From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
January 19, 2018
4-year-old Liyah and 7-year-old Logan were two of dozens who took to the streets at Monday's Unity Walk in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This one mile trek left from the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex and ended in Newtown's MLK Park, followed by a celebration with entertainment, food and community booths. Organized by the MLK Celebration Committee, the event was a success with a large turnout and great weather.  


City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Accounting & Payroll Systems Supervisor
Administrative Specialist II - Permitting
Assistant Head Usher - Van Wezel
Box Office Operator
Commission Reporter
Facilities Custodian- Police Dept.
Golf Course Attendant
Inventory Tech I 
Manager Maintenance Service
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC) 
Refuse Equipment Operator- Yard Waste- Temporary Full-Time
  Senior Pension Accountant
Solid Waste Helper - Collections, Part-time
Treatment Plant Operator
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution 
   Volunteer/Unpaid Intern     

This Week's Items to Know:

Brotherhood of Men   This past weekend we had the pleasure of joining a local organization called the Brotherhood of Men in revealing a first of its kind project and the beginning of an exciting initiative for the Newtown community. 

The Brotherhood of Men is a non-profit that focuses on local at risk youth ages 8 to 25.  Since 2016, our Economic Development Office has partnered with the non-profit , donating four vacant City-owned homes in Newtown to be rehabilitated and then rented or sold to community members. 

From cleaning to repairing to painting, members of the Brotherhood of Men rolled up their sleeves and worked with experienced mentors to restore the first of the four homes, revealing the finished product at a ceremony on Saturday.

The Brotherhood of Men joined City staff in revealing the first of four homes in Newtown to be restored as part of this initiative.

I had the opportunity to join Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, Commissioner Willie Shaw and members of the Brotherhood of Men in presenting the home to the community. It was truly a sight to see the culmination of months of hard work.

Not only does this project repair homes in need, it also adds affordable housing to the market and provides these young men with the skill sets they need to enter the work force and adulthood with ease.    

We would also like to thank the Brotherhood's contract partners Image Developers, Inc., DuCon, LLC, T. Salem Construction, LLC, Richard Krause Plumbing and Bohemian Tile. Each partner donated considerable time, materials and training to our area's youth.  Congrats to all involved!

Climate Adaptation Plan    After months of hard work, we have officially adopted the Climate Adaptation Plan, which evaluated more than 200 City-owned assets and identified more than 50 as vulnerable to climate change. The plan also identified high-level strategies for protecting and preserving those assets. 
A group tours Longboat Key during a King Tide event, where ocean water comes up through the storm drains, flooding local roads. 

The creation of this plan began in 2016 and required a great deal of collaboration between multiple departments within the City, including Utilities, Public Works, Planning and Sustainability. The public was also part of the process, offering feedback at community meetings and during the public comment period. 

The adoption of this plan is a major milestone as we work towards becoming an increasingly sustainable and resilient community, but the work is just beginning. The next step is to take the suggestions and strategies from this plan and begin to prioritize and implement them over time. 

Whether it's integrating climate data into City policy and capital projects, acquiring public lands for habitat protection or holding stormwater, or encouraging collaboration with other government agencies and the private-sector, there are several steps that we can take to protect ourselves from the effects of climate change. 

Kudos to all City staff involved in this project, particularly our Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes, for their hard work and dedication as we plan ahead and take steps toward creating a sustainable community that's ready for what lies ahead. 
Utility Interactive Voice Response System-   In an effort to constantly enhance the experience for our Utility customers, we're now offering a Utility Billing Services Interactive Voice Response System (IVR). 
Utility customers will need to know their account number (located in the top right corner of each bill) before using the IVR system.

Offered in English and Spanish, the system directs all calls first to an automated response system for routine questions or requests, like checking your utility account and keeping your contact info up-to-date.  The system also allows customers to pay utility bills in a secure way, accepting all types of credit cards and E-checks. 

For more complex issues, customers can still opt to speak to one of our helpful, live representatives during business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 

Here's how to use this system:  

1. Find your account number located in the top right corner of each Utility bill.

2. Dial 941-954-4196 OR 941-954-4197.

3. Follow the instructions when prompted. 

This is our first step toward moving to a digital notification system, alerting Utility customers to emergency notices and delinquency notices via phone. With that in mind, we encourage all customers to call the number listed above to ensure their on-file contact info is correct. 

Not only will this program reduce wait time, it will also allow customers to call our Utilities Billing office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 
Manasota Neighborhoods Summit   We're excited to be participating in a revival of the Manasota Neighborhoods Summit, which offers an opportunity for formal and informal community leaders to learn about the issues facing their neighborhoods and discuss strategies and solutions moving forward. 
The City of Sarasota will participate in the first Manasota Neighborhoods Summit since 2008. 

Our Neighborhood Services staff members are partnering with their counterparts in Manatee and Sarasota Counties to host the event for the first time in 10 years. 

The half-day summit will cover topics like disaster preparedness, conservation, crime prevention and communication tools to name a few. 

The event will be held Friday, February 23 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Manasota Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, 502 3rd Ave. W.  Registration costs $20, including breakfast and refreshments. 

For a link to register, visit:
We invite all who are currently leading our neighborhoods or are interested in serving the community to participate.

Hart's Landing   Another dramatic improvement to Eloise Werlin Park! Last weekend t he saltwater fishing bait and tackle shop within the park, Hart's Landing, got a new metal roof.
Crews installed a new roof at Hart's Landing.

The project is one of many improvements Ernest "Doc" Werlin  has generously donated to the picturesque bayfront park, which sits at the foot of the Ringling Bridge. 

Last year the park received new turf, a playground, renovated restrooms and several park benches, all in honor of Werlin's late wife Eloise.
Next, Werlin plans to add new lighting to the park, allowing residents and tourists to stroll by the water or enjoy the playground well past sunset. Thank you, Doc for your generous donation! 

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

Van Wezel seats

The following is a list of shows through Jan. 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit      
Musical Thrones:  A Parody of Ice & Fire 
Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice & Fire will be at the Van Wezel Jan. 21.
Sun., January 21, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Ringling College Library Association Town Hall 
John Brennan
Mon., January 22, 2018 - 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tapestry - A Tribute to Carole King 
Tues., January 23, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Jackson Browne with Greg Leisz 
Wed., January 24, 2018 - 7:30 p.m. 
Paul Anka 
Thurs., January 25 , 2018- 8 p.m. 
Masters Of Illusion 
Fri., January 26, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited 
Sat., January 27, 2018 - 8 p.m. 

Michael Feinstein 
Paul Anka will take the stage at the Van Wezel Jan. 25.
Sun., January 28, 2018 - 7 p.m.
Sarasota Concert Association 
Mon., January 29, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Tues., January 30, 2018 - 8 p.m.
Wed., January 31, 2018 - 8 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