From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 18, 2018
When the rain let up this week, it didn't take long for health-minded individuals to dash outside to enjoy a picturesque evening stroll along Sarasota Bay at Bayfront Park.  On Monday, May 21st, the first draft of the new citywide Parks Master Plan will be presented to the City Commission and will serve as a guide to park improvements over the next 10 years.


  • General Employees' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Mon., May 21 - 8:30 a.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • City Commission
    Mon., May 21 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wed., May 23 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Tree Advisory Committee
    Wed., May 23 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

Accounting Specialist
Computer Support Specialist II
Golf Course Attendant - Part-time
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Technician - SPD
Network Analyst
Operations Manager, Business Improvement District
Parks Service Worker - Part-time
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Records Information Specialist II - City Auditor & Clerk
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution
     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern  
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator  

This Week's Items to Know:

Orange/Ringling Roundabout - Now Open!   Wednesday afternoon, crews pulled away the road barricades and reopened the Orange Ave./Ringling Blvd. intersection as a new roundabout!

Orange/Ringling roundabout opening:  May 16, 2018

This roundabout -- the sixth in downtown since 2010 -- adds to the City's beauty and mobility grid as we strive to move people and cars efficiently and safely in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Some final touches still need to be completed in the area, including the placement of a public art piece in the center of the roundabout.  A sculpture created by local artist Jorge Blanco will be installed this summer once the concrete base has cured. 

Roundabouts, especially single-lane ones like Orange/Ringling, are fairly intuitive and easy to navigate.  For those unaccustomed to roundabouts, staff will be facilitating public education about how to drive, walk and bicycle around them.  In the meantime, FDOT has an informative video that provides helpful pointers:

FDOT: Navigating Roundabouts 

If you haven't driven, walked or biked around the new roundabout yet, we encourage you to do so!

The next roundabouts scheduled to open will be at U.S. 41/10th Street and U.S. 41/14th Street in 2020.  Those will be the first 2-lane roundabouts in the city. 

Roundabout Philanthropy: Our Amazing Residents!    Prior to construction, the roundabout at Orange/Ringling had to be designed.  And, thanks to a generous $200,000 donation from Sarasota resident and philanthropist Ernest Kretzmer, nearly the entire cost of the design phase was covered.

A retired engineer, Mr. Kretzmer became aware of the City's plan for roundabouts in downtown
Ernest Kretzmer is a longtime Lido Key resident.  (Photo: Scene Magazine) 
from the late Rod "Mr. Roundabout" Warner.  And, he wanted to show his support for improved driver and pedestrian safety by making a significant contribution to help kick-start the Orange/Ringling roundabout.

Over the years, Mr. Kretzmer has become known as a benefactor of the cultural arts in Sarasota including the ballet, opera, and symphony.  And, we're grateful the need to boost car and pedestrian safety and expedite the Orange/Ringling roundabout resonated with him.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Mr. Kretzmer, for his kind, altruistic gift, which is sure to enhance downtown safety and beauty, and create an even better driver and pedestrian experience.                  
The Bay - 1st Draft Master Plan   The community will have several opportunities next week to learn firsthand about the initial draft master plan for The Bay.

The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization and Sasaki, the design and planning firm, will host three community sessions to reveal the initial vision of what a cultural arts park on the Bayfront could look like.  This first draft master plan is the result of over 30,000 public comments during community outreach meetings and in-person and online surveys. 

During the presentations, Sasaki will provide an overview of the process, the initial draft master plan and options for financing and governance.  Following each presentation, feedback will continue to be gathered.

The vision for The Bay continues to focus on a park setting for future generations to enjoy that weaves Sarasota Bay's natural beauty with open space, recreation and the cultural arts.
The presentations are open to the public.  With seating limited, RSVPs are required. 

Monday, May 21
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Grand Foyer

Monday, May 21
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Grand Foyer

Tuesday, May 22
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sarasota Municipal Auditorium

For those unable to attend, the Tuesday evening session will be streamed live on The Bay Sarasota Facebook page

Tree Advisory Committee - Meeting May 23   If you have thoughts on the City's tree protection ordinance, we encourage you to attend a special meeting next week of the ad hoc Tree Advisory Committee.

The 7-member board was appointed by the City Commission last
Tree policies, including removal and mitigation, are being reviewed by the Tree Advisory Committee. 
December with the assignment to review the City's tree policies and make recommendations for possible changes.  The Committee has been holding  regular meetings in the afternoon.  To accommodate public input from those who may not be able to attend an afternoon meeting, a special evening session has been scheduled on Wednesday, May 23, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The Committee was given 12 months to complete its task, and we expect they will finish on time or perhaps earlier.

Tree protection can be an emotionally charged issue, and we appreciate those who are volunteering their time to serve on the Committee and all the residents who are providing input so we can strike a balance with our urban canopy and urban living.

 Compost-A-Thon:  Results are in!   The City recently supported International Compost Awareness Week and a week-long initiative by Sunshine Community Compost to help residents and restaurants compost their food scraps. 

100 households in the Sarasota-Manatee area participated, plus 3
A Louies Modern employee chopping peppers and
depositing the scraps in a bucket for composting. 
restaurants with the Tableseide Restaurant Group:  Louies Modern, Libby's and Muse at The Ringling.  For one week, they saved food scraps, including egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, etc. 

All together they collected an impressive 1,300 pounds of food bits!  That's 1,300 pounds diverted from the landfill and into earth bins or compost piles, where the material will decompose and transform into healthy, nutrient-rich soil. Over half of the material collected (739 pounds) came from the 3 restaurants.  Well done! 

Participants attending a celebration at
Robert L. Taylor Community Complex at the end of the Compost-A-Thon.

Thanks to Tracie Troxler with Sunshine Community Compost for taking the lead with this education campaign and to our Sustainability team for providing outreach and support.   

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

Friday Fest - Jah Movement 
Friday, June 22:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
FREE Concert

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.
Dr. Dave Band will perform at
Friday Fest on Sept. 14.

FREE Concert

The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 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