Barwin out after eight years; Brown takes helm in Sarasota


Editor & Publisher

Elections do bring sweeping changes, at least at the pinnacle of leadership in the City of Sarasota. The month following the election of two new city commissioners brought the end of Tom Barwin’s eight-year reign as Manager for the City of Sarasota.

Last week, the City Commission appointed Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown into the role of interim City Manager with the stated goal of transitioning him into the position permanently.

Three days after that act, the City announced that newly anointed interim Manager Brown appointed Deputy Police Chief Pat Robinson as the new interim Deputy City Manager.

Brown worked under Barwin as Deputy City Manager for the last eight years and was in the position for three years prior to Barwin.

Brown said, “I’m honored to receive the support of the commissioners and excited to work with them and our fantastic team of employees.”


Brown went on to express gratitude for Barwin’s leadership. Barwin, later in the week, wrote, “I’m a bit biased, but we got a lot done together, and there are even more exciting initiatives underway. With exceptional leadership staff in place, and our 700 conscientious city employees getting it done every day, led by the very experienced Marlon Brown, Sarasota won’t miss a beat.”

Barwin added that he plans to remain in the area and said his grandkids love Sarasota’s parks and Lido Beach as well.

Although Barwin was not fired for any stated cause, he worked at the will of the five sitting commissioners who could end his contract at any time. Last month, after the election of Erik Arroyo, it became clear that Arroyo wished to discuss the issue at the next regular commission meeting. It was at the planned meeting last week that Barwin presented a retirement transition plan that includes $80,000 in severance.

Brown was born in the Caribbean and is a native of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree at West Virginia University and a Master’s in City Planning from Georgia Tech.

Brown has previous experience as a County Administrator in Gadsden County, Florida.

Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master’s Degree in Public Safety Executive Leadership from St. Cloud University and is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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