Things have gotten ugly here in “Mayberry By The Bay”
Will someone, please, save Safety Harbor from those who say they are “Saving Safety Harbor?”
Lately, things have gotten mean and ugly here in “Mayberry By The Bay.” Over the past year Safety Harbor has lost much of its friendliness. Suddenly, neighbors are being pitted against neighbors. I just saw Aunt Bee running from a mob carrying pitchforks. Nothing, apparently, is out of bounds — not as long as it promotes the agenda of a handful of vocal agitators who act like Safety Harbor has been going downhill ever since somebody screwed up and allowed electricity into town. Damned progress! Their answer is to do whatever it takes to stop any and all development or growth. Civility and respect need not apply. Personally, I disagree. But one of my neighbors with a bullhorn is angered by my disagreement. So, in the last six months I’ve had so many visits from City Code Enforcement, Pinellas County Sheriff Department deputies and the tree police that I now ask about their children and pets.
And just for the record: No infractions of any merit. Only harassment.
Simply, it’s sad. Even worse, the same thing can happen to you.
So, neighbors, I’m asking, please, keep eyes and minds open as we move toward March’s city election. There is a huge difference between preserving quaintness and suffocating all future potential. Think about it: Do you really want to reach a point where permission (and a permit fee) is needed just to trim a tree limb? We’re not to that point yet, but that’s one of the stated goals.
Which bring us to the candidates.
In one corner, Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan. Both can be described as “pro-growth.” That does not, however, mean they want to pave paradise, only that they are not opposed to putting a fresh coat of paint on it. But that open-mindedness is just enough to allow opposing zealots to bemoan the idea of “developers” being elected. And in the other corner, Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper … Which means those who detest “a developer” being elected are pushing an attorney (insert lawyer joke here) and the director of a local charity that receives money from the city, meaning she will have a conflict of interest and will not be allowed to vote on many issues, including the city budget. What’s their logic? When Safety Harbor slips and falls into a wasteland they can sue somebody? Or claim they didn’t have a vote?
Two words: Good grief.
Every city needs a steady infusion of new residents to keep it running. And the really special communities also have a unique character and appeal that draws admiring visitors who spend money, infuse the local economy and support businesses. But the misguided beliefs of some among us are pushing for a figurative fence around Safety Harbor to keep others out and status quo locked inside. Opportunity only knocks for so long before moving on to a place where it is welcome. Safety Harbor’s future is rich with quality-of-life opportunity but it is being choked by a ball-and-chain desire by some to never move forward.
Don’t buy into it.
There is no better example than the Waterfront Park plight.
Three years ago — Feb. 29, 2012 — the City spent $2.75 million to purchase approximately 13 acres of Tampa Bay shoreline property from the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa for general public use and enjoyment. After the purchase was completed residents enthusiastically offered ideas for what should be built. A Waterfront Park steering committee was appointed to pick from all the ideas and propose a plan. The volunteer committee members gave up more than six months of their time and lives to made recommendations that would have invigorated Safety Harbor’s quality of living. Now, three wasted years later, not only has the recommendation been ignored, city leaders are actually listening to a demand to do nothing with the property beyond letting grass grow. Once it was easy to imagine the visual beauty of walking-jogging trails, kayaking/canoeing, children enjoying a splash park, boating, public entertainment and envious admiration from other municipalities. Instead, the Waterfront Park now has only one functional use: a place to take dogs to poop — and few bother to pick up. Acquiring the Waterfront Park land and then deciding to do nothing with it makes as much sense as buying a new luxury car and never taking it out of the garage because that way you do not need to get gas.
Come on, Safety Harbor.
We have the ingredients to be an attractive, active downtown envied by all. A vibrant downtown district can only benefit Safety Harbor’s future and lifestyle. But we can’t even get a market to come into town.
Way to go, anti-growthers. You’re saving Safety Harbor — from bettering the lives of residents. ~Mick Elliott
Worth noting: This story was written and posted in Feb. 2015 — more than five years ago.
And safety Harbor’s mean people have only grown more nasty.
Facts, not rumors. http://www.informedsafetyharbor.com
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN UGLY HERE IN “MAYBERRY BY THE BAY”
Mayberry didn’t have any 7 story high rises and plans for more…
I love my condo. The view is spectacular and my neighbors are wonderful. Wonder what your neighbors think of you? And I don’t see any other 7 story condos built or planned. So where are they?????
What a completely biased story. The “ugly” in this town is completely one sided and his name is Joe and the lies he and his backers are trying to spread. Anyone who pays more for a campaign manager, than he will make “serving” the residents of Safety Harbor, should be closely watched for his true intentions. Growth within the tax payers and Safety Harbors budget is what is needed. Not Joe and his developer backers steam rolling through our little town. Seven story waterfront condos? Marina restaurant? (Which by the way, will take out the boat ramp used by many). Vote Joe in, and say goodbye to your quaint, local run businesses town, that visitors love…As far as Andy Zodrow being an attorney, he is an Environmental attorney, who lives and raises his family in Safety Harbor, a town he loves and cares about.
I was just down at the Marina and the boat ramp is still there. And Zodrow votes NO to downtown business unless he patronizes the establishment.
As far as I know the boat ramp is still there and a long wait list. And Zodrow votes NO to any downtown improvements.
What some consider an “improvement” others see as local politicians negociating with developers to “improve” their OWN financial status (AKA kickbacks)……we know what you people are up to
Implying kick backs is a very serious accusation. You better be able to deliver facts to support that or you’re slanderous. And a huge part of the problem.
I have only lived in Safety Harbor for just over 4 years so I can not comment from direct knowledge on the condo but I will say this: it would be a better fit in Clearwater Beach than the planned location & frankly hope one or more of the many environmental agencies put a stop to it.
I grew up near Washington DC so I know how glacially the federal government can move so I think the park is moving forward at a reasonable pace. Once the numerous permits get approved progress should be much faster. Development of the park should be done at a pace that can be done without raising taxes or fees. Given the current parking issues that occasionally arise during events I think putting a restaurant in the park is a bad idea. A food stand that could support the park users without attracting “destination diners” would be more appropriate. There are already several excellent restaurants on & near Main Street.
I find it rather strange that so many postings have no last name and possibly don’t even live in Safety Harbor. I wonder who has been funded the most by outside money? I bet I know the answer.
Folks, one only has to spend 10 minutes to look over the records and experience of the candidates running for Safety Harbor Commission seats and you will quickly realize that Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan is the ONLY intelligent choice for our beautiful city.
