From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
November 17, 2017
Gillespie Park resident Will Luera selected a sunny spot in his yard to plant his new shumard oak tree this week.  Will was one of 100 residents to receive a free tree from the City through the Community Canopy Project. The national program helps expand the tree canopies of cities across the country, while helping to shrink monthly energy bills through strategic placement of the tree.  The City will have another tree giveaway this spring.


  • City Commission
    Mon., November 20 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers


City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Assistant Head Usher - Van Wezel
Chief Transportation Planner 
Customer Service Representative
Irrigation Technician I
Janitorial/Maintenance - Van Wezel
Maintenance Mechanic Solid Waste Collection - Part-time
Manager Maintenance Service
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
  Senior Pension Accountant
Transportation Planner
Treatment Plant Operator C - Wastewater
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern     

This Week's Items to Know:

Thanksgiving Holiday Hours   As the glorious weather descends upon us, we wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving week.
City administrative offices will be closed Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th for the Thanksgiving holiday.  
City administrative offices will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving.

Garbage, recycling and yard waste will not be picked up on Thanksgiving Day. Collection will be delayed by one day. So, regular Thursday collection will be on Friday and regular Friday pickup will be on Saturday. 
Hours for some recreational facilities may be impacted by the holiday:  


Bobby Jones Golf Club: 

         - Open every day of the year

         -  Bobby Jones will host the 9th Annual 'Turkey Shoot'
            Thanksgiving Day (11/23) with a shotgun start at 8:45 a.m.


Lido Pool

         - Open regular hours 

         - Thursday 11/23: 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

         - Friday 11/24: 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. 

          - Closed Thanksgiving Day (11/23)
          - Friday 11/24: 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.  


Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

          - Closed Thanksgiving Day (11/23) 

          - Friday 11/24: Box Office open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
          - Saturday 11/25: Box office open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
          - Sunday 11/26: Box office open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

**The Van Wezel will have a Black Friday Sale with up to 50 percent off select shows.  Sale starts Friday (11/24) at 10 a.m. and ends Sunday (11/26) at 11:59 p.m.  
Storm Debris - Collection Finished   Residential storm debris collection from Hurricane Irma is officially completed -- right on time based on the contractor's initial projections.  
All total, over 60,000 cubic yards of branches, limbs, tree stumps etc. was collected throughout the city  -- nearly the amount of yard waste our Public Works team would pick up over 2 years.  
Crews at the debris disposal site in the city limits are now grinding the material, then it will be hauled away and used at a DEP certified final disposal site.  
Storm Debris Grinding & Removal 
Video:  Storm debris grinding and removal
The debris pickup was a significant endeavor and we appreciate residents' patience since the storm.   
While all the debris is gone, City staff will continue to work closely with FEMA to ensure the City is reimbursed for all eligible expenses for residential storm debris collection, which we expect will be near $1.5 million.  
Please keep in mind regular yard waste collection rules have been reinstated. As a reminder:
* Bundle yard waste in 4-foot lengths or less
* Place yard waste in a container
* Yard waste should weigh under 50 pounds 
Orange/Ringling Roundabout  Construction on the long anticipated roundabout at Orange Ave. and Ringling Blvd. will begin very soon.   
The intersection will close to all traffic on Monday, November 27 as the contractor begins staging for the project.  
The signalized intersection will be removed and replaced with a
Orange Ave. & Ringling Blvd. will close
for construction Nov. 27th. 
roundabout, which is in line with the City's goals of increasing traffic flow and reducing speeds while simultaneously boosting pedestrian safety. 
During the temporary closure, motorists should use State Street, Lemon Ave. and Pineapple Ave. as a detour until the project is finished in May.
All businesses in the area will remain open.
The City is adhering to requirements and restrictions placed on the project by the State of Florida, which is providing an $881,000 grant for the project.  One restriction was that the funds had to be expended by the end of 2017.    
Since 2010, several roundabouts have been constructed which have helped mobility while enhancing aesthetics through the downtown core.  We anticipate this one will as well. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work toward making Sarasota the best city it can be.   

