BRIEFS from BARWIN
From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
May 25, 2018
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
It's that time of year when visitors to Lido Beach need to keep an eye out for nesting shorebirds, such as these black skimmers, and sea turtles. Avoid nesting areas that are protected with signs and markers, and do not disturb any eggs, or their protective parents, you may come across. Protecting the amazing wildlife of our coastal areas is part of being a Sarasotan.


 MEETINGS

  • Board of Adjustment
    Wed., May 30 - 1:30 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers
    Agenda
  • Police Complaint Committee
    Wed., May 30 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
    Agenda
  • Special City Commission
    Thurs., May 31 - 5 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
    Agenda
Citizen Hero of the Month: Philip Carey

L to R:  Capt. Lori Jaress, myself, Philip Carey and SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino 

 
Having served in the British Royal Navy early in his life, 20-year city resident Philip Carey was trained to use military caliber weapons. As a veteran, Mr. Carey has long known the power of military grade weapons and the damage they can inflict.
 
Following the recent mass shooting at Parkland High, like so many other citizens, Mr. Carey was appalled with yet another horrifying and tragic mass shooting.   Mr. Carey felt compelled to do something personally to make our society a better and safer place.
 
Shortly after Parkland, Mr. Carey spoke with SPD Capt. Lori Jaress.   During their conversations Mr. Carey shared his desire to dispose of the military grade rifle that he owned. Even though he kept it locked up, Mr. Carey did not want his high-powered rifle to ever be exposed to the risk of accident or theft. Nor did he want to make it available on the firearms resale market, which often does not require a purchaser to undergo a criminal or mental health background check.
 
It just so happened that the SPD terrorist response SWAT team was in need of a high-quality firearm like Mr. Carey's.
 
On behalf of the City, I agreed to accept the rifle donation by Mr. Carey, not only to better equip the SPD SWAT team, but as importantly, to help get one more military grade weapon out of circulation so it can never be used to harm anyone.
 
Our country is so awash in firearms that in our city alone so far this year, the SPD has recovered 75 guns that have been lost, stolen, discarded on the street or confiscated in relation to criminal activity.
 
While discussing his thoughts, Mr. Carey told me, "Based upon my military and life experience I believe no one in our society needs a military caliber weapon except for the military and highly trained police officers. The proliferation of weapons available to almost anyone is out of control.   I never want to contribute to the crisis."
 
It's only one act by one citizen, but it is a big and thoughtful act.  
 
Mr. Carey's act has led to the creation of a program we call the  "Done with the Gun" program.    If you have a firearm of any make or model that you no longer need and do not wish to expose to accidental use, theft or sale to an unstable person, the City of Sarasota will be happy to pick it up from you at your convenience and have it melted down and recycled into a productive use. To participate in the Sarasota "Done with the Gun" program, please call SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino's office at 941-954-7001.
 
I also hope this unsolicited act by a citizen represents changing priorities in this country and that someday soon, despite the NRA, our state and federal lawmakers will begin to respond to this national problem by passing effective firearm rules and regulations.   Our safest states require background checks before purchase, that owners be trained, and that all firearms be registered, safely transported and secured when not in use .
 
Because he cares so deeply about the safety of our youth, our community and the future of our country, I am pleased to select Philip Carey as my citizen hero of the month! Perhaps others will follow his lead.
 
Thank you Philip and Capt. Jaress for another great example of partnership policing in our special City.

City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
 
Administrative Specialist II - Permitting
Computer Support Specialist II 
Golf Course Attendant - Part-time
Golf Shop Attendant
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Operations Manager, Business Improvement District
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Senior Pension Accountant
Senior Zoning Analyst
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution
     Volunteer/Unpaid Intern  
 
   
                                                    

This Week's Items to Know:

1.
Buck-Leiter Jury Verdict    City Attorney Bob Fournier and I have have spoken at length about the $49 million jury verdict that was rendered earlier this week for an alleged breach of contract case on litigation which began in 2010. 
 
It's important to note that this verdict is not impacting immediate day- to-day functions within the City.  And, I encourage all City employees to continue their work with the same exemplary professionalism, courtesy and responsiveness as always.  
 
Known as the Buck-Leiter lawsuit, the case dates back over a decade to 2007-08 when a developer responded to a Request For Proposals to development the property where the Palm Avenue Garage and Art Ovation hotel now stand.  The City previously prevailed with the lawsuit, but upon appeal for a breach of contract claim, the case was sent to trial with a jury. 
 
It's believed there are multiple grounds for an appeal.  The City Attorney is conferring with the City's trial counsel about the matter and how to move forward.
 
A decision to appeal will have to be made by June 20.  Mr. Fournier plans to provide a summary report with a recommendation to the city commission before that time. If a notice of appeal is filed, the jury's judgment will be stayed during the appeal process. 
 
2.
Memorial Day - Holiday Hours   Next Monday, May 28th, City administrative offices will be closed as the City observes the national Memorial Day holiday.   
 
Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual.

The annual downtown Memorial Day parade has been canceled due to the threat of inclement weather and out of concern for public safety.
 
The parade, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, will not be rescheduled. The National Weather Service forecast calls for heavy rains in the area through Tuesday.
 