This was a great read and so true. I agree Safety Harbor is a jewel. But it needs some polish. For the life of me I can’t understand why some city commissioners (Zodrow) don’t want improvements and amenities to the Waterfront Park. We would be the envy of the county and it would help downtown. Wake up commissioners!! Grading, new sod and a sidewalk? That’s it? I love Safety Harbor but as this blog says, we need leadership that will pull us forward and make improvements to the city.
This blog and chain of comments that follows should be an embarrassment to some of the posters. Trashing each other in a public forum is a disgusting shame and should be kept among yourselves. Get some couth. None of you are gaining any fans through your display of childish immaturity. Honestly is scares me to think that your decision making ability is what is going to shape the future of our town when you argue like 5 year olds on the playground. Tighten up!
My feeling is that there are some characteristics that make Safety Harbor a desirable place to live. This town is unique in this area in that it is essentially the last frontier. The thought that “big development” could sneak in during the night and look to exploit the city and its land isn’t too hard to imagine. Ask St. Petersburg how it worked out for them in the 1990’s. There is money to be made here by developers. That’s their goal, to make money for them and not share any responsibility with us. They’re here for long enough to make their bucks and then move on to the next gold mine. How does that translate to income earned by the city and how does that benefit the quality of life that the candidates mentioned over and over? There are costs associated with a growing municipality and we are going to foot the bill for that. Is it the desire to become a replica of every other town in Pinellas County? All of this talk of growth without a definition of what that growth is should be a little alarming to you.
Huzzah to Mr. Elliott for kicking over a hornet’s nest that needed the jolt. That’s obvious from the response his blog has generated.
It seems there is a lot of pent-up feeling here. I have no dog in this fight, but I must agree with Mr. Elliott’s sentiments. Mainly because I don’t want to live in a community where you need a permit to walk your dog.
That said, I don’t live in Safety Harbor. I’m just a snowbird who took a wrong turn off the Courtney Campbell a few years ago. Of all the gin joints, I ended up there. It was one of my better mistakes since I found the place an oasis among the paved-over hell that is Pinellas County.
My wife and I have visited frequently and are considering making it our home after I retire from my counseling practice. If nothing else, it seems fertile ground to use my psychological training to help certain people deal with anger-management issues.
I’m not educated enough on the Safety Harbor’s political issues to offer an informed opinion on those dramatics. But I’ve been involved in enough civic land-use proposals back home to know that if the park-acquisition issue Mr. Elliott cites is any indication of Safety Harbor’s municipal acumen, the city should just put the Three Stooges in charge. The Allies defeated the Axis powers in four years. It shouldn’t take that long to build a waterfront park.
Look, nobody wants Safety Harbor to turn into Brandon. But growth is not a four-letter word. And sure I don’t want to live in a place where a spat with the volunteer tree-branch police gets me on city hall’s Enemies List.
My professional advice: Put the personal animus aside. Wake up and smell the future.
Safety Harbor is good. With proper leadership, it could be great.
Mr. Elliott, super post, very well stated and so true. Please know, MANY are 1000% behind you. Know Joe Ayoub & Chris Logan have our votes.
Progress & development.. what a novel idea. I’m happy to hear you are viewing your visits with Safety Harbor/Pinellas Counties “finest” as somewhat of a social event. They’re really a great group of people.
If I were Janet Hooper and Andy Zodrow I believe I would want to distance myself from certain individuals.
It’s really unfortunate that these “Saving Safety Harbor” people are so devious. It also surprises me that two “Andy” commissioners allow them to behave in such a sly manner. I saw it at last years election and now they are back. I see them at every commission meeting. Zodrow can’t answer a question without looking to them for support. Have our commissioners become puppets to this “group” of people? I would speak up to them but personally, I’m afraid of them. We all know that this is not about trees…it has everything to do with lying to win an election. Logan and Ayoub show a lot more class and I like their thinking so that’s who I will be voting for. I’ll be contacting them for signs tomorrow and encourage everyone else to do the same. One last thing…please get the waterfront park moving so my children can enjoy it, we voted on it, it was passed so get it done already…and put the benches back please! Waiting ten more years, like Steingold said can’t happen.
Mr. Elliott, super post, very well stated and so true. Please know, MANY are 1000% behind you. Progress & development.. what a novel idea. I’m happy to hear you are viewing your visits with Safety Harbor/Pinellas Counties “finest” as somewhat of a social event. They’re really a great group of people.
What you and Desanya have done for Safety Harbor over the last 3-4 years far exceeds what most know…You’ve purchased several properties at top dollar, totally renovated all, cleaned up the neighborhood, pay investment property taxes, pay hotel taxes on top of real estate taxes, employee local contractors personally/professionally, support ALL local businesses and encourage your visitors /guest to patronize the village.
May I ask, what have your neighbors done for SH?
Mr Elliott, I only have 1 problem with your post. You didn’t say you were running in the City elections?
If the facts are as you state in your response above, I agree with you. If someone is going about their own affairs in compliance with the law, then I believe they should not be subject to harassment, false claims or demonstrations against them. If one disagrees with an ordinance, the proper course is to work to get the law changed, not to harass those who comply with the law. Though I deplore the demonstration, the demonstrators do have freedom of speech rights. Sometimes we have to accept things we don’t like to preserve our own freedom of speech rights.
In Ms. Daly’s comment, she states that I own “investment property” on Tucker Street and implies that I am somehow involved in the demonstration and/or complaints to code enforcement. It is true that I own a house on Tucker Street that I rent out on an annual basis. Ms, Daly’s innuendo, however, is totally false. I did not know of the complaints or demonstrations until someone directed me to your posting. Neither I, nor my wife, had anything to do with either, and Ms. Daly’s snide coincidence comment is totally without support.
For the record, Ms, Daly and I are political opponents in the upcoming city election. Ms. Daly is a crony of James R. Barge. James R. Barge and his cronies use the tactics of innuendo, unsupported (and untrue) allegations, intimidation, bullying and outright lying to try to smear the character of their opponents. If you want evidence of Mr. Barge’s character, check the recent police reports of his activities.
I’m not complaining. I take the virulence of Mr. Barge and his cronies’ attacks as evidence of just how effectively we are getting the word out about the candidates and the issues.
I strongly agree with Mick Elliot’s well written article and can not believe the lengths people have gone to to make this personal with the accusations against him and “his wife”. I have met them both and they are delightful and I believe they have enhanced the neighborhood and community with the renovations they have done. Some people just can’t handle change of any kind or maybe they are jealous. Just saying. I will strongly support Ayoub/Logan.
Mick, I could not agree with you anymore on your piece! The area could use many improvements astectically. And I would love to meet you for a beer some time. Chris and Joe have my vote!!!!!!!
