Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater mayor wants to post U.S. Service Academy flags in Beach Roundabout

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos wants to post the flags of the U.S. service academies at the Clearwater Beach roundabout.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos wants to post the flags of the U.S. service academies at the Clearwater Beach roundabout.

CLEARWATER — Mayor George Cretekos lives on Sand Key and works at City Hall, so he drives through the Clearwater Beach Roundabout on a daily basis.

Lately, he has been contemplating the empty space in the center of the roundabout. There's a small circular green field there, and little else.

Cretekos has some interest in posting the flags of the five U.S. service academies there, at the end of the Memorial Causeway Bridge and the entrance to Clearwater Beach.

"It's the Clearwater Memorial Causeway," the mayor says, stressing the word "Memorial."

"On one end, we have the doughboys," he said, referring to the two bronze statues of a World War I soldier and sailor that are mounted on pillars at the mainland end of the causeway.

"What do we have at the other end? We had a water fountain, which everybody remembers," Cretekos said, referring to the infamous fountain that was originally in the center of the roundabout. The towering, wedding-cake-shaped fountain, which obstructed drivers' view of the other side of the roundabout, was widely blamed for causing car wrecks when the roundabout opened in 1999. It was demolished in 2002.

Displaying the flags of the U.S. service academies is simply an idea, Cretekos says. He's well aware that there could be complications and pitfalls. "There could be wear and tear on the flags out on the beach," he said.

It would also require a majority vote from the City Council, which has yet to discuss the issue.

At least, the current five members of the council haven't discussed the center of the roundabout. The previous City Council discussed it several years ago but couldn't agree on whether to put anything in that space.

"The council kind of elected to punt," recalled City Manager Bill Horne. "There has always been a concern about putting anything in the roundabout, ever since the fountain was torn down. Whatever you put there, there has always been a feeling that it will draw pedestrians to cross the roundabout roadway to that location."

That could be unsafe, he said.

Over the years, various people have suggested that such a prominent location should be used to display some kind of public art. But there hasn't been any agreement about what, exactly, that should be.

Also, whatever was displayed there — flags, dolphin sculptures, artwork — would have to be properly maintained.

"There's a lot that goes with it," Horne said. "That doesn't mean it can't happen. But you have to work through all the different aspects of it."

Cretekos has mentioned his idea to a number of residents but has yet to call for a full City Council discussion.

"It would just be a fitting end to the Memorial Causeway," the mayor said.

The five service academies are the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.; the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.; and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Clearwater mayor wants to post U.S. Service Academy flags in Beach Roundabout 01/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  2. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  3. Tampa Bay homes values continue to rise along with sales prices

    Real Estate

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported Thursday.
[Times file photo]
  4. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big

    Tourism

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. Charlie Crist calls for national day of civility

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – A week after a gunman opened fire on a group of Republicans, Rep. Charlie Crist this morning called for the establishment of a national day of civility, saying “the need for action could not be more urgent.”

    A note from Rep. Charlie Crist