Climate Vulnerability & Adaptation Plan   Staff is creating a thoughtful, science driven plan to help make long term decisions to safeguard manmade and natural infrastructure in the community.  And, we'd like your input.        
The final draft of the Climate Vulnerability & Adaptation Plan is now posted online and available for public comment through Mon., November 27.  Input can easily be submitted via an online form at www.SarasotaFL.Gov/SGC  or email to Stevie.Freeman-Montes@SarasotaFL.Gov 
City staff and a consultant analyzed 200+ City assets and identified vulnerabilities with regard to flooding, sea level rise, storm surge and temperature projections.  Assets include everything from lift stations to parks to transportation systems to buildings. 
Many stakeholders, including residents, businesses, government agencies, academia and community foundations, will all have a role to play as we move forward with climate adaptation projects.
We'll look forward to receiving the community's feedback on this final draft before the City Commission considers it in December.     
Recycling - Bayfront Park   You now can recycle bottles and cans at Bayfront Park.  As part of a pilot program to encourage recycling throughout the city, a new container was placed in the park near the playground, giving visitors the option to recycle bottles and cans or throw away other waste.
A recent audit of the garbage cans at Bayfront Park by our Sustainability team showed that nearly half of the material in the trash could have been recycled.  After hearing from a number of park visitors, Bayfront Park was selected as a test site for a recycling bin.  A recycling container also will be placed at Unconditional Surrender along the Bayfront in the near future. 
Here's an interesting factoid about these recycling bins:  they're made from recycled milk jugs and produced in Florida.
A Public Works crew delivering a new recycling bin to the playground at Bayfront Park. 

Whether you're at the park, at home or the office, we encourage recycling to help make Sarasota more sustainable.
Some helpful reminders:  
  • Juice and milk cartons, plastic bottles, metal cans, glass, paper and cardboard are recyclable in the City
  • Styrofoam and plastic bags are not accepted in recycling bins.  If you collect recycling in a plastic bag, empty the contents into your recycling bin and throw the bag away or reuse it.
  • Items smaller than a golf ball should not go into the recycling bin.  These small items contaminate the waste stream and ultimately will be thrown out.   
We appreciate everyone's efforts to help improve our environment by recycling.
For information about recycling in the City, please contact the Sustainability Program:  941-365-2200 ext. 4203.  

FDOT:  U.S. 301 Meeting - Dec. 7   FDOT will host an open house and public hearing on Thurs., December 7 concerning plans to make safety improvements along U.S. 301 (Washington Blvd.) from Fruitville Rd. to 10th St.  
The primary proposal includes the installation of medians along that entire stretch.  FDOT also plans to address drainage issues between Ringling Blvd. and Main St., which has been a concern for the City.  Curb ramps at Ringling and Main also will be upgraded.  
An open house will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the City Hall Annex, followed by a presentation at 6 p.m.
Draft documents are available for review now at the Fruitville Library, 100 Coburn Rd.

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Dec. 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
Decades Rewind 
Fri., November 17  - 8 p.m. 
Three Dog Night 
Sat., November 18 - 8 p.m. 
Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour 
Tues., November 28 - 8 p.m.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story 
Fri., December 1 - 8 p.m.
Tues., December 5 - 8 p.m.
An Irish Tenors Christmas 
Sat., December 2 - 8 p.m.
An Irish Tenors Christmas will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 2.

Leann Rimes - Today is Christmas Tour 
Sun., December 3 - 7 p.m.
Sarasota Orchestra 
Fri., December 8 - 8 p.m.
Sat., December 9 - 8 p.m.
Sun., December 10 - 2:30 p.m.
Choral Artists of Sarasota 
Sun., December 10 - 7:30 p.m.
98 Degrees Christmas
Mon., December 11 - 8 p.m.

Sarasota Ballet

Fri., December 15 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 16 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Catch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage'
on Dec. 17.


A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage
Sun., December 17 - 2:30 p.m.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Thurs., December 21 - 7 p.m.

A Christmas Carol
Fri., December 22 - 7 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

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving week!  Enjoy this special time in our special city. Weekly Briefs will be on hiatus until after the Thanksgiving holiday.   
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