From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 12, 2019
recyle bins
The Public Works campus on 12th Street has become a temporary repository for all those old recycling bins we're no longer using.  Our crews are picking up thousands of bins, which served their purpose well but are no longer needed.  What will happen to them?  Details below in Weekly Briefs!


  • General Employees' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Mon., April 15 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Mon., April 15 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Recycling: Old Bins   We're now into the second week of the new single-cart recycling program.  And, as residents leave their old bins curbside, Solid Waste crews are taking them to the Public Works campus for temporary storage.  The City's vendor, Rehrig Pacific Company, will pick them up soon, and ultimately they will be recycled or repurposed.   
Here's an important note:  The City will receive a credit for each old
Old recycling bins temporarily staged at the Public Works campus. 
bin returned, which will go toward the purchase of new recycling and trash carts.  So, please return those bins!   
Simply place them curbside (empty) on your regularly scheduled collection day.  (Please do not place them inside your new recycling cart.)   
The bins may not be picked up on your collection day, and the Solid Waste Division asks that you leave them out for collection.  Crews will continue picking up the bins for the remainder of this month. 
Assorted Solid Waste trucks, including garbage trucks, are being used to transport the old bins to the Public Works campus, so don't be concerned if you see the bins tossed into one of these vehicles.       
Our initial street-level report is that more residents are recycling with the new single-stream carts.  And, here's more good news:  after the first week, we're seeing much less contamination, which means residents are doing a better job of discerning what is and isn't recyclable.   Bravo!
If you have questions regarding recycling, please reach out to the Solid Waste Division:  941-365-7651.
Sustainability:  Tree Giveaway - Starts April 15   Our Sustainability team is gearing up for another tree giveaway through the Community Canopy program.  And, this time, we'll give away twice as many trees as in the past. 
Thanks to the Arbor Day Foundation and a matching grant from the Florida Forest Service, the City will be able to give away 250 trees.
Three species will be offered:  dahoon holly, live oak and red maple.   
And here's something else that's new:  instead of just one tree, each household may reserve two trees!   
Please remember :  Registration starts at midnight on Monday, April 15 at  The website will go live at midnight.      
Resident Krisi Hugglestone with her sons James and Liam and the red maple tree
they received from the Community Canopy program last fall.
You're encouraged to use the interactive tool on the website to help pinpoint the optimum location on your property to ultimately provide the greatest shade and best savings on your electric bill.  Once you choose your location you can reserve your tree(s), then it will be mailed directly to your doorstep.        
Based on the four previous tree giveaways, this is a popular program and the trees are snatched up quickly.  Once the 250 trees are spoken for (online), this cycle will close.
We value our urban canopy and greatly appreciate programs like this, which help us grow the canopy with native trees.  The benefits of trees are tremendous as they clean the air, filter stormwater and provide cooling to lower the heat island affect.   
Thanks to all involved, especially the residents who will take on the responsibility of planting and caring for the trees, and helping to bolster our urban forest.     
Sustainability -  Grant Funding   We recently received word that the City was awarded a $28,300 grant from the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice to help develop unified education materials on climate change for the Sarasota-Manatee region.  Our coastal region is considered one of the most vulnerable areas in the nation for sea level rise and coastal flooding, and coordinated messaging will help boost the public's understanding of climate change, the issues we're facing as a community and building regional resiliency.     
The education materials will include infographics, brochures, and maps about local climate change projections, impacts and a specific call to action to help.  Five short videos also will be produced sharing community members' direct experience with local climate impacts and community strategies, such as the City's Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan.  The materials will be shared via social media and across many organizations through the Climate Council, a regional network of over 30 community groups.    
The project will be overseen by the City's Sustainability Manager, Stevie Freeman-Montes, with assistance from our partners with this initiative, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and the Science and Environment Council.      
Over the past year, between the work of our Sustainability team, Public Works Department and grants writer, we have secured over $638,000 in grant funds for sustainability initiatives in our community -- very impressive!   Other grants include:
  • $300,000 - Partners for Green Places
    - Funds energy audits and efficiency upgrades for local nonprofits (co-applicant - Sarasota County)
  • $180,000 - FDEP Coastal Resilience
    - Funding the Boulevard of the Arts shoreline stabilization project
  • $129,765 - The Recycling Partnership
    - Funded a portion of the new single-stream recycling carts and education materials
Submitting for grants is an investment.  And we're seeing remarkable interest and success with our environment-related grant submissions.  Thanks to all involved! 
Best Cities - Sarasota Ranks in Top 20    Thanks to our residents and their passion for community building and our community's leadership and exceptional staff, Sarasota was recognized this week by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 20 Best Places to Live in the entire country.   
While quality of life and livability are subjective, to be acknowledged on the national stage like this is indeed an honor and a tremendous achievement for the community.   
Other cities in the top 20 include Austin, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle.  Check out the full list.   
We appreciate the dedication of the community and our hard-working City staff who have focused on turning amazing ideas into reality over the past several years.  This recognition reflects that commitment.  Keep up the good work! 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
The Music of Cream 
Mon., April 15 - 8 p.m. 
The Second City:  It's Not You. It's Me.
Tues., April 16 - 8 p.m. 
Menopause the Musical
Wed., April 17 - 7:30 p.m. 
Boz Scaggs - Out of The Blues Tour 2018 
Thurs., April 18 - 8 p.m.
Alan Cumming - Legal Immigrant will be at the Van Wezel April 20. 

Alan Cumming - Legal Immigrant 
Sat., April 20 - 8 p.m.

Rosanne Cash and Band 
Thurs., April 25 - 8 p.m.

The Temptations and The Four Tops 
Fri., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Whoopi Goldberg 
Sat., April 27 - 8 p.m.
Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle 
Sun., April 28 - 7 p.m.
The Illusionists 
Tues., April 30 - 7:30 p.m. 
Catch The Illusionists on
April 30 at the Van Wezel.

Purple Reign
Sat., May 4 - 8 p.m. 
Escape to Margaritaville
Mon., Dec. 2 - 7:30 p.m. 
Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical 
Fri., Dec. 13 - Sun., Dec. 15 
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

What a scene it was last weekend at Burns Court as the Chalk Festival returned to Sarasota!  The vision and execution of these talented street artists is indeed impressive, as captured below by our resident photographer Norm Schimmel in our Sarasota Scene.
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