Holmes Beach looks to 2019 with optimism

Holmes Beach commissioners hope to spruce up the city in the new year.

And to maintain the environment.

“Positive things are coming to this city,” Commissioner Pat Morton said Dec. 26, 2018. “Some people think I’m crazy to keep doing this, but I love our city.”

The city is working up plans to revamp and reorganize the recreational area adjacent to city hall — city field in the 5800 block of Marina Drive, as well as remake the unused baseball field for recreation and expansion of the dog park, create a bike and pedestrian path, improve stormwater infiltration and review the city charter.

Morton, who has lived on the island for 23 years, has served on the commission 16 years, with another term and two more underway.

He said his wish for 2019 is for more people to participate in civic affairs.

“I’d like more people to get involved, as we do listen and want feedback from the community,” Morton said.

Mayor Judy Titsworth said she is excited for projects planned to enhance Holmes Beach, as well as the charter review, but has concerns for the state of the local environment.

“My wish for the new year is the continued prosperity of our city,” Titsworth said. “I hope that stewardship plays a key role in our charter and comprehensive reviews and, even more importantly, in the protection of our natural resources.”

She continued, “I hope for the local, state and federal government to take a more proactive role in understanding and preventing massive blooms of blue green algae and red tide.”

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, has been affecting the Gulf coast of Florida since August 2018, causing environmental and economic problems on the island.

Additionally, concerns have risen about pollution in Spring Lake, which is surrounded by residential properties and a pocket park between 68th and 70th streets and Holmes Boulevard and Marina/Palm drives.

“I hope Spring Lake gets revived to its original, beautiful form,” said Commissioner Kim Rash, adding, “the mayor, commissioners and city officials will work together to ensure the residents are being heard.”

Commissioner Rick Hurst said he too is concerned for the environment.

“My hope is that we continue to successfully implement infrastructure changes designed to reduce flooding and counter future sea-level rise,” Hurst said.

He added that he hopes continued improvements to city field and updated vacation rental regulations “will help create a safe and peaceful environment for our residents and visitors.”

One thought on “Holmes Beach looks to 2019 with optimism

  1. Janet Aubry

    Glad to hear Holmes Beach Mayor and Commissioners continued and increased focus on environmental issues. Sad to see though the Aqua By The Bay developers continue to buy their way to giving us the worst blight on our environment in the history of what money can buy. No comment indeed. The police departments really are working hard to keep us all safe and secure. They can’t help if they don’t know so call them when you see something. Recent experience has resulted in good things for all of us from impaired driving violations to apprehension of a dangerous, violent home invader to those pesky, traffic clogging, 5 day , circus atmosphere garage sales in Seaside Gardens. Somebody please stop them! The red tide is gone or back depending on who you ask but we’re all hoping for gone. The new music venue at The Community Center sounds interesting and well thought out. Have heard about a stretching yoga class there my brother swears will change my life . Sounds like things there are worth checking out. It was pretty quiet without the overwhelming number of tourists here due to red tide in the past almost year. I’m sure it was hard on the business owners though. Maybe we can all agree that tourist season is supposed to be busy and good for business and we could support that notion on behalf of local businesses that serve us alll with some humor, patience and tolerance. But let’s also remember some down time adds a lot of value to weary residents from a peace of mind standpoint and that’s a good thing too. Maybe our local businesses and residents will find ways to work it out to better survive the slower times in ways that don’t require a full blown year round tourism season. The island cities all seem to be fairly drama free which is a nice trend. Each city is finally getting a handle on the terrible aftermath of overdevelopment and more and more we see the courts supporting home rule over the state’s poor legislation that has irreparably harmed communities like ours throughout the state. More to be done but a lot of pain is behind us. I think I see a Happy New Year on the horizon.

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