Medal of Honor recipient, retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Gary Littrell of St. Pete Beach addresses a gathering March 28 during a dedication ceremony for the Bayway Bridge, which was named in his honor as the Command Sgt. Major Gary Littrell Freedom Bridge.
MADEIRA BEACH - City officials and staff gathered March 30 on the walkway outside the new city hall, part of the City Centre municipal complex.
They watched and several participated in the demolition of the city hall building that had served the city for almost 50 years. The structure had been in use since April 1965.
Behind the group was the symbol of a new Madeira Beach, the shining cornerstone of the new municipal center. Its gleaming façade, reflected in the bay waters which it fronts, stood in contrast to the rubble of what had once been a state-of-the-art facility for its own era.
ST. PETE BEACH - In an effort to curb chronic rowdiness and other residential issues, St. Pete Beach City Commissioners voted unanimously March 24 to pass a nuisance ordinance that is a carbon copy of a similar law in Madeira Beach.
“They (Madeira Beach) are pretty happy with it,” said City Manager Wayne Saunders. “I’ve never thought you needed to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. This gives us a better way to address some of the nuisances we have.”
The ordinance addresses 33 nuisance activities. It establishes criteria to determine a pattern of nuisance activity and makes property owners responsible for addressing issues.
TREASURE ISLAND - Arthur Czyszczon, general manager of the Page Terrace Beachfront Hotel and one of three motel operators suing the city of Treasure Island over the use of vehicles on the beach, said last week he and his colleagues have not made a decision on whether they will attempt to stop the city from moving forward with public events on the beach in 2015.
City officials said March 17, they are considering moving ahead with plans for a 60th anniversary celebration, a Fourth of July Fireworks celebration and the popular Sanding Ovations sand sculpting contest in November - all of which require vehicles on the beach - despite a recent injunction by Circuit Court Judge Pamela Campbell that prevents vehicle parking or driving on the beach.
Recreation Director Cathy Hayduke said the city’s annual Bands on the Sand celebration over Memorial Day weekend has been canceled for 2015 but she is hopeful it will return in 2016.
ST. PETE BEACH - Winston Churchill once said success is not final and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.
That phrase sums up the actions of retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Gary Littrell of St. Pete Beach who for four days in early April 1970 took command of a South Vietnamese Ranger battalion under siege by more than 5,000 North Vietnamese troops. Out of an original group of 477, Littrell was among 41 walking and wounded to safely leave the hill they gallantly defended.
TREASURE ISLAND - City officials are considering going ahead with three popular events on Treasure Island beach this year despite a recent injunction by Circuit Court Judge Pamela Campbell that prevents vehicle parking or driving on the beach.
City Recreation Director Cathy Hayduke and City Manager Reid Silverboard are tentatively putting plans together for the annual Bands on the Sand celebration over Memorial Day weekend, a Fourth of July fireworks display and the popular Sanding Ovations sand sculpting festival in November.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - The number of lives that have been saved since the Florida Department of Transportation installed horizontal flashing beacons at crosswalks along Gulf Boulevard is difficult to guess.
Nobody will argue it has had a very positive impact on pedestrian safety.
But North Redington Beach Mayor Bill Queen wants to take it a few steps further with a new campaign to educate the public to be more aware when crossing at crosswalks.
REDINGTON BEACH - Anyone hoping the Redington Beach Town Commission might reduce its meetings from two to one per month might be disappointed. No changes will be made to the current schedule following a decision at the March 17 meeting.
Vice Mayor Tom Dorgan and Commissioner Fred Steiermann were both absent that evening, but the consensus, among the three other members, was to stick to the first and third Tuesday schedule of each month with the caveat that regularly scheduled meetings with no urgent items on the agenda may be canceled, ahead of time, at the commission’s discretion.
In the event of a cancellation, a notice would be posted outside the town hall offices the week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
MADEIRA BEACH - The City Commission’s March 10 meeting closed on a note of nostalgia. It was the last session to be held in the current Madeira Beach City Hall, which has been the center of city business since it opened in 1965.
City employees have relocated to their new city hall offices, with access available via a temporary pathway behind the old city hall. Still to be completed is the commission meeting hall, centerpiece of the facility, which was delayed because a special curved glass for the windows is back-ordered. The meeting hall is due to be completed in time for the April commission sessions.
ST. PETE BEACH - There was applause and plenty of hugs March 9 at city hall when commissioners took the final step in establishing a workable comprehensive plan.
Commissioners voted unanimously on second and final reading on a resolution and companion ordinance to resolve 12 years of legal fighting over the city’s comprehensive plan. It ended a four-month negotiating process between city officials and plaintiffs in the most recent lawsuit challenging the city’s comp plan.
“This is something I’m very proud of in regards to how our entire city has worked together,” said Mayor Maria Lowe. “Nothing of this magnitude occurs without every single person behind it, involved in it and persistently moving in a direction with the willingness to get to a final solution.”