I have been involved in the Safety Harbor community since 1989, and have lived in Safety Harbor around 15 years, have 3 different business in Safety Harbor, and I am now raising my son in Safety Harbor. Safety Harbor was and STILL is a great town, but like with everything if it doesn’t continue to grow and evolve it will not continue to stay a great town. We should really try and keep the focus on the issues and keep from getting personal because one of the great things about Safety Harbor is that it is a friendly place. As residents of Safety Harbor we should want to see our town evolve and grow without losing the history and charm that Safety Harbor is known for, and we should work together as neighbors to ensure this happens in a responsible way that doesn’t do harm to our beloved city. The issue (in a nutshell) as I read it was the city purchased land from the spa (who by the way has done a lot to put the City of Safety Harbor on the map as a place to visit) with plans to develop another park (which is always a good thing), then took a poll from residents of Safety Harbor on how to develop said land. The RESIDENTS decided on what features they would like to see in this waterfront park. For whatever reason the commission decided to remove some of the features voted on by the residents for a more “passive” park, but lets be honest it’s pretty much just going to be a field with a sidewalk down the middle which will do nothing to attract more visitors to Safety Harbor. As a dad of a 5 year old son, and a resident of Safety Harbor, I want to see a park with shade structures, picnic tables, and play areas for my son to enjoy. That would mean I wouldn’t have to go to Dunedin or Oldsmar because they both have parks with water feature for kids to enjoy. Also as a personal trainer and fitness coach I can tell you that childhood obesity is not on a decline so the more options we have for kids to get outside and move the better, so a park with shade, picnic tables and play areas for kids is definitely needed. The question you should ask yourself is how does a park, developed with the features that the residents of Safety Harbor picked, hurt Safety Harbor….it doesn’t! So let’s refrain from harassing/bickering with our fellow neighbors for wanting to see Safety Harbor continue to evolve and work toward keeping this a great town to live. Great article Mick!
Barbara believe me I don’t need anybody to educate me, I am one tough cookie which most have witnessed & I always seek the truth through research in places you won’t even consider or think about looking!
What I am going to express has nothing to do with the election so I appreciate if you can refrain from my candidate is better than yours, my feeling is to each her/his own!
Going back to last year when Laura Macias Dent came to visit me & wanted my help with the tree issue which I was happy to do, back then none of you were helping her so she & I was the only ones at the Commission meeting when she first presented the tree issue, after she spoke I got up and told the commissioners “A tree brought me here & that I supported Laura Macias Dent” by the way just for the record I do love trees, what I dislike is when you all got involved & started picketing, your mean attitude towards the Spa, telling their employees to quit their jobs, bad mouthing the Spa all over the internet, preventing potential customers from patronizing our city; your negative attitude almost ruined our businesses, did you know I almost bankrupted & was in the verge of losing my beautiful boutique which is my lifeline, passion & reason for living therefore anybody who jeopardizes my livelihood can never be a part of my life & it automatically kills my respect towards those who do which should answer your question “Why Can’t We All Get Along?”
As for your Facebook page which I have a problem with due to your negative attitude with copyrighted images of Mickey & Goofy, I tried to inform all of you but my post conveniently got deleted; proper & honest thing would have been to admit your mistake & get permission to use it or remove the images, is it all worth it to complicate life with so much negativity & hostility towards those who have a right to live their life with harmony & freedom that they deserve!
In closing I Love Safety Harbor & Support the Facebook Community Page “Loving Safety Harbor” please visit then Like & Share!
My censored comments can be viewed on Saving Safety Harbor facebook page.
Personally, I thought Mr. Elliott’s opinion was offered with great humor. And after reading many of the ensuing comments by those who reacted with such venom, I was drawn back to the beginning of his writing:
“Nothing, apparently, is out of bounds——-not as long as it promotes the agenda of a handful of vocal agitators who act like Safety Harbor has been going downhill ever since somebody screwed up and allowed electricity into town. Damned progress! Their answer is to do whatever it takes to stop any and all development or growth. Civility and respect need not apply.”
I’d have to say you are proving him right.
Never should a community go out of its way to make new residents feel unwelcome.
Shame on you!
This City needs good YOUNG forward thinking commissioners with new and productive ideas, commissioners who care about the people who elected them and the City they live in. I know Chris Logan and his love for this community and desire to make it even better for the future.
Hehehe-At least contributions are listed like they should be!! Not just loans from themselves to their campaign! Afraid of submitting contributors names or just waiting till March 12 th to show them!! Hmmm! I am not th.e pne living in an almost a half a a dollar home built by a close friend and developer.Another hmmm!
I find it interesting that the Connect is refusing to post my message that was sent yesterday. A little “censorship” going on here? It is a copy of the email that I sent to the City.
I agree with Mr. Elliott and think his comments are right-on! I have visited the charming town of Safety Harbor countless times with its unique restaurants and shops and think a beautified Waterfront Park would further enhance its special ambiance.
In response to a “handful of agitators” Mr. Riggle, it is not saving Safety Harbor, when good people buy a home and are harassed. The following are facts, not rumors. My friends bought an investor owned house on Tucker St. They didn’t tear it down, but hired a local contractor to add 900 square feet. The addition called for trimming an oak tree. They hired a local, licensed arborist. All permits were in place. Everything above board, neighbors, all happy, except one. Next thing, a “handful of agitators” in front of the house taking pictures, calling the arborist, curse words, yelling, at my friends. The unhappy neighbor then posted a Zadrow and a Hooper sign. The next day code enforcement showed up on a complaint. He told my friends they had done everything correctly. I love trees, I’m glad Safety Harbor is protecting trees. I like people even more than I like trees, who is going to protect the people from these handful or as Mr. Riggle states even more than ” a few agitators. “
Guess who also owns an investment home on Tucker? Mr. Riggle – another coincidence? Don’t think so.
I suppose most of you that support this letter do not support the tree ordinance and the discussion that is now taking place. Well you can thank many of the supporters of Saving Safety Harbor for starting the sign waving and the march to city hall that made the discussion even on the table. Many of us are professional business people and are not the negative description that a few are saying. (wackos) What is disturbing some now as we approach an election is the fact voters now have their eyes open as to what has been happening with the development for profit. Take a look at the Iron Age properties..Is that suppose to fit into a downtown area with absolutely no front yard.
Hysterical! Because it is SO true. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Well said… very well said Mick. It’s great to see that some people can see through the wackos misrepresentation of the facts. Thank you for taking the time to write to share the truth that most of Safety Harbor agrees with (in a very entertaining way). Let’s just hope more people like you come out to vote.
FYI from January 21, 2015….
