Representative Frishe Addresses Beach Re-nourishment
By Vicki Jackson
The Sand Key Civic Association (SKCA) had a special visitor to their board meeting last Thursday, September 16. Florida House of Representatives James "Jim" Frishe stopped by the Clearwater Community Sailing Center to deliver an update on the progress toward beach re-nourishment. This phase of the project would include beaches from Sand Key down toward Indian Rocks.
Typically, the majority of the funding is federal, with the balance contributed by state and local resources. SKCA board member, Cynthia Remley, has been working with local governments on the issue. She reported that, while state and local (county) funds have been allocated, federal monies are tied up in an appropriations bill, probably until after the coming elections.
Representative Frishe echoed that sentiment. In what he described as "an incredibly shrewd move", the Administration has put any appropriations on hold, for fear of campaign issues. However, regarding Florida, he felt we would probably not have an issue (with the project), and that "we are in good shape." He explained how our state does well, in part because the beaches are important economically. It is hoped that re-nourishment will commence in the spring.
SKCA board president, Eugene Gillespie, asked if there were other issues the Association should address before the November elections. Frishe noted that several amendments would be on the ballot, such as Amendment 2, which would allow a tax break for deployed military personnel, and Amendments 5 & 6, which would re-divide the state into new election districts. However, he felt the most important issues on the ballot were Amendment 4, Hometown Democracy, and Amendment 8, Class Size. As for the former, SKCA hosted an informative debate in May. The latter, which seeks a change from mandatory maximum per class size, to an average school wide, has been challenged in the Florida Supreme Court.
Another guest, Lt. Eric Gandy, came to give an update on behalf of the Clearwater Police Department. The veteran of two decades professed, "Sand Key is the safest place in the city." He went on to describe new Chief Holloway's dual emphasis on increased customer service, and quality of life issues. Implementation of "Park, Walk, and Talk", is expected to increase contact with citizens and the community. A new "Neighborhood Policing" program, which will assign individual officers to individual neighborhoods for six-month periods, will afford greater opportunity for communication. Intelligence-based policing, together with the crime analysis unit, and Tips 411, an anonymous messaging system, are some of the improvements that will contribute to more efficient operations. In addition, an officer will regularly attend SKCA monthly meetings.
In other matters, the board adopted a resolution to honor the many contributions of founding member, Joseph Calio; reviewed the status of Cabana Club violations; and reflected on the SKCA-sponsored Spring Fest held last April. While members agreed they were successful in bringing together neighbors in a community celebration, it was a learning experience. They will move forward, considering an alternate site and other options for Spring Fest 2011.
President Gillespie explained that SKCA board members are elected for three-year terms and rotated in thirds, as such; the board will seek some new candidates for election later this year. The next meeting of the SKCA will return to the first Wednesday of the month, October 6th, at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. All residents of Sand Key are invited to attend.
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