City Hall and administrative offices will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.   
This is the first cancellation of the parade in its more than 30-year history.
 
Several facilities will be closed on Monday, including Lido Pool, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex and the Van Wezel box office.
 
Summer hours at the Children's Fountain start on Monday with the splash area staying open two hours longer, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
And, our Bobby Jones Golf Club will be open for play as it is every day of the year, weather permitting.
 
 
    
3.
Osprey Ave. - Resurfacing Starts May 29    Reminder:  The much-needed resurfacing of Osprey Avenue will begin Tuesday, May 29th. 

Nearly 1.5 miles of road will be repaved between Siesta Drive and Bahia Vista, with the project completed in four segments.
 
The first segment will be between South Drive and Boyce Street. 
Resurfacing of Osprey Ave. between
Siesta Dr. and Bahia Vista starts May 29. 
 
Due to the proximity to Southside Elementary, that stretch is being worked on first, immediately after the school year ends. 
 
During the project, Osprey Ave. will remain open to two-way traffic, with occasional delays expected. 
 
In addition to resurfacing, the project also will include new curbs and improvements to signalized intersections, bike lane re-striping and ADA-compliant ramps.
 
                       
4.
St. Armands Garage - Groundbreaking    It's been a long time coming as we officially celebrated the start of construction of the St. Armands Garage this week.
 
Thanks to the vision and tireless efforts of Marty Rappaport, the former Chairman of the St. Armands Business Improvement District, and BID Manager Diana Corrigan, we are at this significant stage.  Marty first came up with the idea to alleviate St. Armands' parking crunch by constructing a garage.  Working with commercial property owners, residents and City staff, the concept gained momentum and solidified.
 
St. Armands Garage groundbreaking ceremony - May 23, 2018

Including adjacent on-site parking, the new garage will offer just over 500 parking spaces.  In addition, a rooftop solar panel will capture the sun's rays and help power the garage.  Plus, there will be ample bicycle storage and public restrooms.  And, the design team also included natural light atriums. We expect it will be a grand and elegant parking structure!  To see a video animation of the design click here
 
Thanks to Parking Operations Manager Mark Lyons for shepherding this multi-faceted community project.   
 
We're already looking forward to the ribbon cutting ceremony in December or January.

5.
The Quay - Groundbreaking   A marquee development along the Bayfront that's been in the pipeline for many years will start to come out of the ground soon:  The Quay. 
 
The site for this development, located along U.S. 41 between Fruitville Rd. and Boulevard of the Arts, has endured turbulent times,
The Quay groundbreaking ceremony - May 23, 2018 
 
including the Great Recession, an overseas bankruptcy, property sale and development redesign.  And now, through it all, the historic Belle Haven, constructed in 1926, will be rehabilitated and continue to grace the site.  Kudos to all for not just saving this jewel but including it as a featured area in the design plans. 
 
Once the infrastructure is completed, the development will include residences, a hotel, commercial and office space.  And, the groundbreaking is coming at an excellent time as work on The Bay is picking up momentum.  It's exciting to see these two significant projects evolving together.
 
The developer, GreenPointe Communities LLC based in Jacksonville, expects to work on underground infrastructure until the fall when vertical construction will begin.
 
6.
Solar Panel Co-op   If you've ever considered going green and using solar energy to help reduce your electric bills and reduce your carbon footprint, now is the time to learn more through the newly opened solar panel co-op in Sarasota County!
 
The idea is for homeowners to come together as a group and use
The Sarasota County Solar Co-op helps homeowners purchase solar panels as a group to get better pricing.

their purchasing power to buy solar panels at a more affordable price. Everyone gets the competitive bid, while each homeowner has their own installation contract. Any homeowner within the County are eligible to join the co-op. 
 
Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and our Sustainability team attended the announcement at Mote, and we're excited to help roll out this important initiative throughout Sarasota.
 
For more information, visit  www.SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/Florida 
 
Also, to learn more in person, an education session about the co-op will be held Tuesday, June 5, at 6 p.m at Selby Library



Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 


The following is a list of shows through December 2018.  To view the entire Van Wezel season, visit www.VanWezel.org    
      
  

Friday Fest - Jah Movement 
Friday, June 22:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
FREE Concert

Reverend Barry & The Funk 
Friday, July 27:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

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

Dr. Dave Band 
Friday, September 14:  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dr. Dave Band will perform at
Friday Fest on Sept. 14.


FREE Concert

The Simon & Garfunkel Story 
Sat., October 27 - 8 p.m.
Tickets 

Doo Wop Spectacular 
Sat., November 10 - 7:30 p.m.
  
Brian Wilson Presents:  The Christmas Album Live 
Tues., December 11 - 8 p.m.
Tickets

Celtic Thunder X 
Tues., December 18 - 8 p.m.
Tickets

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

The Sweet Caroline Tour 
Mon., December 31 - 9 p.m.
Tickets

  
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 www.VanWezel.org.

Reminder:  Extended summer hours for the Children's Fountain start on Memorial Day.  Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weather permitting.  Enjoy the latest 'Sarasota Scene' of the Children's Fountain from resident photographer Norm Schimmel.    
 
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
941-954-4102