Re: Downtown redevelopment plan.
As a longtime Clearwater resident, I will vote "no" on the downtown redevelopment plan because:
Common sense dictates that we don't relinquish some of the most beautiful property in Florida to a non-Clearwater, for-profit corporation for 99 years at $1 a year.
Parts of the plan sound great and wonderful, but so did the plans for the roundabout. (Remember the "interactive fountain" that the kids were supposed to be able to play in?)
Why movie theaters on Clearwater's beautiful bluff? Why would one go to such an awesome setting and then go inside a building and sit in the dark?
The library seems to be getting less and less significant. Cities should use their most beautiful areas for something that really means something to their residents -- not some pie-in-the-sky, smoke-and-mirrors scheme.
Scientologists swarming the streets deter many from wanting to go downtown.
We can have a vibrant, bustling downtown, but a rush job isn't the way to get there. If this plan passes, we'll regret it almost immediately.
-- Joe Deaver, Clearwater
Clearwater downtown really needs a shot in arm
Recently I went walking in downtown Clearwater. My family and I moved here in 1979; since then there have been many proposals for improving downtown. The results to date have not been impressive.
At present, we are wasting a magnificent view and prime property. Often, Coachman Park is enjoyed by only a few. Careful planning for the new main library has gone on for years.
We need and have imaginative, expert, outside help to make downtown more viable, attractive and just plain fun.
I want our downtown to be as superior as our beach. How about you? On July 11, please vote yes.
-- Mary Moore Boulay, Clearwater
I continue to be pleased with my position on the Clearwater city referendum. My "Save the Bayfront" sign is still prominently displayed in my front yard. I'm not opposed to progress, but the conditions in this case warrant a "no" vote. (I've already voted by absentee ballot.)
Water -- 1,200 housing units are projected. Are we headed for a one-day-a-month schedule to water the lawns and a one-flush-a-day limit in our residences?
Leasing of public property -- why don't we say we are giving away property that belongs to all of us? According to an April 28 St. Petersburg Times article (Big plans unveiled for Clearwater), city officials say they have no idea of total costs for these projects. Our mayor claims that costs "are not going to come out of the pockets of the average, everyday taxpayer." Does His Honor think we just jumped off the turnip truck?
Major beneficiaries -- the Scientology folks who hurry to classes and meals would seem to be the real winners with the projected shops and theaters at their disposal. A question here is: How much are they contributing to this expensive project?
I would encourage a "no" vote as we understand the plans. I'm for progress, but not at any cost.
-- Robert Hassall, Clearwater