From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
March 23, 2018
With Spring in bloom in our special city, even the parking lot at City Hall looks especially pleasing to the eye, bursting with colorful blooms. The bright yellow tree is a tabulia, also known as a gold tree.  And, our feathered friend in the foreground is a cattle egret on the hunt for a lunchtime snack.


City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Capital Projects Engineer (Contract)
Engineer Tech II
Golf Course Attendant
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Technician - SPD
Parks Service Worker - Part-time
Pension Plans Administrator 
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)
RLTCC Lifeguards
  Summer Camp Counselor - Temporary, Part-Time
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator *Apprentice      

This Week's Items to Know:

U.S. 41 & Gulfstream - 3 Left Turn Lanes   To help boost traffic flow through the U.S. 41 & Gulfstream Ave. intersection, FDOT has installed a temporary third left turn lane.

The extra turn lane was created by re-striping an eastbound lane that was designated for straight-thru traffic only.  So, that lane serves dual purposes now: left turns and thru traffic. 

This is a temporary solution to ease traffic backups from the Ringling Bridge to Fruitville Rd. during peak drive times in season. The long term solution is a planned roundabout at the intersection to continuously move traffic at a safe speed through the intersection.  FDOT is holding a public meeting regarding the roundabout next week.  More information on that in Weekly Briefs below.

Three left turn lanes heading from Gulfstream Ave. onto northbound U.S. 41. 
Several other important notes regarding the U.S. 41 corridor between Gulfstream and Fruitville:  FDOT will soon install a "No U-Turn" sign on northbound U.S. 41 at Fruitville Rd.  It's expected that prohibiting u-turns there will alleviate backups on 41. FDOT officials expect to install the signage the week of March 26.

At the same time and same location, construction will resume on the right turn slip lane for eastbound Fruitville Rd. which FDOT expects will boost traffic flow.   We're told the slip lane will take several weeks to complete and should be open by the start of May, weather permitting.

And, we're anxiously awaiting an FDOT approved signalized pedestrian crosswalk at U.S. 41 and First Street.  With the recent opening of the Westin and Vue, we're seeing an increase in foot traffic in the area.  City staff has been in close contact with FDOT about improving pedestrian safety along this heavily traveled corridor including at U.S. 41 & Fruitville.  We expect the pedestrian signage and signal to be in place by early May.

We continue to urge FDOT to make U.S. 41 through downtown safer for pedestrians while trying to accommodate traffic.   

U.S. 41 & Gulfstream - FDOT Meeting 3/27    FDOT will host a meeting to discuss the planned roundabout at U.S. 41 & Gulfstream Ave. on Tues., March 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail.

The meeting will be an open house format with detailed information on display
FDOT plans to construct a roundabout at the U.S. 41
and Gulfstream Ave. intersection. 
and the opportunity to talk with FDOT representatives one-on-one about the proposed changes and improvements.

Those who live within  300 feet of the intersection including those along Sunset Drive and Golden Gate Point will be notified about the meeting. 

A roundabout at the intersection will provide further opportunities to connect downtown and the Bayfront while enhancing mobility and  pedestrian and bicycle safety.  We encourage all with an interest in sustainable mobility improvements to attend the open house and learn more.            
RLTCC - Generous Donation   Mayor Freeland Eddie and staff recently celebrated a Sarasota couple whose generous cash donation helped purchase a 15 passenger van for the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.

The donation was made by newlyweds Thomas Stovall and Gail Chase, who requested their friends and family donate money to go toward the purchase of a van for RLTCC rather than giving wedding presents. The couple ended up donating $15,000 toward the van.

Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie with Thomas Stovall and Gail Chase surrounded by Hard:Noc students in front of the van the couple helped purchase. 

The van will be used by the teen program Hard:Noc (Honorable Alliance Reclaiming Destiny:  North-Sarasota Original Chapter) to transport students on field trips and enrichment activities which previously could not be offered due to a lack of transportation. Hard:Noc is designed to introduce teenagers to new life experiences to help guide them on the path of knowing of options while making positive life choices.   

The van will also serve as a shuttle from Booker Middle and Sarasota School of Arts & Science to ensure students are able to safely arrive at RLTCC for Hard:Noc after-school activities. 

