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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sparkling no more? Clearwater drops adjective from vision of itself



CLEARWATER-Clearwater is booming on the beach, trying to redevelop its downtown and seeing property values rise for the first time in years.

But it no longer sparkles.

At least not in the official version of the city’s hopes and dreams.

A strategic vision plan, in the works for nearly a year, was presented to City Council at its Monday work session.

Mayor George Cretekos lamented that the adjective “sparkling” was no longer attached to the third-largest city in the Bay.

“It knocks us down a peg,” he said.

City residents across demographic boundaries had agreed in a series of brainstorming sessions that the word was antiquated, if they even knew what it meant.

So it was removed from the city’s mission statement.

That got Vice-Mayor Paul Gibson’s back up.

“We do sparkle. We’re clean. We don’t have trash in water-filled (ditches),” he said, before adding that he could name some neighboring cities that did.

Council Member Jay Polglaze said he heard from plenty of residents at the workshops that “sparkling,” well, no longer dazzled.

“They just thought it was old-fashioned,” Polglaze said.

“They didn’t give us another word, though!" Cretekos exclaimed.

“They did not,” conceded Polglaze.

 John Streitmatter, a consultant, said that Clearwater might sparkle again some day.

Down the road, the city could try to “reinvigorate,” the word, he said.

[Last modified: Monday, July 15, 2013 6:43pm]


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