Neighborhood of the Quarter
By Vicki Jackson
Photo by Councilman Bill Jonson
Clearwater Beach Association (CBA) was the honored recipient of the 2010 Summer Neighborhood of the Quarter designation. A plaque recognizing their Commitment to Excellence was accepted at the September 9th City of Clearwater Council Meeting by association president, Sue Johnson. She explained that the award reflects, "The City council members and management thanking us for our contributions toward making the city a great place to live, work, and play. Mayor Hibbard cited the uniqueness of CBA, with its volunteer crime watch in conjunction with the Clearwater Police Department (and) numerous community activities."
This isn't the only time the organization has been commended for their efforts, having received two Clearwater Awards for Neighborhoods in 2008 for Attendance (at city meetings/training), and the Mayor's Award for Excellence. According to their website, the CBA was organized in 1944, prior the development of Sand Key and Island Estates, for the primary purpose of keeping an eye on the neighborhood. In addition to other significant contributions toward community betterment, the association was instrumental in the establishment of the first church, a recreation center, and tennis courts on the beach. Eventual concerns over property development and proposed density reductions by city planners compelled the association to become involved in the political arena, and they continue to actively monitor and lobby such activity.
The CBA hosted a forum for city council candidates in February, co-sponsored an Easter Egg Hunt at Mandalay Park in April, and offered their annual Christmas caroling there in December. Members participated in last October's Family Fun Fest for benefit of Tampa Bay Harvest (and plan to do so again), while enthusiastic support of Friends of the Clearwater Beach and Recreation Center is ongoing.
Vice-president, Jerry Murphy, has been with the organization since he came here ten years ago, and had this to say, "We are pleased that the City of Clearwater has appropriately recognized the continuing efforts of the Clearwater Beach Association and permanent residents to maintain and improve quality of life on north beach. It is our objective to effectively represent this neighborhood and environs concerning: city, county, state, and federal statutes, codes and regulations relating to this residential neighborhood and environmental matters. This is where we choose to live, work, and enjoy the benefits of this unique location."
A sign validating the award will be installed on the north end of Mandalay on Clearwater Beach, according to City Public Information Coordinator, C. Eric Wilson. Fittingly, it will be located at Acacia Circle, which is an area benefited by beautification, courtesy of the CBA.
It's easy to understand the sentiment in Johnson's response, upon notification of the award, "Congratulations to all! We are a great neighborhood." When she was asked by Mayor Hibbard for any comment, she replied, "We are fortunate to live in paradise."
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