> From: Matthew Spoor
> Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 4:13 PM
> To: City Commissioners
> Cc: Marcie Stenmark; Karen Sammons; ‘Nikki Nate’; Alan Zimmet; ‘email@example.com’
> Subject: FW: Desanya Daly
> From: s [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 3:53 PM
> To: Matthew Spoor
> Subject: RE: Desanya Daly
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Desanya Daly
> Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:50:23 -0500
> Please disseminate this to ALL parties who have been copied on any emails concerning this matter, including the attorneys involved, and especially Attorney Nate, who will be addressing the Code Enforcement Board this evening.
> Let me begin by telling you all that I have never received a copy of the email that Desanya Daly sent last February until today at 2:30 pm.
> However; I recall the incident clearly. I was helping a neighbor (Bob Hempel) pass out campaign brochures and he handed one to a man on the street. The man was with a woman and some dogs on the street. What started as a friendly chat about development in Safety Harbor disintegrated when the woman said to us, “If you are so concerned about the city, why don’t you volunteer on a committee, like my husband does, on the Museum Committee?”
> I had no idea who she or her husband was, but my response was: “Yes, we both volunteer. Bob (Hempel) teaches kids to read, and I volunteer on the Code Enforcement Board.”
> Upon hearing the words: “Code Enforcement” the woman flew into a rage, and very loudly informed me that:
> 1. She was furious that she had to ask for a variance for her carport, that she should not have had to get this variance.
> 2. “It’s all about money here in Safety Harbor”.
> 3. That “you people” are just jealous because “you can’t afford to buy a big house”.
>> I told her that
> 1. Code Enforcement has nothing to do with variances, and
> 2. that I had no knowledge of her carport or her variance, and
> 3. that she doesn’t know anything about me.
>Bob apparently already knew her, and he just walked away. She was clearly agitated, and after a few moments, I walked away as well.
> Bob and I split up, and I went one way and he went another. Bob later informed me that she came “looking for us” again later, and found Bob. She continued to “give him a piece of her mind”. I did not know her name until Bob told me later that evening.
> Months went by without incident, but about 4 or 5 months later, at about 9:30 at night, I was in my living room when I heard a commotion outside. Someone was yelling in front of my house. Believing that it must be a neighbor, I stepped outside, and although it was dark, I could hear a woman yelling my name. I asked, “who are you”?, and she answered Desi Daly. I asked “what do you want”? She began yelling again, that she “saw me drive by her house and give her the finger”. Not (immediately) remembering who Desi Daly was, I said I don’t even know where you live. She gave her address, and repeated that she SAW me giving her the finger. I told her that I had no idea what she was talking about. She again yelled that she SAW me because she has a security system.
> That’s when said:
> “Desi, I think you have a mental problem”, and I went back inside my house.
>> The very next day, Desi came to my house AGAIN, at around 10:00, she came up to the front door and rang the bell. My husband answered the door, and she asked if I was home. My husband stated “no, she’s at work”. Desi did not say anything more and left.
> It is clear that there is someone here in Safety Harbor that doesn’t like Desi Daly, but I do not do “drive – by – bird- flipping” to Desi or anyone else.
> As for her alley, I heard about her attempt to have her neighbor’s bushes pulled out and saw a posting on a friends’ facebook page, and maybe this is what has triggered her new complaints about me. I really don’t know. I have nothing to do with the alley that she shares with her neighbors, although I AM sympathetic to her neighbors.
> I have been accused by Commissioner Diaz of “trespassing and harassment” two unlawful activities. He has called me a “Gestapo”. Apparently, based solely on this woman’s year-old email, that has suddenly resurfaced. The email is not credible, and has no basis in fact.
> But, Carlos Diaz is fervent in his goal to “kick her off” the code enforcement board.
> Isn’t it odd that Carlos is so hell-bent on “kicking me off” when an election is coming up?
> Isn’t it odd that Carlos doesn’t want to find out the facts?
> Is it simply coincidental that Carlos (and Desi) don’t like my political views?
> I think not. It is simply a political move.
> I have served on several advisory boards throughout my career. I was the chairman of the Grievance/Ethics committee for the Board of Realtors and served for several years on Professional Standards, and on the Board of Directors. I have held numerous licenses, registrations, and certifications in the medical field, as well as holding a broker’s license and a builder’s license for nearly 30 years. I have practiced law for 8 years, and in more than 40 years, I have never had a complaint against any of my professional licenses.
> But Carlos would have you believe that I am “trespassing and harassing” people. Serious allegations for sure, but simply not true.
> I don’t know who-all received the original email, or whatever she sent recently, but the Code Enforcement Board should not be denigrated by her false claims against me.
> Shelly Schellenberg
WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH?
ASK DESI’S NEIGHBORS THE QUESTION.
Shelly, again you just proved Mick’s point. You get a lot more with honey than vinegar. You are the one that got upset with us over our support of the town homes. You could have said “Hi I am your neighbor Shelly Schellenberg and I am very involved with the city, in fact a volunteer for the code enforcement board. ” We would have thought nothing of it and would have said the same thing as we did before “I guess we will have to agree to disagree.” But that is not your MO – as we have to talked to others we have found you have done this many times. The only time Mick and I yell is when we are telling the dogs to stop barking. And as for our neighbors behind the alley, I have not yelled or am I upset with them. In fact we have had nice conversations on the front porch and kitchen table discussing the alley. We disagreed that we were not able to put a fence along the back with a permit but that does not mean we don’t like them. In fact we do. We understand change is hard and they were used to having the alley to themselves. The city gave us a 10′ alley with a 1′ set back on each side. Our side has the 1′ set back but the other side is not so if anyone has a problem getting in and out of the alley then they need to address it with another homeowner.
Have a nice day and please feel free to stop by anytime and maybe we can introduce ourselves again. We don’t have to be friends but I do believe in treating others as you would want to be treated.
Desanya Daly, we are still waiting for the results of your lie detector test. Anyone who knows both of us do not believe a word that you or Mick say about us. Your neighbors may be afraid of you, but we are not, and we will call you out for your nasty and dishonest comments. I will stop telling the truth about you when you stop lying about me.
Please pay for it and I will take it! Then everyone will know.
Ouch, that had to hurt! You got busted….,.You deserve it.
Mr. Riggle did not get busted…he told the truth.
Melissa, you have a lovely season rental home. In fact we recommend your home all the time. But you do not live here full time and are not a full time resident. Do you really REALLY know the truth? Please feel free to stop by the next time you are in town. We would love to meet you. We strive to take care of our properties to look their best every day for our neighbors and community.
