City offers Barwin $175,000 for annual salary

Thomas Barwin (Photo from

The man selected as Sarasota’s new city manager has agreed to a $175,000 salary.

Tom Barwin’s contract will be reviewed on Wednesday, Aug. 1, by the Sarasota City Commission. Barwin has indicated he would like to start work on Sept. 1.

Despite talk by the city’s headhunter, Colin Baenziger of Wellington, that the City Commission might have to bump the salary range to attract qualified candidates, Barwin’s starting salary will be slightly less than the $176,000 paid to his predecessor, Bob Bartolotta.

Barwin’s employment agreement calls for an annual salary of $175,000, plus a car allowance of $600 per month.

One unusual part of the contract allows Barwin to stay on the job for two years if the city “changes its form of government to anything other than its current City Manager form of governing (such as a Strong Mayor form of government) ….”

The same day the commission will review Barwin’s employment agreement, it will consider an amendment to the city charter to strengthen the role and responsibilities of the city manager. That amendment would break apart the job of city auditor and clerk, putting the “clerking” part of the job under the city manager. The two offices have been at loggerheads for years.

Barwin will serve at the pleasure of the City Commission. If he is terminated or asked to resign and he does so, he will receive a cash payment equal to 20 weeks of “aggregate salary.” Benefits such as his pension and medical and dental care would also continue for 20 weeks. If he resigns on his own, he receives no severance package.

Regarding his move from Oak Park, Ill., Barwin will receive $15,000 in a lump sum “to partially offset expenses associated with the relocation and purchase of a new residence.”

And the city “shall pay for reasonable expenses incurred in packing, insuring, and moving City Manager’s personal property to his new residence in the City of Sarasota. City shall also pay for reasonable expenses incurred in storing any personal property in connection with City Manager’s move to the City of Sarasota through March 1, 2013,” the agreement says.