From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 3, 2018

That brilliant smile says it all!  What a fun, festive night last Friday during Friday Fest!  An exuberant crowd, including Michael Fisher, danced to the upbeat, funky sound of Reverend Barry and the Funk on the lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  The next Friday Fest will be on August 17 and feature the popular country band Rebel Heart.  Hope to see you there, rain or shine!  By the way, this image was captured by Communications intern Rebecca Slezak just before she finished her internship with the City.  We bid farewell to all our interns earlier this week as they wrapped up their work with us and prepare for their next career adventures.  Best of luck to all!


  • Public Art Committee
    Wed., August 8 - 1 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., August 9 - 5:30  p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., August 9 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112

Tiny Homes

The line to tour a tiny home during the City's Earth Day celebration last spring.
On Earth Day, this past spring, the City hosted a community event in downtown Sarasota featuring proactive ways we can be more sustainable and help conserve and protect Mother Earth.  A tiny home was on site and open for tours that day, and
from what I could see, while it was tiny, it was the biggest attraction of the day.

The concept of a tiny home, to reduce one's footprint by living in a smaller
space, is intriguing.  And, I've been approached by several residents and City employees wondering whether tiny homes are allowed in the city limits and under what restrictions, if any.

Under the current code, tiny homes can exist in any zoning district that allows residential dwelling units. (The smallest lot size in Sarasota is 1,800 square feet and located in the Downtown Core and Downtown Bayfront zone districts.) As with traditional homes, they have to be built on a foundation, be connected to water and sewer service, and comply with the Florida Building Code, including meeting minimum room sizes.  (Kitchens excluded, habitable rooms must be at least 70 square feet.) So, tiny homes can be located in the city; however, the general rule is one home per lot.  Multiple tiny homes per lot are not allowed.  Some zones do allow an accessory dwelling unit and a tiny home can be used as an accessory home, such as a mother-in-law suite.

Tiny homes could replace mobile homes provided they're HUD approved and installed by a contractor approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (Under the current zoning code, a tiny home on wheels would not be permitted.) 

As tiny homes become increasingly attractive, containing the creature comforts of a traditional home, including washer/dryer, full shower, refrigerator, etc., it's wise to plan now for this innovative way of life as we review whether increased flexibility within the existing zoning code is necessary.  I'm interested in your thoughts on the issue.  Please send an email to:  CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov

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

Administrative Specialist III
Box Office Operator
Commercial Plans Examiner
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk
Education Associate - Contract
Engineering Tech III
Facility Maintenance Tech - Janitorial
Flood Zone Specialist
GIS Analyst
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Parks & Rec - Facility Maintenance Technician - Part-Time
Parks & Rec - Head Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard
Parks & Rec - Life Guard - Part Time
Parks & Rec - Maintenance Mechanic I - Clay Tennis Courts
Parks & Rec - Recreation Attendant - Part-Time
Parks & Rec - Recreation Facilities Supervisor - Arlington Park
Parks & Rec - Rec Facilities Supervisor - Payne Park Tennis
Parks & Rec - Rec Leader - Payne Park Tennis
Parks & Rec - Rec Specialist - Part-Time
Parks Service Worker - Part-Time
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Redevelopment Manager

     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern    

This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Beach Preservation  - Proactive Steps  We've heard from residents on Lido Key that during the recent weather pattern, which brought choppy seas and rip currents, even more of the beach has eroded. 
In May, due to the significant erosion and the vulnerability of the adjacent public infrastructure, I declared a local State of Emergency for Lido Beach.  Since that time, FDEP has been expediting environmental permits to allow residents to place sandbags and larger trapbags, as they're called, near condos and hotels.  
Late this week, the Public Works Department began filling trapbags with trucked-in sand and strategically positioning the bags near the Lido concession area and community pool.  In working closely with our Emergency Manager, Todd Kerkering, our goal has been to create an additional layer of protection between the beach and this vulnerable infrastructure, and to have that layer in place prior to any severe tropical weather, while we anxiously await the emergency beach renourishment this fall.
Lido Beach shoreline protection 
Video:  Public Works crews filling oversized sandbags, called trapbags, and positioning them near the Lido Beach concession area.

