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Safety Harbor's support of public art will weather recession

Re: Some question spending on art for rec center | story, Sept. 17

Public art is part of a great city

Here in Safety Harbor you can see public displays of artwork anywhere you go — for instance, the bronze sculptures by the library and the mural on Fire Station 52 facing Main Street.

For years the city has prided itself on being multidimensional. We are not just about Third Fridays and wine festivals. We are quaint, picturesque, family-oriented and just a down-to-earth, genuine place to live, play and work.

Over time, we have become a destination not only for those living, playing and working here, but for those visiting the jewel of upper Tampa Bay. Visitors come to experience our eclectic ambience. It's the total experience we offer our residents and visitors. That's what makes us the envy of those who visit.

Years before I happened to arrive on the scene, the city established a Public Art Committee. The purpose of this committee was to develop ways to bring art to our community. Every great city has art, and Safety Harbor is no different. Art translates into culture. A society without culture is like taking a road trip without a map or Global Positioning System. We would be lost! Not only would we be lost, but we would be one-dimensional.

Could you imagine if we had a Safety Harbor without special events like the Wine Festival, Harbor Sounds and Third Friday? How about a Safety Harbor without the plethora of activities for our youth and seniors? What if all the city did was provide basic municipal services such as trash pickup, water and sewer, fire and safety protection, and roads and sidewalks?

That would be fine, but who would want to live here then? A city without all of the multidimensional services, activities and culture is certainly no place any one of my neighbors would be willing to live in. For that matter, I am not sure too many people who may read this would want to reside in a city that only provides basic municipal services.

Residents in Safety Harbor display a sense of pride about their city unmatched by residents within the surrounding communities. This sense of pride is tantamount to school spirit seen at high school sporting events. The reason for such a great sense of pride in community exhibited by our residents is the multidimensional nature of their city. That's why people chose to live in Safety Harbor.

So, when times are tough economically, the city has drastically cut back and taken measures to make its citizens' dollars go further. The belt has tightened, but that's no time to forget about the multidimensional qualities that make us such a great city. That means the city will continue to support, with fewer dollars, the museum, Chamber of Commerce, Neighborhood Family Center and yes, even the Public Art Committee's projects. Cutbacks don't mean eliminating the multidimensional services, activities and culture in our city.

Shame on the St. Petersburg Times for bullying the city of Safety Harbor for continuing to maintain its sense of community pride and multidimensional allure!

Andy Steingold, mayor of Safety Harbor

Re: Some question spending on art for rec center | story, Sept. 17

City keeps up services, culture

As a resident of Safety Harbor, I urge the Public Art Committee to go ahead with its plans to devote its 2009 budget of $5,000 to update the Rigsby Rec Center with original artwork from local artists.

Safety Harbor is not in the same category as Clearwater with frivolous projects, but on the other hand, Safety Harbor is not as open as Dunedin to fostering art in the community.

The Dunedin Fine Arts Center is a shining example of valuing local artists, and Safety Harbor could begin to approach a comprehensive program incorporating residents into the art scene.

Safety Harbor has done a good job maintaining services in spite of lower home values. Artists express who they are, when and where they live and so provide a record of historical value ensuring continuity and stability to the community and its visitors.

Bernadette Menz, Safety Harbor

Re: Tethering law needs tightening, some say | story, Sept. 10

Time to toughen dog rules, fines

Why in the world can't people get it through their heads that any breed of dog, pit bull or not, will become frustrated, aggressive and unsocialized if you leave it chained in the back yard! And not being neutered just adds to the recipe for disaster.

Why did King's owners have him if they were just going to leave him chained up in the back yard? And why would the other cities in Pinellas County not want to have an outright ban on tethering or chaining such as Seminole has? Just educating people about the dangers of chaining a dog does not work, because there are too many irresponsible dog owners. Maybe if there were stricter ordinances and hefty fines, innocent people would not be hurt.

If there can be an ordinance or law against playing your music in your car too loud, then there should be one for chaining a dog in the yard. King's owner says that she is not going to get another pit bull and is only sticking with a chihuahua. Does she chain the chihuahua outside too?

Dayle Burger, Tarpon Springs

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Safety Harbor's support of public art will weather recession 09/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5:47pm]
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