From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
September 29, 2017
After days of cleanup following Hurricane Irma, it's back to business as usual at Selby Gardens with volunteers from their Horticulture Department pruning bushes along the property.  Every Thursday, Caroline Watler braves the heat and lends a hand alongside several other volunteers.  Check out what's going on at Selby Gardens at


  • City Commission
    Mon., October 2 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Downtown Improvement District
    Tues., October 3 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio

  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., October 4 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., October 5 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Control System Tech I - Plant Maintenance 
Director of Utilities
Engineering Technician III - Public Works
Industrial/Reliability Engineer
Manager, Redevelopment
Operations Manager, Business Improvement District
Pension Plans Administrator
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)    
Treatment Plant Operator C - Wastewater
Utility Mechanic I - Wastewater Collection
Utility Mechanic I - Water Distribution
Volunteer/Unpaid Intern   

This Week's Items to Know:

Storm Debris - By the Numbers  The City's emergency contract for residential storm debris pick up remains in place and crews are making their way from the north end of the city limits to the south.
The contractor, Ceres Environmental, and the Public Works Department estimate 50,000 cubic yards of storm debris will be picked up as a result of Hurricane Irma.
How much is 50,000 cubic yards?  We crunched the numbers and it's nearly equal to the amount of residential yard waste our crews would collect over two years

That's a tremendous amount of limbs, tree stumps, leaves etc. and it will take time for crews to go through the neighborhoods and collect it all.   
Residents' patience and understanding of this massive, statewide cleanup challenge is appreciated. 
Storm Debris - How You Can Help   Please do not place household garbage or bulk waste on storm debris piles.  Collection crews cannot separate garbage and bulk waste from storm debris.  If it's mixed together, the process will be slowed and the storm debris may not be picked up during the first collection cycle. 
Over the past week, since starting the collection process, almost 25% of the total debris out there has been picked up. We expect it will take 2-3 passes throughout the neighborhoods to pick it all up.  Contract teams are working from sun up to sun down, 7 days a week, plus our Public Works crews are providing additional collection support.  We caught up with a crew working in the Gillespie Park Neighborhood in the 90+ degree heat, which you can see in this video:
Storm debris collection in Gillespie Park this week.

Please make sure storm debris is far enough away from your mailbox and other fixtures to allow large machinery to maneuver.  Also, to avoid possible traffic hazards, keep debris out of the street and place it curbside.  
The Storm Debris Removal Hotline will be available for as long as necessary to answer residents' questions:  855-428-4526.  

U.S. 41 Roundabouts - FDOT Meeting Oct. 3    Construction for the two long-planned roundabouts on U.S. 41 at 10th Street and 14th Street is expected to begin in October or possibly November. 
With U.S. 41 a State maintained road, the construction project is being overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation.   
FDOT officials will be in Sarasota next Tues., October 3 to present information about the two roundabouts, designs, and overall scope of the project.
The meeting will be held at the Bayfront Community Center, 803 N. Tamiami Trail from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Oct. 3rd. To see an informational flyer click here
The signalized intersections at 10th and 14th will be removed and replaced with roundabouts, which is consistent with the City's future planning for mobility, connectivity, pedestrian safety and sustainability.  In addition, the City is enhancing the basic project constructed by the State to include raised pedestrian islands, pedestrian signals, landscaping, street lighting, sidewalk, extension of the Multi-Use Recreational Trail, and improved drainage.  
The two roundabouts are scheduled to be constructed simultaneously and completed in 2020.    
To prepare for the construction, the Van Wezel's electronic message board at U.S. 41 & 10th St. was removed this week.  It will return next week temporarily placed on a trailer, which will allow the Van Wezel to continue to have a visual presence from U.S. 41 during the construction.  
City staff has been meeting with FDOT representatives regarding the impact of the construction on drivers, especially those visiting the Van Wezel.  We have expressed the need for wayfinding to guide motorists through the construction zones to all points between 10th and 14th Street. As with all road construction projects, we anticipate much patience will be required.   
We encourage anyone interested in learning more to attend the FDOT meeting next week.  
10th St. Boat Ramp - Temporary Closures Start 10/2  As the dredging continues at the 10th Street boat basin, and crews move closer to the boat ramps, the number of ramps available for use will be temporarily reduced. 
Starting next Monday, October 2, access will be limited to 2-4 of the 6 ramps The following week , Oct. 9-12, all ramps will be temporarily closed.  On Friday the 13th, all ramps will reopen to the public.
During the temporary closure, we suggest boaters use the next closest ramp located at Ken Thompson Park at the north end of Lido Key on City Island.    
We understand this will be a temporary inconvenience for our boating community, but it's necessary as we maintain our precious Sarasota Bay.  The care being exercised on this project will improve boating and ultimately the environment for the creatures that call it home, including dolphins, manatees and turtles.  
The 10th Street Boat Ramp will be temporarily closed Oct. 9-12.

