From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
September 21, 2018

Typically, September is the slowest time of year for retailers in Sarasota and with the lingering effects of red tide  -- here one day, gone the next, only to return again -- it's an especially challenging time for business owners, with some feeling the economic pinch.  Along with Visit Sarasota County, we're encouraging residents to continue to support our local shops and restaurants.  This month is Shoptember throughout Sarasota County, and you can find participating retailers and bargains listed on the Visit Sarasota County website

This past Thursday morning, when the red tide wasn't perceptible, we caught up Jay and Barbara Longacre enjoying a sweet treat on St. Armands Circle.  The couple has lived in the Sarasota city limits for 25 years, and tell us they feel fortunate every day to live in our special city -- even with this large, persistent red tide bloom.


  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wed., September 26 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., September 26 - 1:30 p.m.

    City Hall  - Commission Chambers

  • Board of Rules & Appeals
    Wed., September 26 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., September 26 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Thurs., September 27 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., September 27 - 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.

Commercial Plans Examiner
Commission Reporter
Crew Leader I - Refuse Collection
Crew Leader I - Landscaping
Computer Support Specialist
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Equipment Mechanic III - Refuse Collection
Financial Accountant
GIS Coordinator
Information Technology Manager
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Maintenance Tech - Facilities
Maintenance Tech - Municipal Building
Parks & Rec - Facility Maintenance Tech - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Head Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Rec Attendant - Part Time
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
Property and Evidence Specialist
Rec Attendant - RLTCC
Refuse Equipment Operator, Residential - Parks
Senior Internal Auditor
Solid Waste Helper - Parks

     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Red Tide Update   Last weekend, the telltale odor signifying intense red tide returned to Lido Beach, and many of us strolling the coastline were hit once again with the red tide blues.
While scientists know the massive bloom remains just off the west coast of Florida, Sarasota is not experiencing the effects every day.  The most recent red tide report provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Sept. 19 shows the bloom remains offshore and stretches from Pinellas County to Collier County. 
While we're feeling patchy, sporadic effects in Sarasota -- most days minimal -- the highest concentrations of Karenia brevis remain in Pinellas, Manatee and Lee counties.
FWC Red Tide report released on Sept. 19, 2018.
The forecast for the coming days has the surface bloom moving southwest and offshore a bit and the subsurface cells migrating southeast.    
Meanwhile, through various means and partnerships, we're ensuring Lido Beach and the Sarasota Bayfront remain accessible to the public and free of dead fish, while hoping the red tide migrates west soon. 
As part of an interlocal agreement, Sarasota County will continue to clean Lido Beach and remove dead fish.  To date, County crews have removed 70 tons from Lido Key.  As a City leasehold, Marina Jack has informed us they're committed to removing fish that wash ashore near the marina and O'Leary's at Bayfront Park.  Other areas along the Bay are being cleaned by City landscape crews and contractors when necessary.   
Please consider supporting local merchants during the red tide challenge by shopping, dining and being entertained locally. We thank you in advance for your shop local efforts.            

Farmers Market -  Temporary Location  Heads up!  Starting this 
this weekend, Sat., Sept. 22, the downtown Farmers Market will temporarily relocate just a couple of blocks away.  
During construction of The Mark and the upcoming streetscape improvements along Lemon Avenue, vendors with the Farmers Market will temporarily shift north.  So, the Market will be set up on Lemon Avenue between Main Street and First Street and west on First to City Hall. 
The Farmers Market is a valued partner with the City, bringing thousands to downtown each Saturday, not just for the fresh produce, innovative products and live music, but also to dine and shop at the many small businesses in downtown.  When Executive Director Phil Pagano approached the City with this proposal recently, staff worked with the Market to ensure the necessary arrangements were in place, primarily in the form of short-term street closures.     
With this footprint, the Market will be safely away from the construction zone, and vendors and buyers can enjoy their Saturday out from under a construction crane.  We invite you to visit the Market's new temporary location -- starting tomorrow, Sept. 22.   
Starting Sept. 22, the Farmers Market will temporarily move a couple of blocks north. 
Bobby Jones Golf Club - Update   What a difference proper drainage makes!
Already, we're seeing a vast improvement on the American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club, and the drainage project isn't done yet.  One of the significant ongoing problems at our historic municipal golf course has been poor drainage.  Following a heavy rain, which is frequent during the summer rainy season, the course is flooded and so soggy it has to shut down because it's unplayable.
With the improvements underway, areas that regularly pooled with significant amounts of water are draining much better.