This is written in response to Mick Elliott’s posting on 8 February 2015 in Safety Harbor Connect. I want to point out that Safety Harbor Connect is owned/controlled by Richard Blake, currently a city commissioner (not for long as he is not standing for re-election) and a crony of James R. Barge as is Mr. Elliott. In the interests of full disclosure, I would further like to state that Shelly Schellenberg and I are married and that the Facebook website Saving Safety Harbor is owned/controlled by Shelly. I will address Mr. Elliott’s points one by one (I apologize in advance for the length of this posting, but I am responding to a long, factually inaccurate posting).
Mr. Elliott begins with a general allegation that Safety Harbor is becoming less friendly and that this is due to Saving Safety Harbor and a “handful of vocal agitators.” I respectfully suggest that if he is experiencing a decrease in friendliness that it is the result of the actions and attitudes of himself and his wife. If you don’t believe this, talk to Mr. Elliott’s neighbors. Mr. Elliott also suggests that one neighbor with a “bullhorn” is responsible for a series of reports of code infractions of no merit. I will leave it to you to make up your mind whether cutting trees without the required permit, erecting a phony sign restricting on-street parking to the occupants of a rental property owned by Mr. Elliott and/or his wife and obstructing his neighbors’ access to their common alley are infractions of no merit (there are probably others as well, but these are the three I know about). Mr. Elliott and his wife have both implied that Shelly has reported these violations. She has never reported any violation attributed to Mr. Elliot or his wife. In fact, two of the people who made the reports have told me personally that they were the ones who made the reports. One last comment on this subject: Mr. Elliott and his wife have created these violations and the people who report them are harassing them? Only in the mind of a person of extreme arrogance and feeling of entitlement would the violator be considered the innocent victim and those reporting the violations be considered to be harassing them.
Mr. Elliott refers to “a handful of vocal agitators.” I agree that there is a handful of local agitators,” but suggest that those agitators are not Saving Safety Harbor and its supporters who are way more than a handful. I suggest that James R. Barge and his cronies (Mr. Elliot and his wife, Carlos Diaz, Joe Ayoub and Chris Logan (Chris is the development and acquisition manager for Paradise Development Group, a major developer – see his resume filed with the city)). These people are so afraid of Saving Safety Harbor and it supporters that they use innuendo and outright falsehood in an effort to discredit them. Mr. Elliott’s posting is a prime example.
Mr. Elliot states that Saving Safety Harbor and its supporters advocate doing “whatever it takes to stop any and all development or growth.” False. It’s true that Saving Safety Harbor opposes the slash and burn/clear cutting approach to development that is supported by James R. Barge and his cronies. They want to cut down major canopy trees and get relief from zoning requirements that no one else can get so they can build the largest possible structures – the purpose? to line their pockets with a few extra dollars. In the process they destroy the tree canopy that is so important to Safety Harbor. They also destroy the quaintness and charm of the city with the bigfoot houses that they build. Ever hear of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs? Have you read Dr. Seuss’ story “The Lorax”? Builders and developers most of whom are not residents of Safety Harbor will benefit in the (very) short run by the slash and burn/clear cutting form of development advocated by James R. Barge and his cronies, but residents will pay for that benefit in the long run.
Saving Safety Harbor supports smart growth for the city, especially the downtown area. If the choice is between cutting major canopy trees and building houses all out of scale with the surrounding houses in order to put more money in the builders’ pockets or saving major canopy trees by requiring builders/developers to build smaller houses, Saving Safety Harbor strongly supports saving the trees and building smaller houses. Contrary to Mr. Elliott’s allegations, this is not a no growth policy, it’s a smart growth policy.
Mr. Elliott (insert strip mall owner and husband of commercial real estate broker joke) then goes on to attack two candidates in the upcoming municipal election, Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper. He has the nerve to imply that Andy, an environmental attorney employed by a local municipality, is somehow less worthy than Mr. Logan, development and acquisition manager for a major developer who tries to disguise the fact by claiming that his business is “real estate.” I’d call that a bit disingenuous, Mr. Logan. Mr. Elliott then goes on to state that Janet, by virtue of her position as Executive Director of the Maddie Williams Center, which receives grants from the city, has a “conflict of interest.” I know that Janet has discussed this question with the city manager and city attorney and has been told that her election would not pose a conflict of interest. Several other attorneys have concurred with that determination. I (KU Law ’78) have reviewed FL Stat112. Basically, a conflict of interest exists when a public official’s personal financial interests conflict with the public interest within that official’s job responsibilities. Janet is not paid out of any grant money provided by the city of Safety Harbor nor is her compensation based in any way upon the receipt or non-receipt of any grant funds from the city. Simply speaking, there is no conflict of interest.
This technique of creating a false issue is one commonly used by James R. Barge and his cronies. This phony conflict of interest charge is one example. Another is the phony issue of the slowness of passing the proposed city tree ordinance raised by Mr. Ayoub. I call this issue phony because the delay has primarily been caused by foot dragging and of obstructionism by Commissioners Carlos Diaz and Richard Blake most likely at James R. Barge and Mr. Ayoub’s instigation. Mr. Ayoub, I like to call him the anti-gravity candidate because he floats through life with no visible means of support, is also trying to position himself as the “environmental” candidate. He advocates grandiose plans for the new marina park land including a long seawall. Andy, an environmental attorney, understands, as Mr. Ayoub apparently does not, that building a seawall is one of the most harmful things you can do from an environmental point of view. Mr. Ayoub also wants to position himself as the “fiscally responsible” candidate. Where, Mr. Ayoub, are the funds to fund your park plans going to come from in the unlikely event you are elected? Raising taxes? I know, you could raise the street light fees, you know the fees that the wealthier neighborhoods are exempted from paying.
Mr. Elliott concludes by stating that the city has the “ingredients to be an attractive, active downtown envied by all.” Wake up, Mr. Elliott! If you would walk around the marina park on a weekend afternoon and talk to the people there, you would find out that many of the people using the park are from places other than Safety Harbor. I am always astonished by how many folks are from Clearwater alone. If you really knew Safety Harbor you’d know we already have a vibrant downtown that is the envy of other communities. That’s not to say there’s no room for improvement, but seven story condo buildings along Bayshore Blvd. and extravagant spending of city funds will do harm, not good.
a proud preservationist and
resident of Safety Harbor
Odd how you know the infractions that have been reported on us anonymously but claim to know nothing about them?
For the record:
1. Tree permits #HOL 512.0094, #0513.0094 and #0711.0168 – after someone made an anonymous call 2 years after the diseased/dead trees were removed, the county inspector came out and confirmed we did everything per the permits and planted what they requested. No violations. In fact she remembered us and told Mick want a wonderful job he did in landscaping and restoring an old property.
