There is ongoing warfare, unfortunately, in Pinellas County.
You can pick it up with the sniping between some of the 24 cities and the county government.
You can read and hear about it every time the county blocks or attempts to block an annexation by, say, Largo or Seminole.
And Ronnie Duncan is tired of it. He wants to change it.
Put it down to the enthusiasm of the new boy on the block. He became a member of the Board of County Commissioners as a result of the last election.
But he is no starry-eyed babe in the woods. He is a mature man, an experience businessman and wise in the ways of the world.
His solution to the strife between the county and its collection of cities is obvious.
Obvious or not, his approach has not really been tried.
Duncan thinks communication and cooperation on common problems is the answer.
He is right.
If there are problems you can bet that in almost every case it is common as to county government and the individual city or cities that may be involved.
Every minute that is spent in a county-city struggle deprives the people.
Every dollar that is spent in a county-city struggle deprives the people.
And the dollars for both sides comes from guess who? Right. The people.
Duncan can do little of major impact as an individual member of the County Commission. But he has made his feelings known.
He was down at Indian Rocks Beach recently and set forth his feelings about the ennervating effect of county-city strife. Duncan lets his sentiments be known in every city he visits in the county, and he is making a point of visiting a lot of them.
One of the big causes of dissatisfaction among the beach communities in particular is that they think they are in the rumble seat.
Face it. The beaches in Pinellas County are the reason tourists and visitors come here. Why should they get short shrift?
A couple of weeks ago at an Indian Rocks Beach meeting there was talk of secession from the county. Of course this is foolishness in terms of any real application. But it reveals a deeply held and true sentiment.
Duncan appreciates the position of the beach cities.
He thinks Gulf Boulevard is the main drag of the county, running from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater, through all the magnet cities that draw visitors and represent Pinellas Count's number one industry.
Beach folks feel they are treated as second class citizens. Duncan made them feel quite the opposite when he was at Indian Rocks Beach a few weeks ago. He lifted spirits. He stayed overtime because IRB commissioners and he engaged in sprited and positive dialogue.
"We have all the ingredients for a nice cake," Duncan says. "We just need to put it together," he said one day recently over lunch.
And the first item in the recipe, obviously, when you talk to this dynamic fellow is the need for talk between county figures and city officials.
Precious little of it -- other than sniping -- goes on now.
Maybe if people, with their penchant to protect their own little piece of turf could put that aside, and look at the big picture, at what's best for Pinellas County overall and talk about it, there could be progress to common accord and goals.
That's what Ronnie Duncan is all about.
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