The 8th hole before and after the drainage improvements.

Drainage on all 18 holes on the American Course is being improved during this project, which will keep the course temporarily closed until December 1.
These improvements are a stop-gap measure approved by the City Commission while the master plan for Bobby Jones is finalized and executed over the coming years. 
Parks Transition - Meeting 9/26    Beginning Oct. 1, five Sarasota parks and recreation facilities that are currently maintained and operated by Sarasota County through an interlocal agreement will return to the City as the agreement expires. The five facilities include Arlington Park and Aquatic Facility, Centennial Park and Boat Ramp, Ken Thompson Park, Lawn Bowling Facility and Payne Park Tennis Center.
Tennis players and community members can meet the new Payne Park Tennis Center staff at a meeting Sept. 26.

As part of that transition, Payne Park Tennis Center will be closed from Sept. 24-26, and Arlington Park and Aquatic Facility will be closed from Sept. 24-30. Our Parks and Recreation department is busy hiring and training new personnel, moving in new equipment, setting up phones and computers and deep cleaning the facilities as they prepare to make the switch.
The goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible for the community members who frequent these parks and facilities, and also assess how we can better serve them. To that end, we'll be hosting a community meeting next week for tennis players and other residents to meet the new staff at Payne Park Tennis Center and share their input about needs and improvements to the courts and operations. 
The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Payne Park Auditorium, 2100 Laurel St.  
Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 941-954-4182 for more information.  
Transportation - FDOT Survey     FDOT is working on a complete streets corridor study from University Parkway to Whitfield Avenue, and they're asking for your input via a quick online survey.
They're evaluating the existing needs and future needs for regional travelers as well as possible safety improvements for this section of the Tamiami Trail Scenic Highway.  Taking a thoughtful, regional approach will be helpful for FDOT to gain a better understanding of who uses the corridor and how, whether it's by car, bicycle, foot or mass transit.  Once that is known, then FDOT will consider safety and mobility improvements along the corridor. 
The timing is good as the City's Planning Department has just launched its first ever Transportation Master Plan planning process, and it will be important for City staff to collaborate with other agencies and consider regional influences and impacts.  
The online survey is limited to just 10 questions.  Click here to take the survey.      
To learn more about the corridor study visit   
Smithsonian Museum Day Live!    The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Circus Museum will participate in Smithsonian magazine's annual Museum Day Live!   That means there will be free admission on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Select museums throughout the country participate in this one-day -only event, designed to help introduce families to the many and varied cultural offerings at museums. The Ringling has special activities planned for the kids and grandkids, including a scavenger hunt in the Circus Museum. 
We are so fortunate to have this prestigious museum located right in the Sarasota city limits, where John and Mable Ringling displayed their extensive collection of sculptures and paintings created by the Old Masters.
To learn more, visit  (While the website mentions downloading free tickets in advance, The Ringling tells us that is not necessary.) 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The Van Wezel's full 2018-2019 season is now on sale. (The Lion King goes on sale November 2.)   
To view the full Van Wezel season, visit    

Legends of Yesteryear 
Sat., September 29 - 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.
Bob Dylan & His Band 
Sun., October 21 - 8 p.m.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen 
Tues., November 6 - 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.
Young Guns of Country 2018
Sun., November 11 - 7 p.m.

Stills & Collins 
Fri., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 p.m. 
Beyond Glory
Mon., November 19 - 7:30 p.m. 
Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2018 
Fri., November 23 - 8 p.m.
KC and the Sunshine Band 
Sat., November 24 - 8 p.m. 
Black Violin 
Tues., November 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Jim Brickman:  A Joyful Christmas 
Wed., November 28 - 7:30 p.m. 
The King and I 
Tues., December 4 - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., December 5 - 7:30 p.m.
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live  
Tues., December 11 - 7:30 p.m.
A Christmas Carol 
Sun., December 16 - 6 p.m.
On Your Feet will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 26-29.

Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler's House 
Mon., December 17 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 7:30 p.m.
The Sound of Music 
Wed., December 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 20 -  2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker  
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Sat., December 22 - 6:30 p.m.
On Your Feet! 
Wed., December 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 29 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 30 - 1 p.m. & 6:30 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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager