CLEARWATER — The city council will have the final say Thursday on the winner of a contest that asked local artists to create a logo for the city’s centennial celebration next year.
In response to the call for artists last November, nine submitted a total of 31 prospective logos. City employees narrowed the pool by voting for the top two entries.
A design by Michael O’Connell depicting the Pinellas County Courthouse, Capitol Theatre, Water’s Edge condominium and the Memorial Causeway Bridge received the most votes with 173. Sara Mullins and iQBranding’s entry featuring the bridge, a dolphin and trumpet received 163 votes.
No clear winner emerged during the city council’s work session on Monday.
Newly elected councilman Hoyt Hamilton said that while he liked the logo that garnered the most votes, he didn’t favor including the courthouse and suggested drawing attention to the beach by replacing the causeway bridge with Pier 60.
Favoring the work of Mullins and iQBranding, Mayor George Cretekos said, “Clearwater is the county seat. Unfortunately, we have to keep reminding the county as it moves some of its facilities to Largo or unincorporated areas that Clearwater is still the county seat. I appreciate this artist having the courthouse in there.”
To mark the founding date of May 27, 1915, the city is planning a yearlong celebration. Commemorative activities will be incorporated into existing events including the Martin Luther King Jr. observances in January, the April Fun ’n Sun Festival, the city’s Fourth of July bash and Clearwater Jazz Holiday in October. A historical play, art programs and a centennial ball also are being considered.
The winning logo will be featured on signs, banners, posters and the city’s website.
In other news, the council tonight will select the next vice mayor to succeed Paul Gibson, who recently left the board because of term limits.
At the first council meeting each April, the panel votes in one of its members as vice mayor. That person steps in as acting mayor during the temporary absence or inability of the mayor to perform those duties.
Calling it a “troubling and awkward situation,” Cretekos does not favor the current process that allows councilmembers to cast a vote for one of their peers. Instead, he suggested filling the position on a rotating basis so that each council member has the opportunity to serve in that capacity.
The city council will continue discussions of the vice mayor and centennial logo at 6 p.m. Thursday in its chambers in city hall, 112 S. Osceola Ave. Citizens may address agenda items, or they may speak at the beginning of the meeting on issues not on the agenda.