Re: Can Tierra Verde annexation tempest be tamed? | story, Dec. 9
Some clarification on annexation
Your article concerning Tierra Verde's attempt to forestall annexation into St. Petersburg needs some clarification concerning Palm Harbor's incorporation efforts.
Our local legislative delegation has not "failed" us in our efforts to get a bill. Last year, the delegation voted in favor of a bill that was then introduced to the Florida Legislature. The bill, like this year's (sponsored by Rep. Peter Nehr and Sen. Mike Fasano), requested that the citizens of Palm Harbor hold a referendum to decide if they want to incorporate or not. It died in committee in the House.
The bill neither favors incorporation nor imposes it. It merely gives the citizens of Palm Harbor the right to vote on this.
This year's bill is nearly identical to last year's — only some specifics in our charter have changed, based on suggestions made by the legislative review committee this past spring.
Typically, incorporation efforts can take several years before the Legislature votes in favor of the bill and it is signed into law. This ensures that the charter and feasibility study are well-scrutinized by legislative review committees and corrected as need be. This is our second year pursuing an incorporation bill. There may have been other efforts that were introduced in the Legislature, but I am unaware of them.
There are many reasons a community elects to incorporate, including, but not limited to, annexation issues, return of taxes collected to the community they came from, more responsive government, and more local control over zoning issues. Size and population density are also factors.
Our reasons for proposing incorporation are mostly different from Tierra Verde's, though we, too, are concerned about annexation into surrounding municipalities. Yet most residents we survey are not even aware that we are not incorporated or of the differences incorporation would bring.
If your readers have more questions or comments about this, I direct them to our Web site: www.palmharborcoalition.org.
Jim Kleyman, president, Palm Harbor Coalition
A thank-you for tree lot kindness
For the past six or seven years, I have picked up greenery from the Christmas tree lot at Countryside High School. Since I no longer put up a tree, I merely pick up some cuttings to put throughout the house to make it "smell" like Christmas.
Well, they treat me like one of their best customers! You would think I was buying the biggest tree in the lot instead of picking up cuttings. This year, they saved a big pile of Fraser fir cuttings because they smell so good and they set them aside for me. They always show "a simple act of kindness" to everyone who comes to their tree display.
Wish we could see this wonderful kindness throughout the year. A very special thank you to all of them.
Margaret Hyde, Clearwater