Mayor Steingold Calls For “Ceiling on Special Events” in Safety Harbor
On Monday night. during a discussion of an ordinance that would formalize procedures for hosting special events in town, resident Patrick Whalen suggested the City Commission reduce the number of large-scale events being held in Safety Harbor.
The majority of commissioners agreed with him.
While it wasn’t even a point of emphasis of Ordinance 2015-10, which formalizes policies that are already in place, three of the five commissioners, including Mayor Andy Steingold, concurred with Whalen when he brought the matter to their attention.
“You, the Commission, have removed one of the pleasant reasons why we live in Safety Harbor,” Whalen, who has a boat docked at the marina, said during Monday City Commission meeting. “All of you campaigned that you want Safety Harbor to remain a small town, quaint, etc…but overuse of the marina and waterfront park has taken away a pleasant lifestyle that we expect to have here.”
“Residents cannot use the marina…because we lose about 15 weekends in the winter. On prime winter weekends, that marina is closed to residents of Safety Harbor,” he added, noting he would like to see the commission reduce the number of special events held in the area.
“I tend to agree with him,” Mayor Andy Steingold said. “At some point we need to put a ceiling on the number of events we have here in Safety Harbor.
“A few of the events I have attended, quite frankly, they weren’t really worthy of shutting down roads or shutting down the marina,” he added. “Maybe at our goal-setting session that’s something we should discuss.”
Vice-Mayor Andy Zodrow, a boater himself, agreed with the suggestion.
“I use the boat ramp quite a bit and it’s very frustrating for me to not be able to use our own public boat ramp, so I understand,” Zodrow said, adding that he also would like to discuss the matter during the goal-setting session.
Commissioner Janet Hooper also said she “concurred that it’s an issue”, and that the commission should address it during their goal setting session, which is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Harborites, what are your thoughts on this issue? Does the City of Safety Harbor host too many special events? Let us know in the comments section.
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I agree with Jim B. To add to this, the Marina is open to folks who have boats at the Marina. When a fence is erected for an event, it is past the entrance to the Marina. However, it is closed to folks coming in to launch a boat at the boat ramp. Notice is given at least a week in advance of this. Oldsmar and Courtney Campbell Causeway both have boat ramps; a simple solution. Sorry Mayor Steingold and Patrick Whalen, the momentum is already there to take Safety Harbor to the next level as not only a great place to live, but a great place to be entertained. Pretty soon we will start hearing from business owners on Main Street that our 3rd Friday’s, with closed off streets, are hurting their businesses.
Paul and Gisela, I agree with you. Host events at the waterfront park (we purchased 13 acres, after all) and the marina can remain open. Of course, this plan will require patience in implementing in that the land will be undergoing 6-12 months of grading, resodding, etc. soon. I personally think events bring LIFE to our city. Cool stuff to do on the weekends. “Community” of interacting with others. I don’t think “quaint” has to mean “a quiet Main Street that LOOKS pretty but is devoid of activity and life”. If a resident wants REAL peace and quiet, I think a better choice in residence would be 2 hours north or south of here … which is probably (I’m just guessing) not what the complaining resident wants, I’m sure he just wants to access the darn marina at any time (which is fair, especially if you have a boat there). I think this is an EASY fix, without having to go to the extreme of capping the number of events. When you do that, who is to say what people want or do not want, event wise. I don’t want the city commission dictating what events occur … that would be over reaching … let the events come, they add life and vibrancy to our city.
Yes, reduce – but which ones? And yes to Paul and Cindy. There were two or three recent events on the former Spa property that left the marina accessible to cars and boats. Seemed to work out fine, although they were smaller events.
I’m wondering… why not have events on the waterfront property alone and leave the marina open to the public?
Paul, that seems like a really reasonable solution! : )
Barbara, the resident actually called for a reduction in special events, whereas Mayor Steingold countered with his comment calling for a “ceiling” on special events in Safety Harbor. Also, the other commissioners did not directly state that they would like to see a reduction OR a ceiling on events, they just concurred with the mayor’s statement that the commission should look into the matter during the goal setting session. That’s why I didn’t use the phrase “Commission calls for” in the headline – THAT would have been misleading, since technically no other commissioners called for the action. Thanks for the comment.
Interesting that the headlines reads ‘Mayor Steingold calls for’, when in fact it was a resident that brought up the issue. This is the second article I’ve read in the Connect that headlines ‘Mayor Steingold calls for ‘ when, in fact, that is not the case.
Here is the second one:
‘MAYOR CALLS FOR HIGHER EVENT RENTAL FEES FOR SOME NONPROFITS’. (The Safety Harbor Connect, April 9, 2015)
As much as you want to place the blame or responsibility on the Mayor, this is just not true. In the case of the nonprofits, this issue had already been decided by the previous commission, when the city budget was created, and the Mayor did not do that alone.
As for the this article, the issue was brought forth by a resident to ‘reduce the number of large-scale events being held in Safety Harbor’, and ‘The majority of commissioners agreed with him’, this is not just our Mayor.
The headlines are misleading.