Police Complaint Committee - Member Applicants Sought   Applications are now being accepted for those interested in serving on the Police Complaint Committee.
City of Sarasota residents with a passion to serve their community and help ensure police transparency and accountability should apply.   
Established in 2011, the PCC is an advisory board to the City Commission and appointments are made by the Commission.  The Committee was created to ensure trust, transparency and accountability while strengthening public trust and confidence in the Sarasota Police Department.  
One seat currently is open.  You must live in the city limits to be considered for the position.   
To download an application click here.    
"Sunset on the Bay" + United Way Fundraiser = Sat. Fun Day  To help welcome visitors from around the globe who are in town for the World Rowing Championship, Mary Bensel and her team at the Van Wezel will host "Sunset on the Bay" Sat., Sept. 30 from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.   
This is a free event with popular local band Yesterdayze performing on the bayside lawn as well as the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe.
Mixed in with the live music and stunning views of Sarasota Bay, City employees will have a dunk tank set up as part of the City's annual United Way campaign.  Four courageous employees have volunteered to sit on the tank and be dunked in chilly water to help raise funds for United Way Suncoast:    
  • Dennis Baker, Human Resources Coordinator
  • Marlon Brown, Deputy City Manager
  • John Lege, Assistant City Manager
  • David Walker, Van Wezel Box Office Manager

Keep your eyes open for the dunk tank -- and make sure you bring cash.  It's fun and reasonable -- $1 per throw or $3 for 5 throws -- and for a good cause.  


Thanks to Marlon, John, David and Dennis for their willingness to sacrifice their dignity a bit to help United Way and those who benefit from its good work.



Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Dec. 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 
Sunset On The Bay 
Sat., September 30:  4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
FREE Event - Details 

Big Stage Ballroom - Fred Astaire 
Fri., October 8 - 7 p.m.

Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock and Roll 
Fri., October 13 - 8 p.m.
Willie Nelson & Friends  
Tues., October 17 - 8 p.m.
Chicago Live in Concert 
Mon., October 30 - 8 p.m.
Three Dog Night will be at the Van Wezel Nov. 18. 

So You Think You Can Dance 
Fri., November 3 - 8 p.m. 
Doo Wop Spectacular
Sat., November 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder
Wed., November 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Decades Rewind 
Fri., November 17  - 8 p.m. 
Three Dog Night 
Sat., November 18 - 8 p.m.
Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour 
Tues., November 28 - 8 p.m.
An Irish Tenor Christmas   
Sat., December 2 - 8 p.m.
Leann Rimes - Today is Christmas Tour 
Sun., December 3 - 7 p.m.
Catch A Charlie Brown Christmas on Dec. 17.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story 
Tues., December 5 - 8 p.m.
98 Degrees Christmas
Mon., December 11 - 8 p.m.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage
Sun., December 17 - 2:30 p.m.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Thurs., December 21 - 7 p.m.

A Christmas Carol
Fri., December 22 - 7 p.m.

Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker
Fri., Dec. 29 - 3 p.m. & 7 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

Reminder:  SPD will host National Night Out next Tues., October 3 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the SPD Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane.  This is a free family event to learn about SPD and build relationships with police officers and neighbors.  Hope to see you there!    
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Tom Barwin
City Manager