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Civic group relaxes membership rules

The Citizens Action League has decided to admit members from Palm Harbor, making it the first civic group to represent all unincorporated areas in north Pinellas.

League members voted 32-2 Tuesday night to open up the organization, which was limited to people who live east of Lake Tarpon. The league is expanding because residents from the western side of the lake have been asking to join.

East Lake's population is about 13,000, but Palm Harbor is home to more than 50,000 people. By opening the organization to people from both sides of the lake, the league is positioning itself to carry more clout with government agencies.

The league was founded four years ago during a debate about whether East Lake residents should tax themselves to pay for library and recreation services. Since then it has taken on issues of concern to the whole county. That expanded role attracted the Palm Harbor residents.

Now that the doors have been thrown open, the 70-member league plans to launch a membership drive next month, president Agnes Tillerson said Wednesday.

She said Wednesday that she already had received telephone calls from Palm Harbor residents who want to join. For information, call her at 785-3722.