Downtown Clearwater - There is a merchant in downtown Clearwater that has had the pulse of the city for several years. His name is George Kelly, owner of a downtown Clearwater newsstand.
George Kelly has given his views about the City of Clearwater to most folks in the greater downtown Clearwater area. Bottom line? Kelly thinks that leaders of Clearwater have created a "dead zone" in the downtown area due to the manner in which the new highrise bridge was constructed (where the bridge exit roadway circumvents downtown Clearwater.)
However, there are opposite views about the future of downtown Clearwater. Mayor Frank Hibbard, for one, believes that downtown Clearwater has potential. Hibbard is confident that the new proposed downtown Clearwater boat slip project will help to spur growth and redevelopment. In fact, if the Harborview Center building (hosting Stein Mart with a lease coming due in 2009) is revisited by city planning officials, perhaps a modern shopping/restaurant complex might be added to the downtown revitalization plan.
George Kelly might be correct, however, and downtown Clearwater could remain... a very quiet place.
Let's hope not.
There is some condominium redevelopment growth in the downtown bluff area where Calvary Baptist Church once stood, and with the new waterfront 129-boat slips project, a modern retail/ restaurant complex might just help downtown Clearwater turn the corner. Downtown movie theatres? Imagine.
Problems In Paradise? - It seems as though the small town of Indian Rocks Beach has issues to resolve in order to instill voter confidence.
A rogue former city manager has not expressed interest in returning IRB taxpayer funds to the tune of about $15,000. Civil lawsuit to follow?
A land dispute on the southside of IRB remains unsettled.
A dispute on how Pinellas County might add a public parking lot near 24th street.
City budget issues and replacement of the city manager still unresolved.
And then there is the city of Largo ...
A new city manager is on the agenda.
Some citizens are asking to review the city budget and spending habits of taxpayer funds and fallout due to comments made by Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods during the Steve Stanton fiasco. Did I mention missing records on Stanton's city-owned laptop computer?
Pinellas County government should expect a citizens revolt against property taxes in favor of an increase in sales taxes. If this occurs, then each city in Pinellas County might feel budget cuts.
Trouble in paradise?
Only if you rely on government tax dollars to win the day. Citizens have just about had enough of increasing taxes, increasing fees and increasing homeowner insurance premiums.
Sarasota Bound - In a place where the so-called "arts" are held in high esteem, Sarasota, Florida, may soon make selection for a city manager.
Yes, Sue, (we knew him as Steve) Stanton has applied for the job. Sue Stanton could become the next city manager of Sarasota.
City officials in Sarasota are avoiding discussions of sexual orientation when it comes to questions regarding Sue Stanton. However, recent questions in Largo regarding Stanton representing himself as Sue Stanton at meetings expecting Steve Stanton have not been answered. Same for missing laptop computer information.
Thanks to a Gazette reader that follows government waste of tax dollars, the following travel waste was reported by politicians:
- Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) recently took his wife, nine other Democrats and two Republicans on a tour of the Caribbean. One stop was at five-star hotel at the US Virgin Islands.
- Rep. Eliot Engel (D- NY) recently took his wife and four Democrats to Grenada and Trinidad.
- Over Easter holiday the US military escorted 13 congressional delegations to various vacation spots at a taxpayer cost of over $10,000 an hour flying time.
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi waived traditional requirements that both political parties be represented on these congressional trips. Pelosi said she tried her best to recruit Republicans for these trips.
- Room rates at the five-star US Virgin Island hotel? Up to $1,000 per night.
- Maxine Waters (D-Cal.) met the traveling group in the Caribbean upon her return from Belgium while traveling with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
Voters in the last election thought Democrats would be more frugal in spending taxpayers' funds.
Wrong. Democrats waste taxpayer funds just like Republicans.
Be careful whom you elect to office. You might be surprised to notice how a person might change when given power over spending government money.
Is Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) doing a good job as Speaker of the House?
You tell me.