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Dunedin Beacon
Dunedin dedicates park to former manager
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DUNEDIN – The city of Dunedin is dedicating a memorial to honor former City Manager John R. Lawrence on the southeast corner of the park, which is at the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue.

The dedication of the John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park is Sunday, May 25, 3 p.m.

Lawrence held the post of city manager for 21 years, longer than any other manager in the history of Dunedin. City Commissioners, family and friends will be in attendance and the public is invited to this event.

According to a Feb. 13 city memo, Lawrence began his career with the City of Dunedin in 1980 as a city planner before becoming the planning director, then served as the city manager from April 1985 to January 2006.

Lawrence was the city’s longest-serving city manager, and at the time of his retirement, Pinellas County’s longest-serving city manager.

When Lawrence began his career as city manager in 1985, the city of Dunedin faced tremendous challenges, including outdated and dilapidated wastewater and water treatment plants, and a struggling downtown, the memo said.

He proceeded to lead Dunedin through an era of progressive growth and accomplishments.

Lawrence worked in collaboration with multiple mayors, commissioners, employees and the community.

“The specific proposal of ‘The John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park’ was chosen, due to Mr. Lawrence’s unprecedented contribution to the revitalization of downtown Dunedin. He loved and believed in the downtown so much that he moved there in 1997/1998. He lived there until his retirement in 2006. He was a regular at many downtown events and businesses,” said the memo from several community leaders.

He died in August 2012 at the age of 66.
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