FL: The City of Sarasota is pleased to announce its Top Ten
Department updates for January 2012:
Calendar year 2011 medical claim trends yield the following:
o Active employee medical claims averaged
$110,555/week. Active employees and their dependents comprise
approximately 60% of our covered members.
o Retiree medical claims averaged $112,507/week. Retirees
and their dependents comprise approximately 40% of our covered
o During the last half of 2011, active employee claims have
stabilized. A factor impacting this stabilization is the active
employee use of the Employee Health Center. Eighty-five percent
(85%) of our active employees have utilized the health center
in the 1st 9 months of its operation.
o Retiree claims have continued to escalate. To date only
17% of our eligible retiree have used the health center.
o We are exploring means to increase the retiree utilization
and alternatives should retiree utilization remain low.
o While ongoing cost containment remains a concern, it’s
important to note that the $11.6 million in 2011 medical claims
is still less than we experienced in 2009, indicating that
the plan changes incorporated in calendar year 2010 have slowed
the tide of the City’s medical cost inflation from the
previous 9.9% per year prior growth rate.
The Commission has been presented with options
for the City Manager recruitment. It is anticipated that this
will be a discussion item at a subsequent Commission meeting.
Once initiated recruitment is anticipated to take 4-6 months.
Human Resources assisted in facilitating
the Commission’s bi-annual goal setting retreat. Goals
established here will be utilized in the budgeting process
for FY 2013 and FY 2014.
As of January 1st Mary Tucker became President of the Sarasota
Bay Chapter of National Institute of Governmental Purchasing
(NIGP) for Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The NIGP focuses
on developing, supporting and promoting the public procurement
profession through premier educational and research programs,
professional support, technical services and advocacy initiatives
that benefit members and constituents since 1944. With over
2,600 member agencies representing over 16,000 professionals
across the United States, Canada and countries outside of
North America, the Institute is international in its reach.
David Boswell, Assistant Manager of Purchasing,
received his Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) national
certification. Obtaining a Certified Public Procurement Officer
(CPPO) designation demonstrates a standard of competency in
the public procurement profession. A CPPO designation indicates
to the public that, having mastered a body of knowledge, one
can make sound decisions that reflect maximum value for the
taxpayer's dollar. The Universal Public Procurement Certification
Council (UPPCC), the issuer of the CPPO designation, is accredited
by the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management.
Many local and state governments formally recognize the CPPO
designation as meaningful standards for employment and advancement
of public procurement personnel.
At their January 6, 2012 meeting, the Government
Finance Officers Association for the State of Florida (FGFOA),
which Chris Lyons currently serves as President, has begun
the planning for its School of Government Finance that will
be held in Sarasota during November. This event will bring
government finance professionals from around the State to
the Hyatt for a week of training and hopefully spending sizable
amounts of cash within the City.
Neighborhood Development Services
Public Art – The second cycle of the Showcases Public
Art project is now officially underway with the opening of
the “New Deal Gallery” in the Federal Building.
This program invites six local artists to display their art
in one of the City’s Public Buildings for a quarter
of the year. There is no cost to the City and no charge to
the artist to participate in the Showcases program. To celebrate
the opening of the “New Deal Gallery” exhibit,
an Artists Reception was held at the Federal Building on Friday
evening January 27th. The public was welcome to attend the
first exhibit and light refreshments were served. Hopefully,
building on this successful effort in the Federal Building,
other City Buildings can be included in the Showcases program
in the near future.
FREE Business Workshops in North Sarasota
– The Kick-off to a series of four Free Business lunch
time workshops began on Wednesday, January 19, at the new
“Hive” – Business Resource Center, located
at 2714 N. Osprey (next to the Newtown SCTI Campus). The topic
for the workshop was “Understanding Your Credit”
which focused on the importance of building and monitoring
your credit, knowing the functions of the credit bureaus,
and how your score can affect your business. The workshop
is a partnership between the Newtown Redevelopment Office
and State College of Florida’s (SCF) Small Business
Development Center (SBDC) and is taught by Carolyn Griffin
of SCF. The workshops are a continued effort of the North
Sarasota Entrepreneur Collaborative (NSEC) to meet the needs
of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. The next workshop,
“Legal Structures of Business” will be Wednesday,
February 16th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.
