Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel Addresses Rotary Club of Clearwater
(l-r) Rotarian Terry Simmons, Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel, Rotary Club President, Doug Hilkert
Karen Seel, District 5 Pinellas County Commissioner and Vice Chair, recently spoke to the members of the Rotary Club of Clearwater about the “State of the County.” Rotarian Terry Simmons introduced Seel as a proven leader in helping to improve Pinellas County. Seel was appointed to the County board in 1999 to fill an unexpired term and elected to four year terms in 2000 and 2004. As a representative of the Pinellas County Commission she has been involved in: Chair, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); Florida Association of Counties Board of Directors; Community Traffic Safety Team; Vice Chair of Transportation Committee, Public Technology, Inc.; Tampa Bay Partnership Board of Directors; Pinellas County Children’s License Board; Chair, U.S 19 Pedestrian Task Force; and Chair, MPO Intelligent Transportation System Committee.
Seel related that county revenues from water, trash and sewer are down. Property taxes have declined, as has sales tax revenues. This will have an effect on Health and Human services that can be provided. Our economy has dropped like a rock and will likely take time to recover. County services have been cut 20 percent in the past two years and will likely need to be cut another 20 percent.
Following are some changes that may be considered: The county is investigating sharing work loads with local communities, to prevent duplication of effort; We have 24 beautiful Parks in the county and work crews are being established to work as a team to maintain the parks; (Our parks have more visitors than all the other parks in the state.) Can Animal Services be outsourced?; Can part of the Federal Stimulus be obtained to improve U. S. 19?
Commissioner Seel promoted improvements for Highway 19. She gave credit to Rotarian Bob Clark for originating the idea of distinctive signs on Highway 19, to help drivers identify where to find businesses located on the busy road. She stated that we can look up those signs in the phone book before we get on the road.
Sure enough, the Highway 19 numbers are clearly shown on page 30 of the Clearwater telephone yellow book. Karen Seel has been a busy promoter for good in Pinellas County.
The Rotary Club of Clearwater meets Wednesday noon at the Belleair Country Club. Individuals interested in community service are welcome to consider membership in Rotary, call 727-510-4812.
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