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Councils' actions raise questions of competence


Published June 24, 2004

Re: Beach lease slips into shade, editorial, June 20.

While I voted for the Clearwater City Council's downtown redevelopment proposals and did not agree with the Save the Bayfront group, I am beginning to wonder if our elected officials are able to handle something like they proposed.

If they want the public to entrust them with money and sought-after land, stop doing things that give skeptical people more reason to believe they can't handle such an undertaking. I am on their side, and I question their actions now.

Wake up, council! It should be no surprise the public's support isn't on firm ground.


-- Jeff Read, Clearwater

City correct in accepting pavilion deal

Re: Councilman's kin to keep concession, story, June 18.

Sometimes, some of this controversy doesn't make much sense. When I heard the Hamilton family had made a goof (in their concession bid) and then didn't stand by it, I was a bit surprised, but considering how many years the Hamilton family has contributed to the betterment of Clearwater, I was just as surprised the council didn't overlook the mistake.

Also, how could the city even consider closing the South Beach Pavilion when it would be bringing in $10,000 a month for the city? Renting the umbrellas from Pier 60 on a 50/50 basis couldn't bring in half that much. Not only that, who wants to walk from the pier with an umbrella when they can get one right near where they lie on the beach by renting from the South Beach Pavilion?

I agree with the mayor that the decision to leave the pavilion in the hands of the Hamilton family was the fair thing to do, for the next few months, until a new contract can be drawn up. Certainly the city can't afford to disregard an extra $30,000 for the summer months at the beach, which they'd lose if they closed the pavilion. I'm glad it worked out for the best.


-- Frances Glaros, Clearwater

Other bidders should have had a chance

Re: Councilman's kin to keep concession, story, June 18.

As a long-term resident of Clearwater, I proudly spoke of my city to friends and family around the country. This is not a problem!

The June 18 article about the South Beach Pavilion brought my concerns to greater reality, specifically about the Hamilton bid and the two other bids. It is really a shame that the city doesn't give another person a chance to run a nice little business after one person or family has been running it for 40 years. Further, they pulled all bids because there was an error in the Hamilton bid. If this is not favoritism, I don't live in the United States.

This is a crime and injustice to everyone. Let's give a small guy a chance in the city of Clearwater, not just a City Council family member.

I'm sure there are many people who would like to have that "little business."


-- Nicholas Stefanchik, Clearwater

Pavilion's loss will leave many in distress

Re: South Beach Pavilion concession to shut, story, June 15.

The city's decision to close the South Beach Pavilion was the easiest way out of making a decision that would seem partial.

It's a shame that Hoyt Hamilton being on the City Council has overshadowed the fact that as leaseholders since 1969, the Hamiltons have made the pavilion a landmark for people vacationing here and their children who have grown and look forward to seeing the same people on their vacation. How can the city figure it will gain from losing the revenue from the pavilion, let alone the people employed there who will have to go job hunting needlessly?

Is it better to leave it vacant as a 24-hour hangout for derelicts, drugs and graffiti?


-- Nettie Tallon, Clearwater

City acted fairly in Hamiltons' mistake

Re: Councilman's kin to keep concession, story, June 18.

As to the Clearwater City Council members allowing the Hamilton family to overcome an honest bidding miscue and retain their lease of the South Beach Pavilion, all I can say is "Bravo!"

I have memories, mostly fond, of their pavilion. Perhaps my daughter Amy, who was employed part time by the Hamiltons while going to college, does too.

On the other hand, I recall sitting upon the steps with a fresh hotdog in hand, gazing out at the sparkling gulf, when a pesky sea gull dived down at me, snatched the dog and flew away to enjoy its prize, leaving this dummy with an empty bun.


-- Joseph P. Corell, Safety Harbor

Council took easy way out of problem

Once again, the spineless members of the Clearwater City Council bailed out of a problem they had with the Hamiltons. A bid, is a bid, is a bid. No guts to face the facts.

What's the next thing? Oh, just let the Hamiltons run it for another three years. Nobody will notice.


-- Jim Hall, Clearwater

"Tomato man's' legacy well remembered

Re: A new life for Darling, story, June 13.

After spotting this story, I asked my mother, who is blind, if the story had been read through her radio reading program. It hadn't, so I read the story aloud. I knew that she would be interested because some years ago, she was one of those women who would get her hair done at the salon and buy a $1 bag of tomatoes from Clyde Darling.

We both enjoyed catching up with Darling's latest endeavors. At 88, he is quite a character, having led an interesting, though unusual life. Apparently, Darling and his tomatoes have had quite a following over the years. I would be willing to bet that many readers who wondered what had happened to Darling will recognize him and say something like, "Oh yeah, I bought tomatoes from him."

It is also comforting to know that people have been kind enough to lend this man a helping hand. While he looks comfortable and well cared for in his new surroundings, the "wandering gypsy" may suddenly decide one morning that it is time to move on. Both my mother and I wish Darling well, whatever his plans may be.


-- JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

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[Last modified June 24, 2004, 01:00:37]


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