From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 18, 2017
Evan Scott, 11, kicks up his leg in celebration as he sinks a putt on the Gillespie Executive Course at our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club.  Evan and golf companion Gus Swencki, 11, were taking part recently in one of the three summer Junior Golf Camps offered at Bobby Jones.  Once again, the camps were a hit with young golfers enthusiastically hitting the links with our staff PGA Professional Christian Martin.  We appreciate our team at Bobby Jones offering junior camps like this to help nurture and develop an interest in a recreational activity they can enjoy for decades.


  • City Commission
    Mon., August 21 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Tues., August 8 - 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.
Administrative Specialist I - SPD
Director of Utilities
Engineering Tech II
Maintenance Mechanic - Part-Time
Manager, Redevelopment
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
Refuse Operator and Solid Waste Helper       

This Week's Items to Know:

Climate Adaptation Plan - Community Meeting Aug. 29   With Sarasota being a vibrant coastal city, it's vital we plan for climate change and take a measured proactive approach to considering potential impacts to the City's critical infrastructure.   
HDR consultants worked with City staff recently to conduct a comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessment for over 200 City-owned infrastructure assets.  These assets include the drinking water supply, wastewater, stormwater, transportation emergency operations, parks and shorelines.  The team worked to identify assets vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surge, extreme rainfall and extreme temperatures based on local climate projections for 2050.
This information will be presented during a community meeting Tues., August 29 at 6 p.m. the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.   Click here to see a flyer
City staff and the consultants will explain the results of the vulnerability assessment and ask for community input regarding possible strategies we can use for climate change adaptation. 
The meeting will be interactive with on-line questions.  If possible, please bring a web-based mobile device (cell phone, tablet) to participate.  Free wifi will be available.
We look forward to an informative exchange on this important issue.
Yard Waste Collection  Starting Sat., September 2, City of Sarasota Public Works crews, rather than a private contractor, will collect curbside yard waste.  So, expect to see City of Sarasota workers in City trucks.    
That is the only change that will occur with yard waste collection.
Yard waste is defined as landscape plant material that includes tree branches, palm fronds, leaves, grass clippings etc. Yard waste is NOT items such as tree stumps, rocks/stones, brick pavers, dirt/soil, lawn furniture, tires, garden ornamentals, pots, and household waste.   

A couple of reminders for curbside pickup: 
  • Place your yard waste at the curb (not in the road/street)
  • Do NOT comingle yard waste with other items such as recycling or household waste
  • Place it in a container or bundle into 4-foot lengths or less
  • Bundles need to weigh 50 lbs. or less
  • The is NO additional fee for yard waste that is properly prepared
  • For a large pile (over 50 lbs.), please call for a special yard waste pick up:  941-365-7651. There is a minimum fee of $26.24 for a special pick up.  This rate and policy have been in place for many years and is not new.
It was decided in-house Public Works crews would handle yard waste collection, when it became clear outsourcing the service was cost prohibitive.    
Recycling Collection  Also starting Sat., September 2, a new recycling contract will begin with a different company, Waste Pro. 
The good news is that residents will be allowed to comingle recyclables for curbside pickup.  Glass, paper, metal, plastic -- all can be placed in the same bin together effective Sept. 2.
We're optimistic more residents will participate in the curbside recycling program since they won't have to spend time sorting the materials.
This is the City's first step toward large, single cart curbside recycling, which we anticipate will be implemented next year.  


Girls Lacrosse Clinic - Aug. 24   When the artificial turf field at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex was built and opened to the public last August, staff envisioned the new facility -- the only one of its kind in the region -- would get a lot of use.  One year later, it's exceeding expectations!   
From adult flag football to soccer, it has become the place to play and practice.  Since opening, usage has increased each month peaking last month at an impressive 170 hours for 81 events and 7,600 spectators, just in July.  Every month, at least one activity is scheduled every day -- even on holidays. This busy schedule highlights the need for the facility. 
Soccer league using the artificial turf field. 
Soon the field will host one of its most notable events to date:  an all-girls lacrosse clinic featuring top USA Olympic players, NCAA Final Four champions and an Espy Award runner up.  To attract an event with high caliber athletes like this, is a feather in the cap of RLTCC staff.
The clinic is expected to be a great opportunity for girls of all ages and skill levels to learn from the best at a top recreational facility.  The clinic is $35 per player with the proceeds benefiting the Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation, which supports injured lacrosse players and their families.  To learn more about the event click here.
Congratulations to Parks & Rec Director Jerry Fogle and Recreation Facilities Supervisor Mark Hamilton for seeing the community need for this field, which has become a tremendous regional recreation asset, and attracting this signature event.

#CityHallSelfie Day  If you follow the City of Sarasota on social media, chances are good you saw a lot of employee selfies earlier this week.
To encourage municipal employees and residents to show their civic spirit, ELGL (Engaging Local Government Leaders) branded August 15th as #CityHallSelfie Day across America.  

Any City-owned building qualified as a #CityHallSelfie location.  And, we're pleased to report we have a lot of civic pride in the City of Sarasota!  Many fun loving employees participated, showing their unique style at City Hall, Public Works, SPD, Utilities, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex and more.   
By the end of the day, a total of 81 posts were made on 3 of the City's social media channels:  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  200+ people were featured, including an impressive group at RLTCC with almost 100 young campers and staff members.  Check out the video wrap up here
So, what was the favorite #CityHallSelfie?  While it's difficult to pick just one, three seem to stand out:  
The Utilities Administration team celebrating the new crosswalk between the Utilities and Public Works buildings on 12th Street with their take on the Beatles' Abbey Road. What creativity!

The fun loving maintenance crew in the Public Works Department, led by Manager Mike Keim, who insists he was not puckering for a kiss, but attempting selfie "duck lips". Either way, this selfie (which is six in one!) is a hit! 
During an executive staff meeting, as Sr. Communications Manager Jan Thornburg  provided an update on #CityHallSelfie Day, SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino was quick to pull out her cell phone and snap a selfie. The cheerful spontaneity of the moment speaks volumes about this team!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  This was a unique way to build upon staff morale and give the community a peek at the diverse personalities who help keep the City running smoothly in a variety of work spaces.   
Special thanks to Sr. Communications Manager Jan Thornburg for engaging staff and posting all our #CityHallSelfie photos well into the night.    

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:  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.
98 Degrees Christmas will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 11.


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

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

98 Degrees Christmas
Mon., December 11 - 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

Weekly Briefs will be on hiatus until September 15th.  Until then, we hope you have a chance to enjoy our special city.  
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