From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 27, 2017
Arlington Park resident Jennifer Conlon is prepped and ready for trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Her yard is filled with gossamer ghosts and a ghoulish graveyard. Trick-or-treaters don't have to wait until Halloween night though! Tonight (Friday, October 27) is the 5th annual Trunk or Treat event at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex. It's a fun, safe event for children and families to show off their costumes and join in some spooktacular activities, like trick-or-treating, a costume contest and a haunted house. The free event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Hope to see you there!


  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., November 1 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Chief Transportation Planner
Coordinator, Administrative - Public Works
Customer Service Representative
Director of Utilities
Engineering Technician III - Public Works
Janitorial/Maintenance - Van Wezel
Local Business Tax Receipt Specialist
Manager Maintenance Service
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)  
Recreation Specialist   
Senior Pension Accountant
    Volunteer/Unpaid Intern     

This Week's Items to Know:

Storm Debris - 2nd Pass Underway  The second and final pass throughout neighborhoods, picking up storm debris from Hurricane Irma, is now underway.  
Contract crews completed the first pass on Monday.  Total amount collected?  Over 50,000 cubic yards. We expect another 5-10,000 cubic yards to be picked up during the final collection cycle.  To put this into context, by the time it's all done, contractors and Public Works crews will have picked up nearly the equivalent of yard waste collected over the course of 2 years.      
A small portion of the storm debris management site in the city limits. 
Coordinating and collecting that amount of vegetative debris in a matter of weeks was a Herculean task. We appreciate our contractor, Ceres, for ensuring the job was getting done in the Sarasota city limits, as cities and counties throughout Florida scrambled to find and keep debris collectors.  And, thank you, to residents for your patience as we return our special city to a pre-Irma condition.  
As a reminder, please keep storm debris separate from new yard waste and household garbage.  Also, keep the area in front of piles open, to allow large trucks access to collect the debris.  
If all goes well, we expect the final pass will be finished by Thanksgiving. 
We'll continue to provide regular progress updates on the City's website  Also, should you have questions, the Storm Debris Hotline is still active: 855-428-4526. 

Yard Waste - Regular Rules Reinstated   With the initial pickup of storm debris finished, Public Works crews have resumed regular yard waste collection for new, green vegetative material.  And, with that, regular yard waste rules are now reinstated.
New  yard waste should be placed curbside and properly prepared.
Regular yard waste collection has resumed and regular preparation rules are reinstated.  
Guidelines include:  
  • Place material in a container or bundled in 4-foot lengths or less.
  • Watch the weight. Bundles need to be under 50 pounds.
  • Place leaves and other small vegetative debris in a container.
  • Keep new yard waste separate from storm debris.



Immediately following Hurricane Irma, when the extent of tree damage throughout the city became more clear, yard waste preparation rules were suspended to make it easier for residents to have oversized tree limbs etc. collected.  


If you have any questions regarding a special pickup, please contact the Public Works Department:  941-365-7651.

Hurricane Mitigation Grants  Hurricane Irma was a very real reminder of the need for property owners to be properly prepared for hurricane season.  The costs associated with damaged roofs, windows and doors can be costly.
To help reduce future storm damage, the  Florida Division of Emergency Management awarded the City a $194,000 hurricane mitigation grant to assist qualified homeowners with the installation of hurricane resistant windows, doors and roofs.   
Eligible grant recipients could receive up to $35,000.   
Hurricane Irma damage. 
To be considered, you must live in the city limits, own a home built between 1978 and 2001 valued by the county property appraiser under $272,195 and meet household income levels (at or below 80% of median income).    
Applications can be picked up and completed at 5 locations:  Newtown Redevelopment Office, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, Senior Friendship Center, Selby Public Library, and the Office of Housing & Community Development.
Deadline to register is Sunday, October 29.  Registration does not guarantee a grant. 
For more information, please contact the Office of Housing & Community Development:  941-951-3640 and press 0 for an operator.  
Age-Friendly Festival: Oct. 28   We're looking forward to being part of Sarasota's first Age-Friendly Festival this  Saturday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sarasota Fairgrounds and Robarts Arena
Over 100 organizations will be a part
of the Age-Friendly Festival 
From planning to parks & rec, we take a thoughtful approach to being age inclusive in Sarasota and  enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors of all ages. 
The Age-Friendly Festival will feature education booths and exhibits from 125+ local organizations, food trucks and live entertainment throughout the day.    
City staff will host several interactive exhibits and show some of the ways the City of Sarasota is an age-friendly community.  The City's activities will include: 
  • iRide:  You've seen them around get a close up look at one of the City's free, environmentally friendly iRide vehicles. Those who stop by this display can also learn about a new easy to use parking app for Sarasota.
  • Recycling:   Learn what's recyclable and what's not! The City's sustainability team will be on site to talk recycling and apply your knowledge with a game. 
  • Golf:  A putting green will be set up for attendees to work on their putting skills with guidance from staff with our historic municipal golf course Bobby Jones Golf Club. 
  • Elder Sensitivity Training:  With assistance from our Human Resources staff, festival goers will have a chance to experience what it's like to "see through the eyes of an elderly person" via special glasses designed for elder sensitivity training. 
  • Leaf Identification:  A love of trees knows no age!  A City arborist will test your leaf identification knowledge.  Plus, a limited number of trees will be given away.
Thanks to The Patterson Foundation for leading the way with the age-friendly movement in Sarasota and spearheading the festival.  With more than half of the population in Sarasota County over age 50, the idea of being age-friendly is an important conversation to continue. Thanks to all involved! 
Parks & Rec - Master Plan Open Houses   The Parks & Rec Department would like your input in identifying the social, cultural and recreational needs and priorities for the City and residents.   
During two upcoming open houses, residents will have the opportunity to offer feedback about the City's 50+ parks and also share their vision.   
3-year-old Phoebe enjoys the playground at Payne Park. It's one of more than 50 parks within the City.
The first open house will be held Thursday, November 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 John Rivers St. (formerly 34th St.) 