2. The sign was up 2 years and we had no knowledge it was not to code but once code enforcement notified us we took it down that same day. Strange no one had a problem with it for 2 years.
3. How is getting a permit from the city, erecting a fence on our property we paid for, and passing all inspections blocking anyone from using the alley? We use the alley all the time and have not had a problem getting in and out.
Again it was change to people who have lived here for a long time but all work was done with the proper permits.
Last February -it was your wife Shelly Schellenberg while handing out palm cards who did not like our response when asked about the new town homes being built. We said we loved them and welcomed the new residents -that is when she said “Do you know who I am? We both said no and she said I am Shelly Schellenberg, Code Enforcement. Who does that? That was not an introduction Mr Riggle but a threat and it was not taken lightly. From that point on that is when the above complaints started. Coincidence? We don’t believe so.
We have worked hard in taking half a block that was fifthly, vermin infested, horrible renters and a run down home and turned them into something the neighborhood and community can be proud of. We work hard and are very proud of our accomplishments.
So if you have a problem with us, be a gentleman, knock on our door and talk to us. We have nothing to hide. And quit honestly, you just made Mick’s point.
First, you ask: “Odd how you know the infractions that have been reported on us anonymously but claim to know nothing about them?”
If you had actually read my post, you would know that I stated that two other individuals came forward, and told me personally that they had reported these violations. That is how I became aware of them. These are not people who are your immediate neighbors, so please do not retaliate against them.
You apparently do not understand that an anonymous complaint does not mean the complaint is not a matter of public record, it only means that the identity of the person making the complaint is held in confidence. As I stated in my original posting, neither my wife nor I has made any complaint about you or your property. The city may know and almost certainly could find out the identity of any person making an anonymous complaint.
Second, you claim: “The sign was up 2 years and we had no knowledge it was not to code.” Really? You are a commercial real estate broker, and you didn’t know that private individuals are not permitted to put up street signs restricting parking?
Third, you state: “We use the alley all the time and have not had a problem getting in and out.” What about your neighbors?
On the subject of your relationship with your neighbors. Isn’t it true that you recently tore down the house on the corner and made it a parking lot for commercial or recreational vehicles? Isn’t it also true that you attempted to force your neighbor to remove a hedge on the alley that had been planted approximately 50 years ago, because it was in your way? It seems that the difficulty of alley access was of your own creation and the hedge remains. Is this just another case where you are the innocent victim and your neighbor with the hedge is harassing you?
Fourth, with regards to a property owner’s trees on Tucker Street. You immediately insinuate that because I own property on Tucker Street that that I have something to do with the trees there. Actually, I do not know anyone on Tucker Street, other than my tenant, and I seldom even drive down the street, much less keep up on the activities of the neighbors.
You paint a rosy picture between you and your neighbors, but you have an overactive imagination. Because of that, while I appreciate your invitation to drop by and chat, I’m afraid I must decline. I don’t want to be accused of trespass and harassment. This is obviously what you did when my wife spoke to you in the street. There is no way that I would want to knock on your door, and on that note, I would appreciate it if you would likewise stay away from our home as well.
Let’s do some fact checking here. Some apparently think that Janet Hooper, Executive Director of the Mattie Williams Community Center, is paid by the city of Safety Harbor and that this constitutes a conflict of interest. According to city officials, with whom Janet checked BEFORE declaring her candidacy, there is no conflict. Janet is paid by the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, not the city of Safety Harbor. If anyone is concerned about real conflict of interest, the focus should be on Janet’s opponent, Chris Logan. Although Logan doesn’t advertise this, he works for Paradise Ventures, a company with vested interests in building and development in Safety Harbor.
The conflict of interest of the Hooper Zodrow campaign is very obvious to anyone who tries to be objective. Mattie Williams Center receives taxpayer support from the City in dollars and special consideration to be the beneficiary of multible City funded events. As one person suggested I did follow the money and found that the President and some of the Directors of the Mattie Williams Center were major contributors to the Hooper Zodrow campaign. How can this not be a conflict of interest the next time the Mattie Williams Center comes to the City for funding. It especially unfortunate that Janet Hooper and her Board of Directors would allow politics to overshadow the good works of the Mattie Williams Center.
Great article Mick! As they say, the only constant is change!
Wow, someone doesn’t have the facts!
The people became “zealots” because they saw what a pro development commission can do. Pro developers can ignore a 3 story maximum height requirement and grant permission against the will of the people for a 6 or 7 story condo tower AND grant the developer a 21 year site plan approval. (To be built where the current Crispers parking lot is) The so called zealots also saw pro developers vacate a city street and GIVE it to said developer so he could maximize his profit. ( Iron Age Street used to be a tree lined street that met Bayshore at the Marina road) Also the zealots saw Ayoub ignore a $30,000 Visioning Committee (paid for by residents and made up of residents) as to what direction they want Safety Harbor go….. Hint hint, it was not boat ramp removal and giant condos and apartments complexes and zero lot lines and no protection for grand trees…..speaking of,
the zealots also watched Ayoub vote against the Grand tree ordinance in 2007. The zealots also watched him tirelessly lobby for the Apartment Complex on 590 against the will of the people. Luckily the county commissioners recognized that he didn’t know what was going on in his own community and voted against it and publicly told him so. The zealots also saw Ayoub and Logan ignore a online city survey for what people wanted for the waterfront park. Look it up, they want a passive park not a restaurant removing the boat ramp which was in 2 of the 3 plans submitted by the waterfront park committee. (Chris Logan was on the committee and suggested removing the boat ramp ” and moving it up the road”. )The zealots also saw Mayor Ayoyb attempt to cancel our March 2014 election and extend his own term by 8 months, AGAIN ignoring the will of the people. The zealots also know the value of their property just like other forward thinking communities that stop the destruction of the very character that brings people to their beautiful towns, just ask all the zealots that live in Windemere and Sanibel. Zealots know the facts. So please don’t confuse a zealot with a uninformed voter.
Sent from my iPhone
If you would like a true representation of the character, values and positions of our candidates, go to the City of Safety Harbor’s website and view the Candidate Forum held in January. Very Telling!
The link to view the forum is: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1531
Or go to:
http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com, click on Meeting Agendas & Video, Scroll Down to Candidate Forums, Click on 2015, Click on video to play.
Thanks for sharing the forum.
