From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
October 13, 2017
For the fourth year in a row, City employees rolled up their sleeves for the United Way Suncoast Day of Caring. The annual event enlists the help of teams to help non-profits in the five-county region. This year, 1,900 volunteers worked on more than 100 projects across the Suncoast.  In this photo, Human Resources Coordinator Dennis Baker and Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes are washing and detailing one of several emergency response vehicles at the American Red Cross. They're just two of several City employees who volunteered their time and energy. Thanks to all who participated in this important community event.


  • FEMA Joint Town Hall
    Fri., October 13:  6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Robert L. Taylor Community Complex
  • General Employees' Pension Plan Board of Trustees
    Mon., October 16 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • City Commission
    Mon., October 16 - 2:30 p .m. & 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers

  • Development Review Committee
    Wed., October 18 - 9 a .m.
    City Hall - Room 112

  • Downtown Improvement District Workshop
    Wed., October 18 - 9 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
City Career Opportunities
Opportunity, Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.
Deputy City Auditor & Clerk  
Director of Utilities
Facilities Custodian -  SPD
Floor Technician/Janitorial - RLTCC
Irrigation Technician I
Landscape Maintenance Tech II
Maintenance Mechanic Solid Waste Collection
Maintenance Tech I - Facilities
Maintenance Technician III
Parking Enforcement Specialist 
Part-time Parking Garage Attendant
    Police Officer, 2nd Class
Rec Attendant (RLTCC)    
Recreation Specialist
Senior Pension Accountant
Volunteer/Unpaid Intern 

This Week's Items to Know:

Storm Debris Update: Green Vegetation NOT Accepted  Due to FEMA reimbursement rules and limited collection resources, storm debris only will be picked up for the time being.   
FEMA monitors alerted the City that fresh, green yard waste
Do not comingle storm debris with
new, green yard waste. 

 is ineligible for reimbursement. The federal government will only reimburse local governments for  the collection of storm debris associated with Hurricane Irma.   
For now, please do not place fresh, green yard waste on storm debris piles.    Crews are unable to separate it.  If you have fresh yard waste, please create a separate pile and our Public Works crews will collect it as soon as possible.
Also, bulk waste items should not be placed on top of storm debris piles.  Crews cannot separate these materials and collection will be delayed.   

We estimate the City will be eligible for approximately $1.9 million in federal storm debris reimbursements and we don't want to risk jeopardizing any of those funds.
The Public Works Department is developing a schedule to resume regular yard waste collection soon.  When it's finalized, we'll pass it along. 

Storm Debris Update: First Pass to be Completed by Oct. 20   Collection crews are continuing to pick up debris every day and we remain on schedule to have the first pass finished by next Friday, October 20th.   
As of mid-week, nearly 1,000 loads have been picked up and hauled
A small portion of the debris management site in the city limits. 
to the storm debris management site in the city limits.  A total of 30,246 cubic yards has been collected by contractors with help from our regular Public Works crews.
Once the first pass is done, crews will go through the neighborhoods again and pick up debris that wasn't collected the first time around, either because it hadn't been placed curbside or perhaps was piled too close to a mailbox or something else.
We appreciate everyone's patience as many communities in Florida are experiencing similar -- or much longer --- wait times for storm debris cleanup.
The Storm Debris Removal Hotline is still active: 855-428-4526.   
Also, updates are posted at least once a week on the City's homepage: 

King Tide - Sunny Day Flooding   Exceptionally high tides, known as "King Tides", in conjunction with Hurricane Nate, caused sunny day flooding in some areas of the City this past weekend. U.S. 41 near Fruitville Road and Gulfstream Avenue, the Saprito Fishing Pier parking lot and the Eloise Werlin Park parking lot -- which are low lying areas -- all experienced localized flooding.   
A stretch of U.S. 41 near Gulfstream Ave. experienced sunny day flooding due to a combination of King Tides and winds from Hurricane Nate. 
Public Works crews were  monitoring the situation and quickly learned the Bay was pushing sea water up through storm drains on some streets.   
King Tides occur regularly each year when the sun and moon align closer to the earth. In this case, meteorologists with the National Weather Service tell us the winds from Hurricane Nate magnified the effects, causing tides between one-half and one foot above normal high tide in Sarasota.   
Many longtime residents have mentioned they've never seen such a high tide in Sarasota.  In my sixth year serving as City Manager, this "sunny day flooding" experience was a first -- and underscored the need to continue to plan sensibly for the future.  
While King Tides are a natural phenomenon, they do offer
a glimpse of what we can expect in the decades ahead and serve as a reminder that sea level rise is very real.
Climate change and the potential impacts are top priorities for the City Commission and its 3-year Strategic Plan.  Moving forward, the City's Sustainability team will incorporate this King Tide occurrence into the Climate Adaptation Plan, as we analyze which aspects of the City's infrastructure are particularly vulnerable and what we should do about it. 
FDOT Meeting:  U.S. 41 & Fruitville Roundbout - Oct. 26   To comply with a development agreement for a new mixed-use project  at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Rd., the developer must complete a series of improvements including replacing that signalized intersection with a
FDOT will host a meeting on Oct. 26 to discuss a proposed
roundabout at U.S. 41 & Fruitville Rd. 
As part of the process, the Florida Department of Transportation will host an open house and public hearing, including a formal presentation with information detailing the proposed modifications, conceptual design, analysis and timeline.  Those in attendance will have an opportunity to provide input.
The meeting will be held Thurs., October 26 in the Commission Chambers at City Hall.  The open house will start at 5 p.m., followed by the FDOT presentation at 6 p.m.
The roundabout proposal is consistent with the City's longstanding community goal of enhancing connectivity between the Bayfront and downtown, and boosting overall traffic flow, while increasing motorist and pedestrian safety.
To learn more about the proposed roundabout visit     

FREE Basketball Clinic - Oct. 14   Our Robert L. Taylor Community Complex continues to be a popular regional recreational facility.  Now, it has attracted the attention of a former professional basketball player...Jerod Ward.
When Jerod isn't on the road commentating college basketball games for ESPN, the Sarasota area is home base for him.  Now he's giving back to the community by offering his insight into the game and what it takes to compete and excel in this world....through a free basketball clinic for kids.
The clinic will be held Sat., October 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at RLTCC.  Boys and girls ages 5-18 are invited to participate.  There is no fee.  Pre-register at 
Jerod is an uplifting motivational speaker.  In addition to working on basketball skills and drills, kids will learn about the importance of mental and emotional fortitude and how it transcends athletics into every day life.
Congratulations to Recreation Supervision Mark Hamilton for securing this unique collaboration that will benefit many young lives in Sarasota.
Bobby Jones:  Men's Better Ball Championship - Oct. 28 & 29   The 46th Annual Men's Better Ball Championship is coming up at the end of the month and registration is now being accepted.  This popular tournament will be held the weekend of October 28 & 29 at our historic municipal golf course, Bobby Jones Golf Club.
The tournament is open to all males and limited to the first 100 entries.  The registration fee is $190 per team, which includes two rounds of golf (cart included), tee gift, a non-alcoholic on course beverage each day and lunch on Sunday at the end of your round.  
Paid registrations must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 23.  After that time, a late fee of $10 per team will apply.  
Interested? Or know someone who might be?  Visit to learn more and download a registration form.     

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

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

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.
Willie Nelson will be at the Van Wezel Oct. 17 

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

Celtic Thunder Symphony 2017
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.

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.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze will be at the Van Wezel on Dec. 21. 

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

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Tom Barwin
City Manager