North Sarasota Community Continues to Support
the District One Community Forums – On Thursday, January
12, Commissioner Willie C. Shaw held his third District One
Community Forum as part of his quarterly updates regarding
North Sarasota projects and community concerns. The forum
took place at Pines of Sarasota and consisted of presentations
ranging from Community Policing, NSP Grants, Youth Empowerment,
North Trail Redevelopment Partnership, North Sarasota Workforce
Initiatives, Business Assistance Programs, 17th and Orange
Drainage, North Sarasota Public Library and an update by Manatee
County Rural Health Services regarding the potential development
on the Marian Anderson Place site. With roughly 100 people
in attendance, from different sectors of the community including
neighborhood associations throughout District One, many attendees
expressed their ongoing support and satisfaction with the
community-wide forums. The next District One Forum is scheduled
for March 8, 2012 at Harvest Tabernacle.
The Sarasota Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit
has been investigating cases in which six individuals were
charged with sex offenses on a 17-yr-old victim. The State
prosecuted Charles Simmons on a capital sexual battery charge
that occurred 10 years ago in the county involving this same
victim. SPD Detective Halpin and SPD Officer J.D. Miller testified
at that trial and spoke about the six arrests that our agency
affected after the judge ruled that they were relevant. As
a result, Charles Simmons was convicted and sentenced to life
in prison on 1/24/12.
Public Works Department
THE GET ENERGY SMART PROGRAM – We will be closing out
this program with Dwell Green the end of this month. We are
at 98% of $85,000 in funds expended which has produced over
$350,000 in projects.
Bobby Jones Golf Course – Notification
has been received that Bobby Jones Golf Course was once again
voted the Best Public/Semi-Private Golf Course in the Sarasota
Herald Tribune’ s 2011 Reader’s Choice awards,
making it 16 years of receiving this recognition.
Bobby Jones Golf Course – Is currently
looking for a new restaurant vendor. A RFP is on schedule
to be released by the end of January with an anticipation
of having a vendor chosen by mid-March. The agreement with
the current vendor, Mulligan’s Grille, ends on March
Public Works Utilities
As per the suggestion made by Commissioner Snyder, our customer
bills have been updated to include a “QR Code”
(aka Smart Phone Code). Scanning the code automatically takes
customers to our City Website where they can receive current
news and information on City programs, and they can even pay
their water bill online. The use of QR Codes, typically for
marketing and outreach to consumers, has grown over 5000%
since January of 2010!!
The Verna Well Field Aeration Rehabilitation
Project has recently begun construction. The project will
upgrade the aeration basin, which removes unwanted natural
occurring gases from the raw water, such as hydrogen-sulfide.
Benefits of this project include: improved taste and odor
of our potable water and chemical consumption reduction. The
project will take six months to complete. Customers should
not notice any difference in their drinking water during the
As of January 24th the Van Wezel has sold 11,817 more tickets
and $902,657 more than last year at this time.
Over 500 patrons enjoyed a New Year’s
Eve Party hosted by Mattison’s in the Grand Foyer and
on the bay front by the Hall complete with fireworks. On New
Year’s Day the Van Wezel continued its long standing
tradition of ringing in the New Year with a performance of
Salute to Vienna.
The Van Wezel hosted two family nights this
month one at Step Afrika and the other at Blast! At a family
night an adult purchases a ticket and gets to bring a student
for free which encourages new audiences to the theatre. After
the show refreshments are present in the Grand Foyer (hosted
by a number of sponsors) and get to meet with members of the
cast, ask questions and sign autographs. These events draw
patrons of all ages and are extremely popular!
For more information contact Deputy City