Monday, July 16, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Clearwater voters should approve charter amendment for waterfront

Clearwater voters have their best — and possibly last — opportunity to rejuvenate the city’s downtown by clearing the way Tuesday for significant improvements to the waterfront. It’s an important step to fully realizing the dynamic Imagine Clearwater plan to transform the waterfront into a more attractive destination with more amenities and expanded green space. While the referendum has no formal opposition, this is an opportunity for city residents to send a clear message about the future.

The city charter amendment on Tuesday’s ballot would allow improvements on the downtown waterfront such as playgrounds, water features, artwork and restrooms. It also would allow plazas, sidewalks, trails, boardwalks and other such enhancements. Perhaps best of all, the green space in the area would more than double, to 19 acres of park space.

This is neither the first nor the last step toward making Imagine Clearwater a reality. Last year, city voters approved three referendums to allow the city to make modest improvements to the small downtown marina, move and expand the band shell in Coachman Park and expand the uses of the city’s attractive library on the downtown bluff overlooking the harbor. Next spring, the Florida Legislature should approve legislation to remove outdated language in state law that bans carnivals or shows where the new band shell would be built.

The methodical approach to this effort to revitalize the downtown waterfront is succeeding where others failed for two reasons. As the Tampa Bay Times’ Tracey McManus recently reported, earlier failed efforts lacked enough citizen input up front and were rejected by the voters. Some also involved private developers taking over large portions of the area. This time, the process is more gradual; grass-roots efforts have been ongoing; and this is largely a government effort at the moment. When it comes time redevelop the City Hall and Harborview Center sites with residential or retail projects, those would have to be separately approved by the voters.

In Clearwater, the only issues on Tuesday’s ballot are extending Penny for Pinellas and the city charter amendment to allow the Imagine Clearwater effort to go forward. Those are two good reasons for city residents to make an extra effort to vote, and approving both will have a positive impact on Clearwater for years to come.

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Editorial: Trump sides with Putin over America

Editorial: Trump sides with Putin over America

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Updated: 11 minutes ago
Editorial: A vote for preserving waterfront parks by St. Petersburg City Council

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Published: 07/13/18

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Published: 07/13/18
Editorial: Personal bias taints Florida’s clemency system

Editorial: Personal bias taints Florida’s clemency system

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Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Trump should work with Congress on immigration

Donald Trump’s resounding victory in the 2016 presidential election came at least in part because the New York businessman grasped the disconnect between how millions of Americans and the political establishments of both parties felt about immigratio...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18
Editorial: Trump’s trade war hurts American consumers

Editorial: Trump’s trade war hurts American consumers

Voters who looked to Donald Trump to make America great might want to look at their wallets. The president escalated his global trade war this week, threatening new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports — everything from seafood, beef and ...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
Editorial: Rays stadium cost should be fairly shared

Editorial: Rays stadium cost should be fairly shared

The imaginative Ybor City ballpark proposed by the Tampa Bay Rays fits nicely into the 21st century vision of a sophisticated city and would secure major league baseball’s future for the entire region. It also carries an eye-catching cost that will h...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
Editorial: Supreme Court pick qualified, but confirmation process should be vigorous

Editorial: Supreme Court pick qualified, but confirmation process should be vigorous

For the second time in less than 18 months, President Donald Trump has nominated a well-qualified, conservative federal appeals court judge to the U.S. Supreme Court. That does not mean Judge Brett Kavanaugh should get an easy pass through Senate con...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/11/18
Editorial: Nobody uses fireworks to scare off birds

Editorial: Nobody uses fireworks to scare off birds

Americans are accustomed to celebrating the nation’s birthday by blowing up Chinese fireworks for days — a rite of recklessness that kills seven people a year and sends another 13,000 to hospital emergency rooms. The tragic toll struck close to home ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/13/18
Editorial: Let local governments regulate short-term rentals

Editorial: Let local governments regulate short-term rentals

The Florida Legislature’s meddling in local issues has created another mess for neighborhoods across the state. No family should have to put up with a short-term rental next door that overwhelms their street with constant visitors, traffic and noise ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/10/18