From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 27, 2018
A native shrub of southeast Asia, the ixora is a popular flowering plant in subtropical climates including right here in Sarasota.  We encountered this beautiful ixora lining the sidewalk near one of the many outdoor cafes along St. Armands Circle, helping to make a stroll around the area even more enjoyable and visually appealing.  We appreciate all the St. Armands Business Improvement District does, such as enhanced landscaping, to help make the Circle a pleasant, walkable destination.


  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., August 2 - 5:30 p.m.

    City Hall - Room 112

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

Box Office Operator
Commercial Plans Examiner
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Education Associate - Contract
Engineering Tech III
Facility Maintenance Tech - Janitorial
Field Service Representative
Flood Zone Specialist
GIS Analyst
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Parks & Rec - Facility Maintenance Technician - Part-Time
Parks & Rec - Head Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Maintenance Mechanic I - Clay Tennis Courts
Parks & Rec - Recreation Attendant - Part-Time
Parks & Rec - Recreation Facilities Supervisor - Arlington Park
Parks & Rec - Rec Facilities Supervisor - Payne Park Tennis
Parks & Rec - Rec Leader - Payne Park Tennis
Parks & Rec - Rec Specialist - Part-Time
Parks Service Worker - Part-Time
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Redevelopment Manager

     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Art Installation - Orange/Ringling - July 29   Heads Up:  The northeast quadrant of the Orange/Ringling roundabout will be temporarily closed on Sunday, July 29 while a public art piece is installed.  The closure is expected to be from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  If the installation is completed before 5 p.m., the partial closure will reopen immediately. 
The sculpture BRAVO!, created by Sarasota artist Jorge Blanco and
Artist Jorge Blanco and his team fabricating
BRAVO! in June 2017.

fabricated here locally, will be placed in the center of the roundabout by the artist himself.
A crane will be used to hoist three separate sculptures -- each 18 feet tall -- and  will be joined together to become BRAVO!   Lighting for the piece will be added soon. 
In anticipation of the roundabout being constructed, the City Commission approved the purchase of BRAVO! in December 2016 on recommendation of the Public Art Committee. 
We appreciate City staff coordinating with the artist to conduct the installation during a slower traffic time -- on a Sunday off-season -- to minimize impact.
Within the next few months, the sculpture Jumping Fish will be installed at the Palm/Cocoanut Ave. roundabout.
Homeless Outreach Response - Bottled Water Donations   We know Sarasota is a generous community, and that was proven yet again this week when the City put out a call for donations of bottled water for our Homeless Outreach Teams (HOT) to use to engage homeless individuals on the streets this summer.
Within 30 minutes of sending out a press release to our media
A small portion of the bottled water donations.
partners and residents and posting on the City's website and social media channels, the HOT teams surpassed their goal of 10 cases of bottled water. 
Thanks to this outpouring of generosity, our two HOT teams, each made up of a case worker and a Sarasota Police officer, will be able to use the water as an icebreaker to engage homeless individuals, build relationships and educate them about housing opportunities and/or services available in our community.
We're trying to move away from a culture of enabling homelessness in Sarasota to one of ending homelessness. As Kevin Stiff, the City's Homelessness Response Coordinator, explains, "Handing out food or money on the streets doesn't help homeless individuals move into permanent housing, it only sustains homelessness. But a simple bottle of water can be effective tool while trained professionals on our HOT teams connect individuals to service providers in the community."
Last year, the HOT teams made more than 9,000 contacts with homeless individuals in City limits. About 39 percent of the individuals
A HOT team interacting with a homeless
individual earlier this week. 
checked into The Salvation Army by a HOT team have been placed into housing or received other needed services.
Thank you to all of those who continue to support community efforts to end homelessness. Those who wish to learn about other opportunities to donate money or other goods can contact one of the community's many service providers. A list of agencies and resources can be found on the City's website.
Solar Co-Op: Learn More Aug. 7   The final community outreach  session to learn about a solar co-op that is being offered in Sarasota County will be held next month on Tuesday, August 7th at 6 p.m. at Gulf Gate Library, 7112 Curtiss Ave.

This will be the last meeting before the co-op closes on August 31.
The Sarasota Solar Co-op closes August 31, 2018. 
The co-op is an excellent way to invest in solar energy and reduce your electric bills by leveraging the purchasing power of a group and ultimately buy solar panels at a more affordable price.
For those pondering whether to join, free home assessments are being offered to help determine how much solar would cost on your home.
Currently, there are 140 participants, and Solar United Neighbors, the nonprofit organizing the co-op, hopes to surpass 198 participants, the number involved with last year's co-op.   
More information including a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be find at  
The City is helping to spread the word about the Solar Co-op as a way to support the City Commission's Ready for 100 target of powering 100% of our community's electricity from renewable sources by 2045.   
Bobby Jones - PGA Drive, Chip & Putt Competition   For the 5th consecutive year, Bobby Jones Golf Club will host a qualifying competition for the PGA's youth Drive, Chip & Putt competition.   
The event will be held this Saturday the 28th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with 200 local kids ages 7-15 testing their golf skills with the chance to compete in the national championship at Augusta National Golf Club just before the 2019 Masters.
To help youngsters prepare for the competition, our PGA professionals at Bobby Jones hosted a boot camp last weekend so children could fine tune their driving, chipping and putting skills.
Bobby Jones is one of 21 courses in Florida selected to host the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition, which is a fun way to introduce kids to golf and grow the sport.    
Thanks to Golf Course Manager Sue Martin and her staff for encouraging youngsters to hit the links and hosting this significant event.  
Bobby Jones PGA Professional Dan Benedetti instructing a young golfer
during the recent Drive, Chip & Putt Boot Camp.
Parks & Rec - NBA Player Hosts Free Camp   Former Cardinal Mooney student and current Chicago Bulls guard Antonio Blakeney will return home to Sarasota next month to host a youth basketball camp at our Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.
Already filled to capacity with 100 elementary and middle school kids, the free camp will be held Saturday, August 11 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at RLTCC.  A bookbag giveaway will follow immediately afterward.  
Sarasota native and NBA player Antonio Blakeney
will host a free youth camp Aug. 11.

Blakeney played at Cardinal Mooney before attending high school in Orlando.  In 2015, he was named Florida's Mr. Basketball and went on to play for 2 years at Louisiana State University, where he was a top scorer.  This year, he was named the NBA G League Rookie of the Year and earlier this month, he inked a contract to play with the Chicago Bulls. 
This is an exciting opportunity for Sarasota youngsters to learn drills and skills from a professional basketball player right from this area.  We appreciate Antonio taking the time to invest in our human capital --  and thanks to our Parks & Rec staff who are providing amazing youth and adult programming at the R.L. Taylor Community Complex.  

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

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

Rebel Heart 
Friday, August 17:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Kenny G will perform on Oct. 19 at the Van Wezel.
Jerry Seinfeld 
Thurs., September 20 - 7 p.m.

Eddie Izzard 
Thurs., October 11 - 8 p.m.

Lord of the Dance 
Sun., October 14 - 7 p.m.
Kenny G 
Fri., October 19 - 8 p.m.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Mannheim Steimroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 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