Opinion of a future resident:
My husband and I will be retiring from the military in a few years. We have already started looking at homes in Safety Harbor. We love the area with your festivals and charming downtown. There is always room for improvements. We will definitely want to buy a home that needs improvements. It is something we believe strongly in doing. Restoring old homes to fit the fabric of the community is so much fun. We love what Mick and Desanya did to improve their home. It not only increases their property value but those of the homes around them. Everyone wants to live on the well maintained street. Same goes for the town itself. It needs to continue to maintain but also have real progress while staying charming. Also there is a difference between old town charm and overgrown neglected. We need to buy before too many improvements take place because we might not be able to afford your properties after it gets done. We’ll definitely watch your elections and progress. Hopefully, we can be neighbors soon. I am really tired of this snow!!
Don’t bash VRBOs! It’s a great way to visit and get the feel of a place before buying. Visitors spend money in your town. We could be moving onto your street soon.
Great blog Mick! It is really good to read all the comments posted. Every community has it’s issues hopefully it will all work out.
Mick Mick Mick – can’t believe anyone could write such nonesense.Your candidates must have been looking over your shoulder when you were composing this article.Time to wake up and ask yourself the real reasons the developers are backing these two!! Follow the money!!
Mick, a very well written article about wanting your town of Safety Harbor to forge ahead to benefit all the citizens of the community. With Chris Logan and Joe Ayoub on your city commission it sounds like “Mayberry By The Bay” will be in good capable hands.
Anna — The Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center does receive funding from Oldsmar and Clearwater as well as Safety Harbor for children’s programs and residents. As Vice President of the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center Board of Directors, I encourage you to visit the Center to review the budget which is public record.
I only wish I was the one to say all of the above! Mick you have expressed the views of so many. Getting out to vote is so very important to the Safety Harbor community.
Mick is absolutely right. If you think “progress” is 300 unit apartment complexes, high rise condominium towers, zero lot lines, and unrestricted destruction of our trees, then you should definitely vote for Ayoub and Logan.
Kudos to Ms. Petree Nolte for telling it like it is without making a political statement on behalf of 2 candidates!
Ed, that sounds like wild exaggeration. Can you show us an example of when Joe Ayoub or Chris Logan have supported or advocated anything like that?
Way to go Ed. I believe our voters are smart enough to recognize untruths repeated over and over, hoping we will finally believe them. Just because the developers have more money to spend on signs and advertising does not mean they are the best candidates, it only means they have more money, period. Do not be fooled by their loud pounding and many signs. They are only wolves in sheeps clothing.
I thought I was the only one who was wondering if there is a conflict of interest with being a commissioner and having a job that accepts money from the city. This needs more discussion. If elected I guess she can excuse herself from voting when it comes to items about the Mattie Williams Foundation but do we want a commissioner who can’t vote when it comes to our money?
And another question – why is it the Safety Harbor citizens are the only ones contributing to the Mattie Williams Foundation when they accept children from Clearwater & Oldsmar. Those two cities need to pay their fair share towards the program!
Education is the key and here is a clear cut case Anna, with what you are saying. It is inaccurate, as well as a lot of what has been said here. This is why I am suggesting everyone does their homework before putting information out here.
See Malisa Jernigans reply to what you wrote.
Again, watch the forum video, check the minutes on who voted for what, check you facts. Don’t believe what I say, or anyone else, verify the information for yourself before writing here.
How many of you were at the forum? How many of you attend the commission meeting, planning and zoning meeting, how many read the minutes? How many have attended the tree workshops?
I have done all of the above, I know the the facts and the truth. I’ve been involved because I do want to know the truth.
I disagree with Mick’s views.
I have to wonder if he is more interested in being able to continue building their group of VRBO rental properties than building community. Weekly or monthly tenants are not exactly community building.
Community building comes from a group of Commissioners who bring multiple views of the City’s needs and goals and is able to do the hard work to negotiate on a solution and move Safety Harbor forward. Development done well can and community preservation are not mutually exclusive. We should move in that direction.
Not sure what VRBO has to do with it. We live in a small home so my norhtern family and friends use that site all the time for extended stays in Safety Harbor, Dunedin and Palm Harbor and they spend a lot of money on dinning out and in the shops. And that money helps the businesses and communities. Visitors and tourists can end up buying property when they fall in love with an area too. My cousin finally did since she is down here 4 months of the year. Only wish it was here and not Dunedin.
My suggestion is to gather all the FACTS by educating yourself. Do your own research on the candidates, their records, and what they really stand for. Watch the forum, read the minutes from the Commissions meeting, the Planning and Zoning Committee, see who voted for what. This information is what is real, base your votes on the FACTS, not articles like this.
I am a Hooper and Zodrow supporter, but just like any team, everyone has their own fans. I know Mr. Elliott and I are worlds apart in what we think, and who we vote for, but we are all entitled to support the candidates we believe will do the best for our little ‘Mayberry by the Bay’.
Why can’t we all get along?
Do not support your candidates but do agree we should all try to get along. There are some web sites out there that display anyone disagreement with them as villains and even post photos of them. That is NOT nice and frankly juvenile. I believe you can get your word out better and louder by being positive and polite. Treat others as you want to be treated. Just something I remember from bible study.
Safety Harbor is an amazing gem of a city. To keep its appeal it has to reasonably grow as time allows, or be left behind. The Waterfront Park is not making progress, and is not serving in its potential to showcase the charm of Safety Harbor that we all love so much. The addition of Logan and Ayoub – individuals well versed in the area of responsible development – seems to be just what this city, and the Waterfront Park, needs.
This City needs good YOUNG forward thinking commissioners with new and productive ideas, commissioners who care about the people who elected them and the City they live in.
I have the pleasure of serving with Chris Logan and I know his love for this community and desire to make it even better for the future.
Great article Mick. I have been a citizen of Safety Harbor for about a year and a half and I truly love my home. I believe the addition and leadership of Chris Logan and Joe Ayoub in our city commission will help Safety Harbor become a even greater place. Let’s make Safety Harbor the most safe, productive, and fun community it can be.
We experienced a similar thing on Madeira Beach with all the old cronies wanting it to stay a tired run down beach. So we elected a younger Mayor and City Manager and Mad Beach is progressing with new condos, a new Mariott hotel, John’s Pass is doing better than ever, new restaurants, a new city hall, new bike lanes and a brand new Publix (long overdue!) and our property values are rising!! Elect people who will bring solid but well thought out growth and you won’t be sorry.
Agree! We need action oriented leadership!
Well put, I completely agree. If we do nothing we aren’t maintaining the status quo we are actually heading backwards. The City Commission should have carried out what the residents on the waterfront steering committee approved. It seems that we are being stifled by a select few. We need to vote for a positive change that will move the waterpark forward. Joe and Chris have my vote.
If neighbors in our dear “Mayberry by the Bay” are being are being pitted against neighbors, it’s due to irresponsible, biased blogs like this one. In reading the first paragraph, it appears that Mr. Elliott has a personal disagreement with one of his neighbors, which should probably be worked out civilly between the two parties involved.
