From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
July 12, 2019
W ith a tropical weather system moving around Florida, we've been experiencing some unusual weather patterns this week with rainfall at all hours of the day rather than the traditional late afternoon summer thunderstorm.  A particularly strong squall early Thursday morning caught boaters and anglers a bit off guard and seeking shelter at Hart's Landing.  For the drenched runner in the photo, hopefully the unexpected downpour provided a refreshing cool down.  As in typical Florida fashion, within 15 minutes, the stormy skies pushed out for more favorable weather.


  • City Commission
    Mon., July 15 - 1:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Development Review
    Wed., July 17 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Public Art - Special Meeting
    Wed., July 17 - 1 p.m.

    City Hall - Commission Chambers

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This Week's Items to Know:

Roundabouts + Public Art: Special Meeting July 17    As FDOT continues construction of the roundabouts on U.S. 41 at 10th Street and 14th Street, staff and advisory board volunteers are working at City Hall to ensure one-of-a-kind signature sculptures are commissioned and ready for placement in each roundabout.   
We received approximately 100 responses for the two Call to Artists.  From those submissions, the Public Art Committee (PAC) worked diligently to narrow each call down to three finalists.
And, each of those finalists will give a presentation to the PAC during a special meeting next Wed., July 17 at 1 p.m. at City Hall.  They will explain their concept, fabrication, timeline, experience and other items of interest.  
The PAC will recommend one piece for each roundabout to the City Commission for consideration.  The selected sculptures will be commissioned with monies contributed by developers to the Public Art Fund. 
The finalists for each roundabout are posted below.   
10th Street Finalists

1 - "Performance"  James Gabbert
2 - "DreamSky"  Dimitar Lukanov
3 - "Life in the Seagrass"  Casto Solano

Finalists for the public art at the U.S. 41 and 10th St. roundabout:
1.  "Performance" - James Gabbert; 2.  "DreamSky" - Dimitar Lukanov; 3. "Life in the Seagrass" - Casto Solano
14th Street Finalists

1 - "Phoenix"  Volkan Alkanoglu
2 - "Ploy"  Nancy Hou
3 - "Unity" Nnamdi Okonkwo  
Finalists for the public art installation at the U.S. 41 and 14th St. roundabout: 
1.  "Phoenix" - Volkan Alkanoglu; 2.  "Ploy" - Nancy Hou; 3.  "Unity"  - Nnamdi Okonkwo
What do you think?  We'd like your feedback!  Please email your thoughts to the PAC staff liaison, David Smith, at David.Smith@SarasotaFL.Gov
This information also has been shared on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor) and comments will be presented to the PAC.   
More information as well as the meeting agenda are available at SarasotaFL.Gov  
Parking -  Downtown Parking Program Begins   The new downtown parking program, using the same equipment as the St. Armands District, went into effect this week, with metered parking becoming operational in the Judicial District, along Main St. and Ringling Blvd.   
The user pay approach is designed to cover the costs of maintaining expensive downtown parking garages versus subsidizing them with general fund tax dollars used for police, parks, street lights and general public services.  While the community adjusts to this new user pay system, which is in place in many cities in the region and nation, there will be light enforcement with staff on the street monitoring and assisting users if necessary.
The pay stations and meters are simple to use.  Just follow the
Pay stations are now operational
in the Judicial District.

directions on the screen (or for extra convenience download the ParkMobile app).  These are the same style machines that are being used on St. Armands Circle with little technical difficulty, and we anticipate the same in downtown.
Once the Parking Operations Division determines the rollout in the Judicial District is satisfactory, the machines will be turned on in the Downtown District, which includes Main Street and a portion of Palm Ave.  While the exact date is fluid, that could happen within the next week or two.
What you need to know:
  • Those using a pay station will receive 10 minutes free
  • Rate is $1.50 per hour.  You do not have to pay for a full hour
  • Thousands of parking spaces -- nearly 90% -- will remain free  within a short stroll to Main Street
  • Parking in the State Street Garage and Palm Avenue Garage, in the heart of downtown, will remain free for two hours
  • Observe signage for hours of enforcement
  • A parking map is available online, at City Hall and with downtown merchants
  • Download the ParkMobile app and use it to make payment, receive notifications when your time will expire and add time -- all from your cell phone
The program is also designed to improve accessibility and create turnover with the most desirable, prime parking spaces.  Ultimately, fewer downtown employees will utilize these spaces and fewer cars will be cruising downtown looking for a space, which will reduce vehicle emissions and create a healthier, more appealing downtown.
Questions or comments about the program?  Please contact the Parking Operations Division: ParkingInfo@SarasotaFL.Gov 
Lemon Ave. Streetscape - Lemon/Main Reopen   Have you seen the new brickwork installed at the Lemon Ave./Main St. intersection as part of the overall Lemon Avenue Streetscape?  It offers a welcoming, attractive appearance and sense of place for pedestrians visiting our special downtown.
Check out this incredible aerial perspective courtesy of contractor Jon F. Swift Construction:
The newly installed brick intersection at Lemon Ave./Main St. 
Photo courtesy:  Jon F. Swift Construction

The City's contractor was under a very strict deadline to finish the brick installation and reopen the intersection in time for the Grand Prix boat block party over the Fourth of July weekend.  They ended up finishing several days ahead of schedule.  Bravo!  And, congratulations to the subcontractor, Preferred Pavers & Concrete, LLC, whose craftsmanship, care and attention to detail installing the bricks is evident in the final product.
Work is ongoing on Lemon Ave. down to Street State.  Please note the area is open to foot traffic and stores and restaurants are accessible.  Also, the nearby State Street Garage, with two hours free parking, is open. 

Van Wezel:  Subscriptions on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 
Friday Fest - Rebel Heart 
Fri., July 19 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
Friday Fest - Reverend Barry and the Funk 
Fri., August 16 - 5 p.m.
FREE Event 
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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager