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Karen Seel

Barb Haselden: Reject Penny for Pinellas unless it all goes to infrastructure

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

When the St. Petersburg City Council sent the Pinellas County Commission a breakdown of Penny for Pinellas projects, they listed $15 million for affordable housing. Although the funds from the one-cent county sales tax — set for voter reapproval this year — were described by some officials as a “drop in the bucket,” it would give Council members some options to deal with the increasing problem of developers eating up more properties, especially in the downtown area. However, not everyone…

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Government critic Barb Haselden now seeking seat on Pinellas Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Barbara Haselden, a St. Petersburg insurance executive and prominent opponent of the 2014 Greenlight Pinellas transit tax referendum, is running for the Pinellas County Commission. Haselden has her eyes on the District 6 seat being vacated by a retiring John Morroni. Haselden was the leader of No Tax for Tracks, the citizen-driven group formed to oppose Greenlight Pinellas, the referendum which asked for a penny increase in the sales tax to pay for expanded bus service and a 24-mile light rail system linking St. Petersburg…

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Clearwater Chamber names Karen and Brian Aungst Sr. ‘Mr. and Mrs. Clearwater’

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Karen and Brian Aungst Sr. were named the 2017 “Mr. and Mrs. Clearwater” by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. During the 95th annual Chamber meeting last week, Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel was named AchieveHERs Woman of the Year. At the banquet — themed “Imagine Clearwater” — the Chamber announced its 2017 Business of the Year winners. The theme served as not only an ode to the city’s bluff development, plan but also a celebration of the assets that Chamber officials say make…

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David Jolly presents flag at Ray Neri’s memorial service

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Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly on Wednesday presented an American flag to Laura Neri, the widow of community activist Ray Neri, who died Jan. 3. The flag was one that U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis had had flown over the Capitol especially for Mrs. Neri. “Ray Neri was a special person,” Jolly said. “Ray touched peoples’ lives.” Jolly was only one of many of Pinellas’ political leaders who came to Neri’s memorial service. Others included Pinellas County commissioners  Pat Gerard, Karen…

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John Morroni to chair Forward Pinellas board next year

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Forward Pinellas, the transportation and land use planning agency for Pinellas County, has new board leadership and several new members going into 2017. Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni will serve as the board’s chair; Clearwater Commissioner Doreen Caudell, vice chair; Indian Rocks Beach Commissioner Cookie Kennedy, treasurer; and Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers, secretary. All votes were unanimous. Forward Pinellas is the organization formed by the merger of the Pinellas Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pinellas Planning Council. Forward Pinellas is…

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Pinellas County Commission moves toward moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries

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Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to hold a public hearing Jan. 10 to decide a possible moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers. The moratorium would remain in effect for 180 days to give the commission time to pass an ordinance regulating such issues as the location of dispensaries and treatment centers. A proposed ordinance is expected to come before the board in April. If the moratorium is adopted, Pinellas County will join other governmental bodies across the…

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Janet Long elected chair of Pinellas County Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners elected a new chair and vice chair for 2017 on Tuesday. Janet Long was elected chair. Ken Welch will serve as vice chair. Both choices received a unanimous vote from the seven-member commission. The two will serve for a year. Their terms begin in January. Long is succeeding Commissioner Charlie Justice who served as chair for 2016. Welch will succeed Long, who is the current vice chair. “I’m truly honored and humbled to…

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