We greatly appreciate Thomas and Gail giving back to the community in such a generous manner.  Their passion to help this teen group is remarkable and admirable.    
Advisory Board Vacancies - Applicants Sought    The City Commission is regularly seeking residents and experts on an array of subjects to volunteer their time and knowledge as an Advisory Board Member.

Right now, there are a total of 32 vacancies on 12 boards. 

Due to its specialized nature, the Board of Rules and Appeals is one Logo of the more challenging boards to fill.  Currently, there are 10 vacancies on that board alone, including the need for:  a licensed engineer, licensed mechanical contractor, licensed fire alarm contractor, licensed fire sprinkler contractor, licensed architect, licensed plumbing contractor, and experts knowledgeable with the Florida Building Code & Florida Fire Prevention Code. 

For a complete list of Advisory Board vacancies click here.

Each position serves a need in the Sarasota community and is appointed by the City Commission. We hope if you meet the criteria you consider applying.  And, please share with friends in the City of Sarasota.

An application can be easily submitted online.   

Southern Living - City Accolades   Another month...another national accolade for our special city!

We learned this week that the highly respected Southern Living Magazine, via its readers, ranked Sarasota as the top Florida city on  "The South's Prettiest Cities" list!  Just two cities in the Sunshine State made the list with Sarasota ranked #5 and St. Petersburg #11.

Our beautiful coastal community also is the only Florida destination for "The South's Best Cities" coming in at #9.  Impressive!

An aerial photo of Sarasota taken earlier this month.  (Courtesy:  WFLA Eagle 8 HD) 
An established well respected magazine of 52 years, Southern Living has a print circulation of nearly 17 million readers. To be recognized in this fashion by its readers is a prestigious honor.

The magazine's editor in chief acknowledged there are many exciting places to live and visit in the South and the standouts made the difference with their Southern hospitality, charm, and community dedication.

Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley applauded the decision by the DID to add the charming, colorful hanging baskets along Main Street and she recognized the City's hard working Landscape Division which works diligently to keep the many rights of way and parks looking beautiful for residents and visitors alike. 

Congratulations and thanks to all the community building groups and individuals who have collaborated over the years to make the great quality of life here possible as we strive to leave an even better community and quality of life for future generations.    

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through March 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit    
Lewis Black
Fri., March 23 - 8 p.m.

Academy of St. Martin In The Fields with Joshua Bell 
Sat., March 24 - 8 p.m.

Motown The Musical 
Tues., March 27 - 8 p.m.
Motown The Musical will be at the Van Wezel March 27-30. 

Wed., March 28 - 8 p.m.
Thurs., March 29 - 8 p.m.
Fri., March 30 - 8 p.m.
Sat., March 31 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun., April 1 - 1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Sarasota Concert Association 
Tues., April 3 - 7:30 p.m.

Illusionist Rick Thomas - Nothing Happens Until You Dream 
Wed., April 4 - 8 p.m.

Robert Dubac's The Book of Moron 
Thurs., April 5 - 8 p.m.

Disney Junior Dance Party ON TOUR 
Fri., April 6 - 6 p.m.

Jersey Boys 
Tues., April 10 - 8 p.m.
Wed., April 11 - 8 p.m.
Wynonna and the Big Noise will
perform April 14.

Thurs., April 12 - 8 p.m.

Wynonna and the Big Noise 
Sat., April 14 - 8 p.m.

Chris Botti 
Sun., April 15 - 8 p.m.

Let It Be 
Tues., April 17 - 8 p.m.

ABBA the Concert 
Wed., April 18 - 8 p.m.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma 
Thurs., April 19 - 8 p.m.

Bill Engvall 
Sun., April 22 - 8 p.m.
Catch 'A Chorus Line'
April 24 & 25. 


A Chorus Line 
Tues., April 24 - 8 p.m.
Wed., April 25 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Mummenschanz - You & Me 
Thurs., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Yanni 25 - Live at The Acropolis Anniversary Concert Tour 
Sun., April 29 - 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

Reminder:  Roll & Stroll Sarasota will be held Sat., March 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Payne Park.  Explore mobility options in downtown by taking walking and bicycling tours.  Also, learn about the Legacy Trail extension plans.
Weekly Briefs will be on hiatus until April 13th.  Hope you enjoy your time in our special city!

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