From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
August 23, 2019
With the sun shining once again, children were enjoying the circus playground at Payne Park this week, including Kevyn Turner, 3, seen giggling with delight as his older brother Karson slid feet first into him.  The boys live in the city limits and asked their mom, Nicki, to take them to the park so they could have fun playing outside.  Great idea, guys!  Payne Park, located in downtown Sarsota, is one of the crown jewels of our 55+ parks system.


  • Special City Commission
    Monday, Aug. 26 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Tuesday, Aug. 27 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • St. Armands BID
    Wednesday, Aug. 28 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Board of Adjustment
    Wednesday, Aug. 28 - 1:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Parking Advisory Committee
    Wednesday, Aug. 28 - 4 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112

Featured Job of the Week 

Other great opportunities!  

This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Beach - Renourishment Update    Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cancelled the bid for the long-term Lido Beach renourishment and stabilization project due to unreasonably high prices, the project is being re-bid and expected to begin by late fall.
The Corps is re-writing the specifications of the bid and plans to have it back on the street within the next couple of weeks.  We appreciate the Corps advancing the process to try to ensure that our vulnerable shoreline will be stabilized for the decades ahead.   
Lido Beach - August 2019

So far, we've been fortunate this hurricane season, but we are well aware that even a stalled thunderstorm can significantly erode our precious beach, which provides the essential protective barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and nearby infrastructure as well as habitat for our nesting wildlife.
We'll keep you posted. 
CEO Training Series - Registration Open   Into its 15th year, the North Sarasota Community Entrepreneur Opportunity program is now open for registration for the Fall 2019 program.  
The "Introduction to Business Development" course is offered twice a year with a focus on entry level classes for new and aspiring small business owners.  Classes are designed to help entrepreneurs launch a business and make determinations on the strength of their business plan by discussing market strategies, competitive analysis, management and financial plans.
For the first time, online curriculum will be available for the CEO course.  In-person discussion sessions will be held Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at CareerSource Suncoast in Sarasota for 10 weeks.  Each session will be led by an expert in the field to help students evaluate their business plan.   
The course also includes individual counseling and research/homework assignments, which must be completed for graduation.  The next class begins September 10, and registration is underway now.
Learn more and register online at or contact Rowena Elliott:  941-365-2200 ext. 3220.  
The CEO program is free and sponsored by Wells Fargo bank, CareerSource Suncoast, SCORE, Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota. 
Citizens Academies   Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of Sarasota municipal government?  Or just the Sarasota Police Department?  We have two amazing -- and free -- learning opportunities for you!
The SPD Citizens Academy immerses participants in all things police-related, including in-depth learning sessions about the patrol division, criminal investigations, traffic stops, firearms, marine patrol, K-9 unit and use of force policy.
Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for 10-12 weeks.   
To be considered for the SPD Citizens Academy you must be at least 18 years old without any felony convictions or outstanding warrants.
Applications are available at  For more information please contact Officer Danny Robbins:  941-954-7056.
For those interested in learning about SPD plus all the other departments within the
We offer two citizens academies.  The Citizens Academy offers insight into operations throughout the City; the SPD Citizens Academy focuses solely on the police department.

City, you may be interested in the City's comprehensive Citizens Academy.   
After being on hiatus for many years, the Citizens Academy returned last year and was well received by participants who learned how the Utilities Department ensures the water is there -- and safe to drink -- when you turn on the tap, the ins and outs of procurement,  solid waste and recycling, sustainability, police, communications, information technology, planning and development services.  The academy kicks off with presentations from City Commissioners and Charter Officials who explain their roles and duties.
We'll be rolling out information about the Citizens Academy in the coming weeks.  For our Weekly Briefs subscribers we can share this advance info:  the Citizens Academy will run from January 23 through March 12, with sessions scheduled once a week.  While there's no fee to attend, we ask that participants be City of Sarasota residents and commit to attend each class.
For more information please contact Nancy Kelly: 941-365-2661.
Arlington Park - Halloween Planning    Believe it or not, we're already planning for festive, family-friendly Halloween activities!
Our creative Parks & Rec staff at the Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex is putting together a spooky Halloween Trail Carnival winding around the park's popular walking trail.   
The event will be held Friday, Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature games, costume contests, informational booths and, of course, trick-or-treating for the kids and grandkids.    
Interested in sponsoring a booth?  There's no fee!  Each booth will feature a community nonprofit or business and must be family-friendly with candy giveaways for the little ghouls and goblins.  No sales, please.  For more information contact Emily Randall:  941-554-2110.   
This inaugural event will be in addition to Bark-O-Ween (which has been a howling good time the past two years) scheduled for October 29.  Mark your calendars -- both events are bound to be spook-tacular! 

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 
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