CITIZEN DIPLOMATS - CARVING A PATH TOWARD PEACE SINCE 1963 - THIS BLOG IS OUR NEWSLETTER
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Briefs From Barwin
BRIEFS from BARWIN
From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
November 4, 2016
Photo of the Week
Vertical construction is underway for Urban Flats (formerly Sarasota Flats). Located along Fruitville Rd., between Lemon Ave. and Central Ave., the development will be a mixed use project with 228 residential units and 3,700 square feet of retail space. One of several new residential developments north of Fruitville Rd., it will provide an opportunity to connect the Rosemary District to our vibrant and jobs rich downtown. A key to successful connectivity will be to create a more pedestrian-friendly Fruitville Road. Staff is working on viable alternatives now. In the background, The DeSota (formerly Second Street Apartments), just south of Fruitville Rd., can be seen under construction.
Special City Commission
Mon., November 7 - 1 p.m. City Hall - Commission Chambers Agenda
Mon., November 7 - 2:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. City Hall - Commission Chambers Agenda
St. Armands BID
Tues., November 8 - 10:30 a.m. City Hall - Room 109 Agenda
Historic Preservation Board
Tues., November 8 - 3 p.m. City Hall - Commission Chambers Agenda
FDOT - U.S. 41 Improvements Start Nov. 8 FDOT announced this week it plans to begin an extensive improvement project along U.S. 41 next Tues., November 8. The project will stretch from Browning Street to 11th Street and will include resurfacing the road, installing updated lighting, constructing sidewalks, curbs and gutters, improving drainage and some lane modifications designed for better traffic flow during peak season. FDOT advises there will be nighttime/overnight lane closures along U.S. 41, U.S. 301, Fruitville Rd. and Orange Ave. For more details on lane closures and times click here. This is a $6.2 million investment in Sarasota and we appreciate the State of Florida making these necessary improvements. While much of the construction work is scheduled to be done during non-peak drive times, we encourage everyone to be patient when encountering lane closures. The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2017.
UW Garage Sale - Sat., Nov. 5Join us for the 2nd Annual City of Sarasota Employee Garage Sale -- a fundraiser for the United Way Suncoast! The event will take place tomorrowSat., November 5starting at 7 a.m. at City Hall, 1565 First Street. Look for us in the parking lot adjacent to City Hall on First Street. We expect a good selection of gently used clothes, books, electronics and other assorted items -- all donated by City of Sarasota employees.
All proceeds will go to the United Way Suncoast which assists many nonprofits throughout Sarasota, DeSoto, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties which provide a variety of needed services in the community.
The garage sale will be going on at the same time as the Downtown Farmers Market. So, you can hit both early in the morning! Hope to see you there.
Public Art - Sculpture Recommended Earlier this week, the Public Art Committee heard presentations from the three finalists for the sculpture that will be installed at a future roundabout at Orange Ave. & Ringling Ave. After listening to the artists and public input, the Committee unanimously recommended Jorge Blanco and his submission 'BRAVO!'
Rendering of 'BRAVO!' by Sarasota artist Jorge Blanco.
An internationally known artist and Sarasota resident, Blanco has created captivating pieces that are part of the City of Sarasota public art collection, including "The Runners".
Over 160 diverse submissions were received from artists around the world. The Sarasota community is blessed with an array of talented artists and we're pleased a hometown resident rose to become a finalist in this international competition to create the next addition to the City's public art collection.
The Public Art Committee's recommendation will be considered by the City Commission for final approval in the near future...most likely in early December.
Mayors' Feed The Hungry - Food Drive: Nov. 7 - 18The annual Mayors' Feed The Hungry food drive begins next week on Monday, November 7 and concludes the following week on Friday, November 18.
The food drive will take place in Sarasota, Bradenton, North Port,Palmetto, and Venice. And, drop boxes will be placed at several City of Sarasota buildings where non-perishable items can be donated:
City Hall, 1565 First Street
Sarasota Police Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Last year, the drive provided meals to over 14,000 children and families throughout the Sarasota-area. We're told, though, 40,000 requests were left unfilled. That's a significant need. We hope our special city continues its long standing history of helping those less fortunate.
Veterans Day - City Offices Closed Nov. 11City administrative offices will be closed next Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no change to garbage, recycling and yard waste collection.
All City of Sarasota recreational facilities will be open with regular business hours.
Parade - 10 a.m.: We encourage you to join us in the morning for the annual Veterans Day parade. Held in conjunction with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, the parade will begin at Osprey Ave. & Main St. at 10 a.m. and conclude at Selby Five Points Park on lower Main Street.
Ceremony - 11 a.m.: A ceremony honoring our military veterans will be held at Selby Five Points Park at the end of the parade, at approximately 11 a.m.
Reminder: Veterans Day parade
Finance Dept. - 2 Professional Awards Congratulations to the Finance team -- honored once again by their peers with the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting.
For the 35th consecutive year, the City was honored with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting forthe Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is a 200+ page document that is very detailed. In fact, the City of Sarasota's report is considered to go above and beyond generally accepted accounting practices.
And, for the 3rd straight year, the City was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting. This is an abbreviated version of the CAFR written and presented in layman's terms to promote community participation and understanding of the City's finances.
Both awards were given for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015. To review the CAFR click here. To see the Popular Report click here. Having a strong Finance Department is a critical component of the overall health and well being of the City. And, to know our team is consistently recognized by their peers for their professional knowledge and commitment to transparency is reassuring that the City's finances are in good hands.
Wallet Hub - Top Designation Sarasota has been ranked as a top small city by another national organization. This week, Wallet Hub, a personal finance website, listed Sarasota in the top 4 percent of the Best Small Cities to Live In in America. That's the highest rating for any Florida city. Nearly 1,300 cities were studied by Wallet Hub. Among the reasons given for the high ranking: the overall quality of life here including the number of restaurants, coffee shops and fitness centers per capita. Recently, Sarasota has been included as a top finalist for Happiest Seaside Town in America, Great Place in Florida, and Best Small City in the U.S. This trend seems to be reflected in tourism data we recently received from Visit Sarasota County. The number of visitors is up 3 percent from last year -- and more of those people are traveling with children. Sarasota continues to be the place for spectacular sunsets, cultural arts and award winning local cuisine.
Yoga at the Bayfront Bayfront Park Sat., November 5 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. DetailsInspire Sarasota! Selby Five Points Park