Thomas Barwin's first day on the job as Sarasota City Manager didn't involve a lot of talking — at least at the dais.
Barwin started Tuesday ushering in a new era of city administration leadership but he stressed he wanted to listen more to understand what's going on more than jump in on some of the city's issues he's hearing for the first time.
Though he might not be a chatterbox at the meetings at the start, he hopes that the public will talk to him giving him their suggestions.
"If the city staff service does not resolve your issue is is not to your satisfaction, don't hesitate to call," Barwin said, promoting his open door policy while attending his first Sarasota City Commission meeting. But he wants to hear not just problems, but ideas of opportunities as well.
, Oak Park-River Forest Patch reported. He replaces he had spied on employee's sensitive emails, but no charges have been presented during the investigation. Former interim county administrator Terry Lewis bridged the gap between Bartolotta and Barwin.
Here, Barwin will make $175,000 annually, receive a $15,000 lump sum to offset moving expenses .
He's enjoyed the natural perks that Sarasota's location has provided, he said.
"I have spent more time on the beach in Sarasota in one setting than I have in my entire life," Barwin said. He's also had time to check out the Sarasota Sailing Squadron and the Sarasota Farmers Market during the Labor Day weekend as well, Barwin added.
One of Barwin's trademarks is being an avid bicyclist and jogger, getting out to see the town or city he's managing as well as getting in a car once a week to get updates on construction projects.
Avid walker Mayor Suzanne Atwell welcomes a fellow active body at City Hall and thinks he'll fit in fine.
"I think he will acclimate to this city beautifully," Atwell said.
Budget Process Continues
Sarasota Commissioners also held its first public hearing on the proposed 2012-2013 budget, approving the first reading at Tuesday's City Commission meeting.
The proposed general fund operating millage is 2.9249. The city's budget will need to be approved at a second reading and is due to take effect Oct. 1.
Other budgets approved on first reading include:
• St. Armands Special Business Neighborhood Improvement District (2 mills)
• Golden Gate Point Streetscape Special District (0.2971 mills)
• Downtown Improvement District (2 mills)
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