The second paragraph reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books – Chicken Little. Relax, the sky is not falling, and no one has or will propose that “permission (and a permit fee)” will be “needed just to trim a tree limb”. As I read it, the purpose of the tree ordinance is to protect, promote, and maintain our tree canopy. It not only offers options for the replacement of trees that have been removed, but specifically states that trimming trees as part of normal maintenance is allowed.
The third paragraph is a blatant attempt to pit neighbor against neighbor by putting our commission candidates in opposite corners. To further drive a wedge between the residents, Mr. Elliott characterizes candidates Ayoub and Logan as “open-minded”, while labeling those of us who may not support the views of these two as “zealots”. Wow! Pot, Kettle! I never thought I’d see the day when being the director of a local charity, that has for years helped thousands of the city’s most vulnerable families, would be a negative experience for someone who wants to sit on our City Commission to take part in the decisions that will benefit the city’s residents as a whole. And as for the conflict of interest claim, all candidates have the responsibility to recuse themselves from votes on issues where they have a professional interest. This is not unique to Ms. Hooper’s position.
Personally, I support Mr. Zodrow and Ms. Hooper. I support their goals to preserve the character of the city while still being fiscally responsible. I am not a zealot, nor am I opposed to moving forward. What I am, is a proud resident with deep roots in this beautiful City. I am also an enthusiastic supporter of our downtown merchants. What I am opposed to is a commission that allows the wanton destruction of trees that have majestically draped our city for hundreds of years, and the development of zero lot-line buildings that dwarf the neighboring homes and allow for little or no curb appeal. This is not a “fresh coat of paint”. It is a gross divergence from responsible and practical growth. If this is the type of opportunity that is knocking on our door, it can go elsewhere.
As for the Waterfront Park – while it has been 3 years since the property was purchased, these years have not, as Mr. Elliott states, been wasted. It’s naive to think that a project such as this can be completed overnight. The plan for the park included a detailed timeline that incorporated the appointment of a steering committee, a community survey, and the development of a conceptual design with subsequent cost estimates and funding strategies. The resulting multi-phase plan was designed to ensure that the development is completed in a fiscally and environmentally responsible fashion. Phase 1 is currently going through the permitting process and should be completed shortly. Despite the lack of visible progress however, many citizens of the City, including myself, have enjoyed having access to the park. Commissioner Rick Blake sponsored a Paddle for Kids last year, which will be repeated again in April, along with a Boat Show, and a Green Festival. There was also a very successful Backyard Campout on the property last November, and a Doggie Day on the Bay a couple of weeks ago.
Finally, I strongly disagree with Mr. Elliott’s final paragraph. We do NOT have the “ingredients to be an attractive active downtown”. We HAVE an attractive active downtown! And we ARE growing. In just the past 5 years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of unique restaurants and retail stores. We have a beautiful library, and an expanded and modernized museum. We have also widened and beautified the Bayshore Linear Greenway and completed the Mullet Creek Park. Perhaps those of us who are opposed to rapid development are not necessarily “anti-growthers”. We just support growth that doesn’t detract from the beauty that originally attracted us to our City.
Valerie, you said it all, and perfectly. Growth is inevitable, controlling our growth responsibly and environmentally is the proper path. Andy Zodrow and Janet Cooper can bet help us lead down that path as they have no financial incentives regarding our growth. My folks bought the house in which we live now in 1949. Talk about change! Please, please, consider your votes carefully. And Zero Lot Line has to go. How many people do you think we can get in a five mile city? New York? No thanks. The weight of the buildings on t his large island called Florida is of great concern to every small city I have seen or read articles in various publications.
Elections say it all!
Mick, you are right on! I have proudly lived in Safety Harbor for over 30 years and am thrilled about the growth of downtown. I agree, we need the Waterfront Park now and feel that that has certainly stalled this past year, we need different leadership to get that moving forward now.
We spent 2.75 million on what was to be a water front park. Was there a secret deal between the Spa and those who voted to purchase the land? If not, why did we buy it to just let it sit for three years? Maybe the new mayor is getting his wish when he campaigned saying we should take our time and carefully decide what to put there and have it be a 10 year project. 10 years?!
We have approximately 17,000 residents in Safety Harbor that paid $2.75 million for the park, $162 each, or a family of 4 chipped in about $647. What is the return on that investment? A place to watch grass grow?
Is there anyone in Safety Harbor that doesn’t like Philippe Park? I didn’t think so. So lets make a junior Philippe Park there and enjoy the nature, water, planted trees, benches etc., because Philippe Park is so wonderful, lets have waterfront version of it!
You don’t pay per capita. You pay ad valorem, i.e. based on the value of your property.
As a visitor, from Chicago, to Safety Harbor for the past 7 years in a row I have only this to offer the fine people of Safety Harbor; Safety Harbor is a diamond in the rough but the gem cannot be polished without some friction. You will all get through this election with lessons learned. When lessons are learned progress is naturally born. Good luck everyone and I look forward to seeing nature take its course.
Great article! Planners need to work together and find ways to keep Safety Harbor healthy and growing!
I want my $3M Waterfront Park! We deserve a place to take our kids to play and enjoy the water we live on and pay taxes on! Come on…3 years is long enough to decide what to do with OUR land. We paid for it – do what our citizens asked you to do. It is that simple.
As a life long waterfront person. I can only begin to tell you how precious that park is to this area. If it took fifteen years to develop perfectly that would be fine by me. In fifty years we will have more than twice the population and pressure on the land will be tremendous. I like the current plan: Simple benches and shade protection with access to the water for kayaks, small sailboats and paddle boards.
The important thing in figuring out a path forward for Safety Harbor’s development isn’t how vociferously a candidate advocates for Plan A or Plan B. It’s how much the two sides are willing to come together, make compromises, and achieve reasonable progress. Three years of planning — and stalling — isn’t reasonable progress.
Finally someone stating the facts! Safety Harbor has the potential to be the “Small Town” that everyone envies. Do not make it hard for new families wanting to move here!
Your last two sentences summarize it all so perfectly “Way to go, anti-growthers. You’re saving Safety Harbor — from bettering the lives of residents.” All I keep thinking, over and over, is that if I was looking for somewhere to buy my first home and/or lay down roots, it would NEVER be in today’s version of Safety Harbor. No way, no how. And that is just a darned shame!
Very nicely and truthfully written!
Thanks for putting into words our thoughts also. We’ve loved Mayberry for over 30 years, and enjoy how beautifully it has evolved. Let’s keep moving it forward.
Well said Mick