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© St. Petersburg Times, published March 28, 2001
This letter is to commend former Clearwater Commissioner F. David Hemerick for changing his vote on the rezoning request for 4.5 acres of land in the Bayview neighborhood.
This parcel is commonly called the Conley property and has been attractive to developers for some time. We almost lost it this time. By changing his vote, Mr. Hemerick listened to the citizens of Bayview and the recommendation of our own Planning and Zoning Board and did the right thing. As a result, this precious piece of early Clearwater land has been saved once more from development.
The next step is for the city of Clearwater to buy the land itself and preserve it as it is, so that no further challenges to the land's integrity can be made. The citizens of the Bayview area have been quite clear on how much this parcel of land means to them. Plus, its location at the entry to Clearwater from the east provides a new and appealing view of Clearwater as something other than a congested city with a crowded beach. A piece of land with oaks and Indian mounds that is preserved rather than developed would be a pleasant change.
I am sure the citizens of the Bayview neighborhood could provide recommendations for its use once the land was safely and permanently saved from unnatural development.
-- Jane Williams, Clearwater
In that rather strange reporting piece, Penny-fed Pinellas garden grew, the writer chose to criticize the most popular and innovative project now under way in Pinellas County. Pinellas County commissioners are to be commended for acting on the opportunity to acquire and develop this outstanding land.
The Florida Botanical Gardens will define Pinellas County in the same way Busch Gardens defines Tampa. However, it is more than a major tourist attraction; it is a teaching facility. It will highlight Florida's sensitive environment. It will demonstrate landscaping ideas for water conservation and the use of native plants. It will be a center for the Study of Urban Environmental Sustainability.
The Florida Botanical Gardens, along with the gulf beaches and the Pinellas Trail, are good reasons Pinellas County is a great place to live.
-- R. Bruce McManus, Largo
As a winter visitor to Clearwater, may I draw your attention to the Pinellas Trail, which has become a bathroom for pets. The posted signs, "Keep pets under control," do not clearly specify that feces should be removed by owners. Some owners do clean up after their pets, but many do not. Perhaps some signs should be placed along this trail urging cooperation of owners so that prosecution will not be necessary.
Unfortunately, some areas at the rear of homes have been used as dumping grounds, further degrading the beauty of this path. Having the park ranger drive through is not providing the policing that is needed.
Let's not sacrifice this natural beauty by allowing this unclean, unhealthy condition to continue.
-- Fay Wolling, Clearwater
I would like to thank the citizens of Safety Harbor for their support in the recent election for Seat 4 on the Safety Harbor City Commission. I am honored and thrilled to be able to serve and represent you as commissioner of our wonderful city.
I was touched by the response I received from literally thousands of you as I knocked on your door to introduce myself. Your hospitality, honesty and encouragement were personally rewarding and motivating as I campaigned through each neighborhood in our city.
Empowered with your confidence, I am ready to go to work for you. It is my turn to repay all of you with hard work and constant communication so we can make Safety Harbor an even better place to live. Please feel free to contact me any time.
-- Robin Borland, Safety Harbor