Soon to be Eagle Scout Connor Oursler, center, of Belleair received a proclamation honoring his contributions to his community. With him, from the left, are Commissioners Tom Shelly and Kevin Piccarreto, Vice Mayor Stephen Fowler, Mayor Gary Katica and Commissioner Michael Wilkinson.
BELLEAIR – Connor Oursler, 18, of Belleair was honored at the Belleair Commission meeting on May 21. Commissioners declared a proclamation honoring Oursler for his dedication and work for his community.
Oursler is currently a member of the Sea Scouts of America and is scheduled to receive his Eagle Scout rank in June.
All potential Eagle Scouts must undertake a community project and Oursler chose to install a bench swing and landscaping in Belleair’s Magnolia Park and in the Bayside Park in Belleair Beach.
The Oursler family moved to Belleair 13 years ago from Baltimore, Md. Oursler was home schooled since the 4th grade and is now a junior at St. Petersburg College. He hopes to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy or work to become a pediatric trauma surgeon.
In addition to his involvement in the Scouting movement he is also a volunteer at the Largo Medical Center and with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
His father, Mark, stood next to him at the Commission meeting as he led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Former commissioner honored
Longtime resident and community activist Lois Sedlacek was also honored by the commission. Sedlacek died on April 2; she was 82 years old.
For four years, from 1985 to 1989 Sedlacek served on the Belleair Commission. She also was a past president of the Belleair Civic Association and was the founder of the Shadycreek Montessori School.
In the proclamation honoring her life the commission formally acknowledged its grief and paid tribute and respect to her memory.
Her husband, Sed, son, Rick, and daughter-in-law, Pam, received the proclamation from the mayor and commissioners.
Town boards appointees
There have been changes on some of the town’s advisory boards. The boards consist of residents who volunteer their time to meet and discuss issues and make recommendations on those issues to the Town Commission.
The Recreation Board had the most changes. Three members, Mary Iuppa, Christine Iuppa and Douglas White, decided not to seek another two-year term. They have been replaced by Scott Coletti, Amy McGuire and Greg Savel. The commission’s adviser on the board, Michael Wilkinson made a point of thanking the outgoing members for their dedication and hard work.
Although the terms of three members of the Infrastructure Board ended, all have agreed to serve another two-year term. They are Dan Hartshorne, Jim White and Doug Pace.
The same is true for the Historic Preservation Board. Four members whose terms will expire have agreed to serve again. They are: Kathy Gaston, Peter Marich, Cliff Zurkan and Nancy Reardon.
The four outgoing members of the Finance Board have also agreed to serve another term. They are: Ernst Whittle, Tom Lokey, Dan Hartshorne and Mary Griffith.
Appointments to three other boards were not finalized although commissioners hope to hear back from prospective members shortly.
The terms of four members of the Planning and Zoning Board expire soon, as do four members of the Park and Tree Board and three members of the Board of Adjustment and Appeals.
All the terms are for two years and all expire on May 31.
CMA honors law enforcement and firefighters
Commissioner Stephen Fowler, who serves on the board of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, reported to the commission that from May 25 to June 16 the aquarium, home to Winter the Dolphin, is offering free admission to the employees and families of all Pinellas County law enforcement agencies, Fire Departments, Florida Wildlife Commission and U.S. Coast Guard.
There is a limit of 10 per family and a valid ID must be presented.
Child Water Safety week
The commission declared the week of May 25 Child Water Safety Awareness Week in Belleair.
The proclamation notes that Pinellas County has 587 miles of beaches and 65,000 private swimming pools and encourages participation in formal swimming lessons. It has been shown that such lessons would reduce the likelihood of childhood drownings by 88 percent.