From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
September 20, 2019


This week we celebrated the grand re-opening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, which received some much-needed upgrades thanks to Community Development Block Grant funding and hard work from our City staff. Improvements to the pavilion restrooms and kitchen and new landscaping will make the park safer, more inviting and accessible. Cutting the ribbon were, from left, Office of Housing and Community Development Interim General Manager Cindy Emshoff, Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Fogle, Commissioner Willie Charles Shaw, Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie. We hope you can check out MLK Park's new look soon!


  • Firefighters' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Planning Board - Special Meeting
    Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parking Advisory Committee
    Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Ready for 100
    Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 6 p.m.
    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (1845 John Rivers St.)

 Lido Beach:  Litigation Update

We received some very welcome news late this week from City Attorney Bob Fournier, who informed us the Circuit Court ruled in favor of the City of Sarasota on the final legal objection raised by those opposed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' long-term renourishment plan for Lido Beach.   The court agreed that actions advancing the project were consistent with the City's codes.  This litigation has been a complex multi-year saga with, regrettably, much time and resources expended on unfounded legal challenges. 

So far this hurricane season, we've been fortunate as pounding surf and eroding sands remain a serious threat to the Lido shoreline, nearby property and infrastructure.  The Corps is in the process of re-bidding the initial phase of the long-term project, and we remain optimistic much-needed sand will begin to be recycled back to Lido Beach in the near future.   

The long-term renourishment project is expected to begin in the near future.

Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

U.S. 41/Fruitville Roundabout - Meeting Oct. 1   Construction of the long-anticipated roundabout at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road will begin soon and you're invited to a community open house to learn about the project and how the construction and final product will affect traffic patterns around downtown.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, October 1 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Foyer at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
The City has been planning for this unique project for over a decade, but when the Great Recession hit, it was placed on hold, along with the redevelopment of the Quay property.

The U.S. 41/Fruitville Rd. intersection will soon become a roundabout. 
Now, the two-lane roundabout is being constructed by Greenpointe, the private developer of the Quay Sarasota, on behalf of the City and the Florida Department of Transportation.
The open house will include video displays about the project, expected detours and information on how to drive in dual lane roundabouts.  Representatives from the City, Florida Department of Transportation and the construction contractor will be in attendance to answer questions.  
We understand the construction will temporarily impact commuters and visitors, so we encourage you to attend the open house to learn about it in advance.  The meeting will provide the opportunity to learn firsthand about the project and how it will integrate into the necklace of roundabouts leading into downtown from the north, which ultimately will create a safer travel experience for drivers and pedestrians. 
Sarasota in Motion - New Interactive Map   As part of the ongoing efforts to develop our first citywide transportation master plan, called "Sarasota in Motion," we've launched an exciting new tool for gathering more public feedback.

Earlier this week we debuted an interactive map on It's intended to be a place where you can share your comments and ideas for transportation improvements. Citizens can zoom in on specific streets, intersections and routes on the map and point out where they'd like to see, for example, a new bicycle path, a bus stop or a turn lane. You can point out where you experience challenges in Sarasota's mobility network and where you think improvements should be prioritized.

The interactive map is now available at

Your feedback is important to us. Our Sarasota in Motion project team has already engaged with about 2,500 people through workshops, public events and an online survey. The ideas, suggestions and priorities we hear from residents and visitors will help formulate the transportation master plan, our vision for getting around the City for the next 25 years.

Take a few moments to check out the map and share your thoughts. Or, plan to join us at one of two public visioning workshops scheduled for Oct. 22:
  • 11 a.m.:  Selby Public Library, 1331 First St.
  • 5:30 p.m.:  Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 John Rivers St.
For more information on the transportation master plan, to provide your input or to subscribe to the Sarasota in Motion email list for future updates and events, visit or email
Lemon Ave. Streetscape - Update    By the time you're reading this edition of Weekly Briefs, the State Street/Lemon Avenue intersection will be open  -- right on schedule!  And when you see it, it will look different...and we hope you like what you see and experience.   
This week, crews with Preferred Pavers & Concrete, LLC, a subcontractor for Jon F. Swift Construction, put the finishing touches on an eye-catching design right in the middle of the Lemon Ave./State St. intersection.  Located steps from the State Street Garage and just outside The Mark, the new condo/retail complex opening soon, this impressive craftsmanship along with new brick paver sidewalks will enhance the pedestrian experience downtown.  
New look at the Lemon Ave./State St. intersection

