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    Letters to the Editors

    Imperial Park council violated its rules with pet registration

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2001

    Re: Dog tips scales, divides neighborhood, story, April 30.

    What on earth was the Imperial Park Homeowners Association thinking about when it decided to enforce deed restriction 13, and then sent letters out to the residents giving them so much time to comply, which clearly encouraged folks to buy or adopt new dogs so that they would be grandfathered in?

    You either enforce a rule, amend it or change it. The board violated the restriction by allowing residents to register their dog by a certain date.

    I am an avid dog lover and certainly hope that Jeni and Ryan Countryman are able to prevail in this case. But I am also a Realtor and encourage prospective buyers to do the following:

    1) Before you enter into a contract to purchase a home, get a copy of the restrictions, or make your contract subject to your review of the restrictions. This way you know the rules from the start.

    2) If someone tells you that a restriction, whatever it is, is not being enforced, beware! It is still a rule, and unless the rule is illegal, it can be enforced at any time, as in this case. All it took was one person to complain.

    Most rules and regulations benefit the homeowner and they are necessary when you live in a deed-restricted community. But I also think that associations should review their documents from time to time to determine if certain rules should be changed. Times change, and associations need to keep up with the times.
    -- Nancy Dively, Tarpon Springs

    Dog owners should be commended Re: Dog tips scales, divides neighborhood, story, April 30.

    Today our Humane Societies are filled with discarded pets where owners leave them because they moved and couldn't take their pets. I think Jeni and Ryan Countryman are to be commended for taking a stand to keep their dog, even if it means moving to another home. Riley is a lucky dog to be loved and recognized as a valued member of their family.

    At least the Countrymans have it right. Pets add so much to our lives -- love, companionship, loyalty. I hope this community is successful in standing up for this couple that has lived there for over a year. I think the 35-year-old deed restriction against big dogs is archaic and being applied unfairly. I hope it is overruled by a vote of the homeowners.
    -- Sue Getz, Safety Harbor

    Common sense lost amid redevelopment plans

    Sometimes I can't believe the strange things that happen at Clearwater City Hall with respect to Clearwater Beach. Although I live in Countryside, I'm still very concerned with what happens on "our" beach.

    In spite of horrendous traffic problems on all beach streets at times, we're planning to give away two existing streets (one of which will never be replaced). We need more, not fewer, streets there during times such as spring break and other tourist-overload periods.

    Also, we're planning to add an extra 600 units of density on the barrier island of Clearwater Beach. What will this do to traffic, hurricane evacuation, fire/medical emergencies, and the extreme water shortage we read and hear about every day?

    It looks like our redevelopment plans have overridden our common sense!
    -- Bill Schwob, Clearwater

    Why waste money searching for new city manager?

    In every issue of the Clearwater section of the Times, we read complaints of overspending and so now in Clearwater we are spending not only dollars but lots of time on interviews and such to find a new city manager. Why? How many months has interim City Manager Bill Horne filled this position? What has he done that the rest of the staff doesn't agree with?

    It seems to me that we have an experienced man in the job and one who by now knows the city and its workings. Will the new person know what he knows and will they have the background that Bill Horne has after three years as assistant manager and many months as the interim manager? I don't think so.

    It seems to me that we are doing the same thing we did when we hired Mike Roberto. We are looking for perfection, and it just won't happen. No matter who takes the job, someone with the experience is almost always better able to handle the job than someone who has to learn the ropes of city government and the manager's job at the same time.

    It seems to me that we have a good manager, and most commissioners agree but still want to look elsewhere. This doesn't make any sense. I hope they change their minds about the search and keep Bill Horne. He's done a good job so far.
    -- Fran Glaros, Clearwater

    To all drivers: Use your turn signals

    Do the people of Florida need lessons on using their directional signals when turning at an intersection and switching from lane to lane, or are their right hands incapacitated?

    Since all states, other than Florida, use directional signals, it may be a good idea if the media and police force make it loud and clear to the residents of Florida the consequences for breaking this law. Then maybe we won't have so many accidents.

    I have hesitated many times at intersections and guessed wrong at what the other driver was going to do. I'm sure this is the cause of many accidents.
    -- Joan Cuttitta, Palm Harbor

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