Sand Key Residents Vote to Stay the Course
By Anne McKay Garris
A wide difference of opinion in the Sand Key community surfaced, last week, as three nominees for the governing board of the Sand Key Civic Association actively campaigned for the position. Usually, neighborhood associations have to persuade people to serve but, this year, volatile issues in Sand Key have developed strong opinions on how to proceed.
Although the subject has not been on any Sand Key Association agenda and the Association has not taken any formal position, the question of whether or not the three islands of Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, and Island Estates should separate from Clearwater and form their own city was very much a part of the campaign for positions on the Association's board of directors.
Earlier in the year there was a great deal of citizen participation in an effort to persuade the City of Clearwater to refuse approval of a site plan that the citizens felt overloaded a lot on Sand Key. There was also a fierce struggle to prevent re-zoning which could replace the only shopping area on the island with another hotel. When both of these failed, the move to secede from Clearwater developed.
The candidates who feel that separating from the city would be unadvisable, stated a list of projects the City of Clearwater has accomplished on Sand Key in recent years. In spite of their efforts to communicate their position, they were not among those elected to the board.
Those elected include Peggy Dagostino, Dick Jackson, and Cynthia Remley. Arlene Musselwhite was elected to serve out the remaining two years term of office to replace Al DiPolo, who was unable to continue in office.
Following the election, the board elected Jerry Koenig to continue as president of the Association, Gene Gillespie as vice president. Arlene Musselwhite is treasurer and Peggy Dagostino is secretary for 2010.
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