At this time, we're still on schedule for the emergency renourishment to occur in November  -- unless that timeline is slowed by the  individuals who continue to fight our DEP-issued permit for the long term Lido Beach restoration program, which has been authorized by the FDEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has $13.4 million in federal funding approved.  
In the meantime, you may see Public Works crews working over the next several days fortifying the area as best we can for now.  
This week's incident of red tide has thrown yet another unusual circumstance to the thousands who visit Lido daily, as beach cleanup efforts have overwhelmed cleanup crews. 
Public Art:  Projects & Funding  With the latest public art installation occurring last weekend at the roundabout at Ringling Blvd. and Orange Ave., and more sculptures scheduled to be placed in roundabouts soon, we thought an overview of the City's popular public art program would be helpful. 
Well known for its love of the cultural arts, Sarasota created a public art program by ordinance in 1989.  As part of the building permit process, developments within the boundaries of the downtown area  must meet established public art requirements.  One-half of one percent of the first $50 million in construction value is required to go toward public art for a total maximum contribution of $250,000.   
The developer can choose from two options to meet the requirement:  (1) Purchase a piece, approved by the Public Art Committee, and install it on site at the new development where it is visible to the public or off-site at an approved location; (2) Pay into a public art fund overseen by the Public Art Committee and City Commission.        
BRAVO! is the newest addition to the City's public art collection. 
Dollars in the Public Art fund are used to acquire new pieces to be placed on City property, including the new roundabouts.  And, there's a thorough vetting process with public input invited along the way.  The process includes a widespread Call to Artists, followed by the Public Art Committee's review and recommendation and final approval by the City Commission .
With the addition of BRAVO!, created by local artist Jorge Blanco, the City now boasts and maintains an extensive public art collection with 50+ pieces, which can be viewed on the City's website.    
Within the next couple of months, a sculpture called Jumping Fish will be installed at Palm Ave. and Cocoanut Ave.  As with BRAVO!, dollars from the public art fund are being expended, no ad valorem tax dollars.
The Public Art Committee will hold its next meeting on Wed., August 8
Spirality by James Kandt will be considered by the Public Art Committee to meet the public art requirement for The BLVD. 
and will discuss Call to Artists for sculptures at the future U.S. 41 roundabouts at 10th  and 14th Streets, which are now under construction.  Also, the developer of The BLVD will present their proposed public art to the Committee for consideration.   
The meeting starts at 1 p.m. at City Hall and is open to the public, and citizen input is welcome. 
Art engenders many and varied opinions, and we appreciate the spirited discussion in our cultural arts city.  And, we encourage residents to participate in the public art approval process.   
Procurement - National Award   Congratulations are in order for the City's Purchasing Division, which was recently honored with the Achievement in Excellence in Procurement Award for 2018 from the National Procurement Institute. This is the fourth straight year our Purchasing team has earned this honor, which recognizes best practices, innovation and professionalism in the field of procurement annually.

The Purchasing Division facilitates about 90 formal solicitations (bids, requests for proposal, invitations to negotiation) and 3,500 purchase orders per year for everything from construction services to office supplies to professional services. They serve as good financial stewards for our organization and for taxpayers by seeking cost savings in the City's myriad business transactions. In the past year they've focused their efforts on enhanced training for City departments and the vendors who do business with us.

Sarasota is one of just 28 public or non-profit organizations in Florida to receive this award and one of only 65 cities across the U.S. and Canada to be honored this year.

Kudos to Purchasing General Manager David Boswell and his team for their public service and continued excellence! 

Our award winning Purchasing Division  
Back Row:  Carlos Marmolejos, Aaron Olson, Barney Kavanagh, Finance Director Kelly Strickland; Front Row:  Purchasing General Manager David Boswell, Denise Donohue, Jessica Smith, Lou Ciferno  
Bobby Jones - Jr. Golf Camp  Our historic Bobby Jones Golf Club served as a host site last weekend for a PGA sponsored youth competition called Drive, Chip & Putt.
Over 200 boys and girls ranging from 7 to 15 years old tested
Maya Krone, 10, from Parrish, putts during the PGA Drive, Chip & Putt qualifying competition at Bobby Jones.

their driving, chipping and putting skills in a qualifying round to advance to a regional competition and ultimately play for the national championship as part of The Masters festivities.
This was the fifth straight year Bobby Jones has hosted the qualifying event, which attracted young competitors from Sarasota, Tampa and the Orlando area.
Congratulations to all who competed and good luck to the winners who move on to the next round!

Bobby Jones - Jr. Golf Camp  The third and final Junior Golf Camp of the summer will be held next week at Bobby Jones.  If you're looking to introduce the kids or grandkids to golf or you're seeking a last minute recreational learning experience before school starts, golf camp is a fun and affordable opportunity to consider.
Bobby Jones PGA Professional Dan Benedetti helps a young
golfer with his stance during the June camp.

Camp will be held over three days,  August 7-9, with the City's two on-site PGA Professionals teaching kids ages 8-18 about golf etiquette, putting, chipping and driving skills in a fun, no-pressure atmosphere. The three day camp is $100 per student and is limited to just 12 youngsters to allow personalized teaching. 
Each day starts at 9 a.m. and concludes at noon with a kid-friendly lunch.
To learn more and to register for Junior Golf Camp, please contact the Golf Shop:  941-954-4163.     
United Way - Dunk Tank Fundraiser   Oh, the things we'll do to raise money for a good cause!   
We rolled out a dunk tank again this year at Friday Fest and invited anyone to take aim and try to dunk a City employee in exchange for a donation to United Way Suncoast.   
Five courageous souls sat on the platform for the cause:  Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown, Planning Director Steve Cover, Utilities Manager Verne Hall, Purchasing Assistant General Manager Carlos Marmolejos and Van Wezel Box Office Manager David Walker. 
(Word footage may exist of the Deputy City Manager taking the plunge.)     
Thanks to one and all for volunteering!   
Utilities Manager Verne Hall opted to sit in the dunk tank in business attire. 
Last year, the City of Sarasota proudly earned the #15 rank in the Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces in Sarasota County.    
Stay tuned for other upcoming opportunities to help us support United Way Suncoast!

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 
Friday, August 17:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Rebel Heart will perform at Friday Fest on Aug. 17. 
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.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Capitol Steps 
Wed., November 7 - 8 p.m.

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Sat., November 17 - 8 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