Improvements along Lemon Avenue will continue southward toward Paul Thorpe Jr. Park and Pineapple Avenue.  Please note: Lemon Ave. from State St. to Pineapple Ave. will be temporarily closed until late November.
And, with the reopening of the State Street intersection, the Sarasota Farmers Market plans to return to S. Lemon Avenue and State Street on Saturday, Oct. 26. 
For more information on the streetscape please visit: 
Keep up the great work! 
Farmers Market - ParkMobile Registration   While you're shopping for fresh local produce and other items at the popular downtown Farmers Market this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 20), consider stopping by the Parking Division's information booth. 
With the paid parking program underway in St. Armands since February and in downtown for the past two months, 57,000 transactions --- or approximately one-third of all transactions -- have been via the ParkMobile app.  The app is easy to use and convenient allowing you to pay by phone and skip going to the meter.  
As part of a promotional and education opportunity for the new parking programs, our helpful staff will offer one-on-one assistance with the ParkMobile app. They'll help you download it to your mobile phone, then get started with this user-friendly app that is compatible with meters in many cities throughout the region and country.  If that's not enough....the first 500 people to register for the app at our Farmers Market booth will receive one hour of free parking the first time they use ParkMobile.  Why not check it out? 
We hope you have a chance to stop by our booth at the Farmers Market from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and learn more about ParkMobile and the paid parking program.  
Newtown CRA Update - Input Sought   Efforts are underway to update the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area Plan, and we'd like the community's input as we work together to chart a future course for Newtown.
Hired by the City, consultant Redevelopment Management Associates is working with staff, residents and business owners to Logo take a fresh look at the Newtown CRA Plan and make determinations about possible future programs and capital improvement projects.
Created in 2006, the CRA has revitalized this multi-cultural neighborhood through the construction of Sarasota Memorial Hospital - Newtown Clinic, Janie's Garden, Newtown Conservation Historic District and streetscape improvements.
Two public meetings are scheduled regarding the proposed update: 
Tuesday, Sept. 24 - Community Workshop Open House:  drop in from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 22 - Community Meeting: Presentation at 5:30 p.m.   
Both meetings will be held at Goodwill, 1781 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.
You're also invited to participate in an online survey about the Newtown neighborhood.  It should take 10 minutes or less to complete and includes questions about what services and activities are missing in Newtown, what kinds of job training and industry that are needed in the area and how far you travel outside Newtown for services.  
Thank you for your participation as we come together and determine what programs and services will enhance the community.
For more information please contact Onya Bates, Redevelopment Manager:  Onya.Bates@SarasotaFL.Gov 
Hurricane Preparedness & Response: Survey for 55 and older  
The Department of Emergency Management at The Jacksonville State University is conducting a survey of how older adults perceive and respond to risks from hurricanes.  
Participants must be 55 years of age or older and a year-round resident in Sarasota County. Questions include rating how concerned you are about storms and how confident you are about being safe.  You'll also be asked about Hurricane Irma and whether you stayed in Sarasota or evacuated. 
To take the survey online click this link:  
If you prefer a printed version, they're available at our Emergency Operations Center.  Let us know you'd like a copy by emailing
The results of this research will benefits residents of Sarasota County and other hurricane prone areas.  
Thanks for your time and interest.

Van Wezel:  Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit                                  
Friday Fest - Ari and the Alibis 
Fri., September 20 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event

Once:  The Musical 
Wed., October 9
Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock & Roll:  Part III 
Fri., November 1
Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly - The Rock 'N' Roll Dream Tour 
Mon., November 4 

Dwight Yoakam 
Sat., November 16
Straight No Chaser:  The Open Bar Tour 
Sun., November 17
Latin History for Morons 
Tues., November 19
Cirque Dreams Holidaze 
Fri., November 22
Sat., November 23
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2019 
Fri., November 29
Sebastian Maniscalco:  You Bother Me 
Sat., November 30
The Book of Mormon 
January 7-12, 2020
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 
Sun., February 9, 2020
Johnny Mathis - The Voice of Romance Tour 
Thurs., April 16, 2020
The Bachelor Live on Stage 
Thurs., May 7, 2020
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