to use the pools at Arlington Park and Robert L. Taylor Community Complex. 

REMINDER:  Join us for Friday Fest, our free summertime concert series, tonight (Fri., July 21) at 5 p.m. on the lawn of the Van Wezel along the Bayfront.  Kettle of Fish will be performing -- rain or shine!

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

Tom Barwin
City Manager