From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 17, 2018
Large colorful murals are now being painted on the exterior of the new BOLD development in downtown to fulfill the developer's public art requirement.  'David' is the first of two murals being created by well known artist and Ringling College of Art & Design graduate Erik Jones.  The piece will be completed by August 23.   Then, in November, Jones will begin work on the next mural, 'Victory'.  Large murals like these are growing in popularity in urban areas throughout the country.  At four stories tall, the ones adorning BOLD are expected to be eye-catching conversation starters in this arts loving community.  What do you think so far?


  • City Commission
    Mon., August 20 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • City Commission State of the Pension Plans
    Thurs., August 23 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

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

Commercial Plans Examiner
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Flood Zone Specialist
GIS Analyst
GIS Coordinator
Parking Enforcement Specialist
Parks & Rec - Facility Maintenance Tech - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Head Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Maintenance - Clay Tennis Courts
Parks & Rec - Rec Attendant - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Rec Specialist - Part Time
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Redevelopment Manager

     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Red Tide Update  Earlier this week, with concurrence from Mayor Liz Alpert, a local State of Emergency was declared due to the impacts from a red tide algae bloom that has plagued Florida's Gulf Coast. The state of emergency follows similar declarations made by Sarasota County and the state of Florida and will last into next week, though it may be extended in seven-day increments as necessary.
The declaration shows our need to continue to respond effectively and efficiently for the health and safety of our residents and guests and is a necessary step in securing possible financial assistance from the state or federal government. We are coordinating closely with Sarasota County, which has been leading cleanup efforts at Lido Beach and all of the beaches in the county, and with the state's emergency management team.
Sarasota County cleanup crews raking Lido Beach.
The declaration reflects what an enormous challenge and threat red tide is to the Gulf Coast.  Understanding how the activity of life on land contributes to the natural formation of red tide is a high priority.  As home to Mote Marine Laboratory, City and area residents are heavily involved with this research.  We will continue to coordinate with Mote, the state and county to learn all we can about this monumental challenge and utilize this space to keep residents informed.  Many are discussing if the blooms can be broken up or dispersed; however, at the moment we remain dependent on nature, winds, and tides to move red tide away from the shoreline. 
There is scientific consensus that red tide blooms, caused by Karenia brevis, are naturally occurring, start 10-40 miles offshore and are exacerbated by land-based nutrients as they move onshore. 
It's uncertain how long this current algal bloom will continue to linger on our shoreline and affect our area, as red tide is difficult to forecast. I've asked county health officials to monitor local hospitals for any upticks in respiratory-related cases in our emergency rooms. I've also asked our Emergency Manager, Todd Kerkering, to document the impacts of red tide at selected sites so that we may strive to understand the daily fish composition and the impacts of weather and wind.
Small businesses that have been affected by red tide may be eligible for short-term, interest-free loans of up to $50,000 through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Business owners with two to 100 employees can apply now through Oct. 12 at .
Residents whose properties may be impacted by dead fish can place closed, tied-up bags in their regular 95-gallon City trash container, and it will be collected on their normal collection day.
For more red tide information, resources, updates and helpful links, visit the City's homepage at
Friday Fest - Aug. 17 Concert Canceled   With the continued effects of red tide being felt in the community, the August 17th Friday Fest outdoor concert, featuring Rebel Heart, has been canceled.
Van Wezel Executive Director Mary Bensel and her team plan to host the final Friday Fest summer concert on September 14 with the Dr. Dave Band. We hope the outdoors are greatly improved by then and we can enjoy live music and a beautiful sunset on Sarasota Bay.
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Improvements Started   The American Course at the City's Bobby Jones Golf Club temporarily closed early
Drainage improvements underway at the American Course.
this week for much-needed drainage improvements.  
The course often gets overwhelmed with water and is frequently unplayable following heavy rain. This project will correct the drainage on all 18 fairways. It's part of a series of limited capital improvements approved by the City Commission last month to keep Bobby Jones open to the public and playable while a master plan for the golf course is finalized and executed in the coming years.  
The American Course is expected to reopen by Dec. 1.  In the meantime, the 18-hole British Course and Gillespie Executive Course are open and ready for play! 
Lido Key - Utilities & Storm Preps   I recently inspected the City's water and sewer system on Lido Key along with Utilities Director Bill Riebe. Given the current levels of severe erosion we have seen on the Key and the potential of an inundation and/or partial or full breach of the island during a major storm event, our team is prepared to close either all or portions of the water and wastewater system on Lido, depending on the severity of the storm and the projected damage.

During such an event, we would first identify the impacted areas based on information from the City's Emergency Operations Center. From there, we would notify all impacted residents and businesses of an interruption in service via signage and through alerts issued on the City's CodeRED notification system (if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for CodeRED alerts and weather warnings here).

Crews would be dispatched pre-storm to close existing water main valves and insert temporary plugs in gravity sewer mains along affected streets. Plugging the sewer mains will prevent continuous saltwater flow from entering the sewer system, overwhelming the wastewater pump station on Lido Key and destroying the microbes in the City's biological wastewater treatment process. Without the microbes, the wastewater treatment process will not work.
In the event it is necessary to completely isolate the entire water and sewer system on Lido Key from the rest of the City's system, the Utilities Department would completely de-energize Lift Station 31 on Lido Key, halting all service.

Lift Station 31 on Lido Key.

Following the storm event, the water and sewer system would be evaluated and returned to service following any necessary repairs and testing. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could take several hours or several weeks.

Having these disaster preparedness plans in place ensures that our community can not only safely weather a storm, but enter the recovery phase that much sooner and more efficiently. We hope that by now you and your family have your own preparedness plans solidified - remember, although it's been quiet in the Gulf so far, hurricane season lasts through Nov. 30. 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

Rebel Heart - CANCELED
Friday, August 17 

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Lord of the Dance will perform at the Van Wezel on October 14.
Jerry Seinfeld 
Thurs., September 20 - 7 p.m. & 9:30 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.
Bob Dylan & His Band 
Sun., October 21 - 8 p.m.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps 
Wed., November 7 - 8 p.m.
Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock & Roll Part II 
Fri., November 9 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular Vol. 3 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Stills and Collins will be at the Van Wezel on Nov. 16.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 

Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live  
Tues., December 11 - 7:30 p.m.
Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 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