From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 27, 2018
We celebrated Arbor Day this week with a traditional tree planting ceremony at the newly renovated Eastwood Park.    With shoveling assistance from Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie and Parks & Rec Director Jerry Fogle, a lovely magnolia tree is now gracing the grounds near the new soccer field.  This is the 32nd consecutive year the Arbor Day Foundation has proclaimed Sarasota a Tree City USA, highlighting the City's commitment to nurturing and expanding the urban canopy.


  • Newtown CRA Advisory Board
    Mon., April 30 - 6 p.m.

    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex - 1845 John Rivers St.

  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., May 1 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., May 2 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Golf Course Attendant
Golf Shop Attendant (PT)
Landscape Maintenance Tech I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Technician - SPD
Marketing Coordinator - Van Wezel
OHCD Inspector
Parks Service Worker - Part-time
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant/RLTCC
Rec Attendant (Children's Fountain)
RLTCC Lifeguards
  Summer Internship
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern  
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator  

This Week's Items to Know:

U.S. 41/First St. - Pedestrian Crosswalk Signal   A pedestrian crosswalk signal at U.S. 41 and First Street is getting closer to becoming a reality.  A large signal mast arm was installed last week over U.S. 41 near the Ritz-Carlton entrance.

For years, Sarasotans have been urging FDOT to install pedestrian  safety enhancements to help walkers safely cross from the west side of U.S. 41, near the Ritz and Westin, to the east side and downtown.  Since the opening of the Westin and The Vue, it's become all too common to see pedestrians dodging between cars trying to cross the road.  It's a dangerous concern, which we have expressed repeatedly to FDOT.  Finally, the traffic-stopping pedestrian crosswalk has been installed. 

The new mast arm for the pedestrian crossing signals. 

Once the signal is activated by FDOT, pedestrians will be able to press a button, which will pause traffic while they safely navigate from one side to the other.  They will cross to the median (where a sidewalk has been installed) before continuing to the other side of the road.

We expect the signal to be functional by the end of next week. We hope to receive advance notice from FDOT regarding the date it will become active. 

This is the first of several improvements that will better balance pedestrian needs with vehicles traveling through our city, especially the pedestrian heavy downtown area.    

Bobby Jones - Summer Loyalty Club    We're bringing back the Summer Loyalty Club to Bobby Jones Golf Club, which will be welcome news for those who really enjoy hitting the links, even in the heat of summer.

This bargain offers unlimited golf for 6 months -- May 1st - Oct. 31st -- for just $295.  Summer Loyalty Club participants are responsible for cart fees only.  Or if walking, then a discounted walking rate.

If you golf several times a week, or know someone who does, this is a great deal to consider.  You can easily save $700 over six months, if you golf three times a week with a riding cart.

In addition, there are many other perks to joining the Summer Loyalty Club including a 10% discount on merchandise with the Bobby Jones logo, free range basket with each visit and free summer clinics. 

To join, download an application or contact the Golf Shop for more information:  941-954-4163.

Finance - FGFOA Leadership    We encourage City employees to attend training courses to help them develop the skills they need to be effective in their work and leaders within our community. Congratulations are in order for Kelly Bennett, Senior Budget Analyst, who recently completed the Florida Government Finance Officers Association's Leadership Program.

Just 20 individuals from around the state were selected to participate
Kelly Bennett (3rd from left) with
the FGFOA Board of Directors. 
in this week-long immersion program.  The students focused on developing leadership traits and skills that can be used at work, at home and in the community.

We appreciate Kelly's interest in being challenged to be the best manager she can be and emerging from this class with a refreshed perspective and approach to leadership.

This is FGFOA's third graduating class.  Our Finance Director, Kelly Strickland, successfully completed the inaugural class.

Parking - IPI Board of Directors   Congratulations to Parking Manager Mark Lyons, who was re-elected to the International Parking Institute Board of Directors.  The 16-member board represents 1,000+ members of the IPI, the world's largest association of parking
Mark Lyons
Mark Lyons was re-elected to the
IPI Board of Directors. 

The organization strives to ensure parking works efficiently for all, whether it involves the public or private sector. Much involves professional development, certifications and opportunities to learn from other individuals and communities.

We appreciate Mark's active role in this professional organization and his willingness to share parking insights and engage others, especially as Sarasota gears up to build the St. Armands Garage -- the second parking garage that will be constructed during Mark's tenure with the Parking Operations Division.

Bring Your Kids To Work Day - About two dozen children were at City Hall and other City facilities on Thursday, as we participated in Bring Your Kids To Work Day.

This year, the Human Resources Department added a fun twist by having children "interview" for a position with the City.  They were encouraged to dress for success and be prepared to answer why they were qualified to fill that role.  Once "hired" their picture was taken for an ID badge, which was a keepsake remembrance for the day.

Children meeting Carson, a graduate of Southeastern Guide Dogs. 

The children and parents rode a trolley to the Sarasota Police Department, where they met with Chief Bernadette DiPino, learned about the SWAT team, motorcycle traffic unit and criminalistics.

They also met with a representative from Southeastern Guide Dogs, who explained the extensive training required for a guide dog and also the proper etiquette that should be used when encountering a working dog.  And, of course, they got to pet Carson -- such a gentle, well behaved pooch!

Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie also spoke with the students and explained the important roles their parents play to help keep the City of Sarasota running 24/7/365.

Thanks to HR Generalist Dominique Anderson and the HR Department for coordinating this fun and educational event!                    

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through December 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit    
Yanni 25 - Live at The Acropolis Anniversary Concert Tour
Sun., April 29 - 7 p.m.

The King and I 
Tues., December 4 - 8 p.m.
The King and I will be at the
Van Wezel Dec. 4 & 5.

Wed., December 5 - 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.

The Sound of Music 
Wed., December 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 20 - 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet:  Great Russian Nutcracker 
Fri., December 21 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

On Your Feet 
Wed., December 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., December 27 - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., December 28 - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., December 29 - 7:30 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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager