Council of Neighborhood Associations

Monday, June 05, 2006

June Message

I just returned from the vacation of a lifetime – a week in Paris! There are some things that I observed there that were interesting to me. Police walked the streets, often in pairs, in the busier areas. It is the cleanest city I have ever seen. City crews were out cleaning streets, sidewalks, subways and parks seven days a week. It was clear that whenever anything was built from Hotels, to homes, to bridges and street lights for the last 500 years, that people built the BEST they could build, not the CHEAPEST. As a result, there are thousands of buildings that are heavily used, beautiful and are hundreds of years old.

The upcoming hurricane season presents an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and plan for the storms instead of reacting to the storms. The Clearwater Neighborhood Coalition will give us a condensed version of their hurricane preparation seminar at the June meeting. This is intended to show what neighbors can do to help each other.

The Pinellas Living Green Expo looks like it should be a huge success. All booths are sold and 15 information sessions are ready. Please spread the word in your neighborhoods. People will leave the expo with concrete ways to save 30-50% on their energy, gas and water usage. Mainstream solutions from local companies will be on display. It will be a Green Day in St. Petersburg!

Finally, it all starts with public safety. Several neighborhoods around town are engaged in active battles with the criminals. I will not single out individual neighborhoods. However, it is clear from the phone calls and emails that I am getting that there is a surge of property crimes and the relating drug activity occurring. Hopefully, the management review of the police department will provide some direction to help more effectively fight crime. In the meantime, it is critical that we relay to our elected representatives that this is the first priority for neighborhoods. Safe neighborhoods allow us to switch to the quality of life projects that we enjoy!

Karl Nurse,
Council of Neighborhood Associations