The second open house will be held Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Payne Park Auditorium, 2100 Laurel St. 

Both open houses will have an open, interactive format with no formal presentation.  Staff and the Parks & Rec consultant will be on hand to discuss options and answer questions.  

The input gathered will be an integral part of the Parks & Rec master plan, which will be used as a road map to enhance our parks and rec facilities and offer expanded programming for children and adults alike. 
Children's Fountain - Closes for Winter 11/1     Just a few days are left to enjoy taking the kids or grandkids to the Children's Fountain at Bayfront Park before it closes for the winter.  The last day of summer operations will be Tuesday, October 31st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting.
The Children's Fountain will reopen on April 1st.
Dotted with fun, colorful animal sculptures, the water fountain is a fun, no cost recreational activity for children.  And, located right on Sarasota Bay adjacent to the mooring field, it offers one of the best views in town for adults while keeping an eye on the little ones playing.   
The Children's Fountain will close Nov. 1 for the winter.   
Community Canopy Project  Last week we mentioned in Weekly Briefs the City in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation would give away 100 trees to residents to support our urban canopy.  Well...we had an incredible response!  All 100 trees were claimed online in less than 48 hours!   
Each tree will be mailed directly to the resident's home and the resident will be responsible for planting it on their property in an optimal location pre-determined on the tree registration website.   
Planting a tree in the proper spot can shade an area and help reduce a homeowner's electric bill.   
Four Florida native trees were given away:  sweetbay magnolia, red maple, bald cypress and shumard oak.  
This was the City's second tree giveaway this year through the Community Canopy Project. If you missed reserving a tree, our Sustainability and Development Services team plans to offer another giveaway in the Spring.   
Kudos to the team for facilitating this program!  And thanks to our residents who are committed to ensuring we have a robust urban canopy to help improve air quality, reduce urban core temperatures, and, overall, boost the quality of life in Sarasota.  

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

The following is a list of shows through Dec. 2017.  To view the entire Van Wezel season visit 

Chicago Live in Concert 
Mon., October 30 - 8 p.m.
So You Think You Can Dance 
Fri., November 3 - 8 p.m. 
Doo Wop Spectacular
Sat., November 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Sarasota Orchestra
Fri., November 10 - 8 p.m.
Sat., November 11 - 8 p.m.
Sun., November 12 - 2:30 p.m.

Celtic Thunder Symphony 2017
Wed., November 15 - 7:30 p.m.

Straight No Chaser
Thurs., November 16 - 8 p.m.
Three Dog Night will perform Nov. 18. 

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.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story 
Fri., December 1 - 8 p.m.
Tues., December 5 - 8 p.m.
An Irish Tenors Christmas 
Sat., December 2 - 8 p.m.
Leann Rimes - Today is Christmas Tour 
Sun., December 3 - 7 p.m.
The Buddy Holly Story will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 1 & 5. 

Sarasota Orchestra 
Fri., December 8 - 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

 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

Tom Barwin
City Manager