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Group works for neighborhoods

(ran West edition)

South Pinellas Community Council represents 28 homeowner associations in the unincorporated area of the county. Two of those associations have more than 1,000 homes each.

Ken Judd, serving his eighth term as council president, believes the council has an advantage. "We don't have to get along with any city," he said.

The organization began in 1966 as Greater Seminole Community Council. The name changed as membership grew. Boundaries run from Walsingham and Ulmerton roads south to St. Petersburg city limits, east from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Pinellas Park city limits. Judd said 40 percent of Pinellas County is unincorporated.

The council meets on the fourth Monday nine months a year, taking a vacation in July, August and December. Membership dues and number of votes depend on the association's size. No member pays more than $30 per year nor does any group have more than three delegates.

The group negotiates on behalf of the whole. "We can never decide what any one association can do," Judd said.

Representatives regularly attend meetings of the County Commission and the School Board. The council discusses streets, traffic problems and zoning issues. "All of our group agree we are opposed to unnecessary ad valorem taxes," Judd said.

Six years ago the council invited four of the larger garbage pick-up leasing companies to submit their best proposals based on the possibility of getting business from several of the associations.

"It's nice to have one truck instead of three or four going through neighborhoods," Judd said. Once the council chose the company offering the most favorable terms, the information was passed to members. There's a review process every three years.

For information about South Pinellas Community Council, call Judd at 393-8958. September's meeting will feature guest speaker Karleen DeBlaker, clerk of court. "She tells us who's wasting money," Judd said.

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