SPB Update: Christmas Parade, City Manager Search

You’re invited to a parade! On Saturday, December 8, St. Pete Beach will host its annual Christmas Parade starting at 11 a.m. Pictured is the parade route. Afterward, spectators are invited to visit Santa at Fire Station Number 23, located at the corner of Gulf Boulevard and 73rd Avenue. The library, located one block east, will also host a holiday movie and activities for children. Map courtesy of the city of St. Pete Beach.

On Saturday, December 8, St. Pete Beach will host its annual Christmas Parade starting at 11 a.m. followed by Santa appearing at the local fire station.

The parade begins near city hall at corner of Corey Avenue and Bay Street. It will travel west on Corey Avenue turning south onto Blind Pass Road to 73rd Avenue where it will proceed east until Bay Street then turn north back to Corey Avenue. The route will be closed from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Nearby streets will be closed and on-street parking along Corey Avenue and 73rd Avenue will be blocked beginning at 7 a.m. until after the parade.

Following the parade, spectators are invited to visit Santa at Fire Station Number 23, 7301 Gulf Blvd. The library, located one block east at 365 73rd Ave., will also host a holiday movie and activities for children.

Another holiday option will happen on Thursday, December 13 from dusk to 10 p.m. The non-profit Pass-a-Grille Community Association is sponsoring a beach fire on Pass-a-Grille beach at 8th Avenue featuring singing, hot chocolate and cookies.

To accommodate the December 25 national holiday of Christmas, commission meetings for the month will be on Tuesday, December 4 and Tuesday, December 11. Regular commission meetings are normally held on the first and fourth Tuesday evenings of the month beginning at 6 p.m. In December 2018, the fourth Tuesday falls on December 25.

City Manager RetiresReplacement Search Begins

City Manager Wayne Saunders, 69, has officially announced his decision to retire and return to the Clermont area to join friends and family. Previously, Saunders served as Clermont’s city manager for 27 years. Saunders current salary is $173,000.

“It was a very hard decision,” said Saunders. St. Pete Beach hired him four years ago in 2014.

In praise of Saunders at the October 23 regular meeting, Vice Mayor Melinda Pletcher said, “There is nobody with a better work ethic and who cares more about our city.” 

Commissioners then selected an executive search firm along with a three-month timeline for locating a pool of about 12 viable candidates to replace Saunders. From that group, commissioners will choose about five finalists for formal interviews.

The firm of Colin Baenziger & Associates was awarded $26,500 to conduct the executive search. 

Saunders has agreed to assist the city past his formal March 2019 retirement date to help with his replacement’s transition.

In the past, the city contracted with the same firm to hire Saunders. Recently, Treasure Island contracted with the Baenziger firm to locate their current city manager.

Streets Ratings for Resurfacing

At the October 9 regular meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a services agreement with Asphalt Paving Systems for annual street rehabilitation in an amount not to exceed $650,000.

Pletcher requested that staff email the commissioners the street ratings list that is redone every other year.

Saunders said a new listing is being developed for 2019 and it will be available in the near future on the city’s public website and St. Pete Beach Connect.

Dune Walkovers at the Beach

On October 23, commissioners unanimously agreed to extend their partnership with Pinellas County to December 31, 2019 for the purpose of constructing two new or replacement dune walkovers at 12th and 16th avenues.

The walkovers provide for public access to the beach along with promoting and obtaining “environmental benefits within the community,” according to city documentation.

The county will reimburse the city for the total cost of the project up to $120,000. Commissioners approved the original project agreement on April 23, 2017.

Candidate Filing Period, 2019 Election Dates Set

For the 2019 municipal election involving representatives from District 2 and District 4, commissioners approved a qualification and filing period from noon on Thursday, November 29, 2018 to noon on Friday, December 7, 2018. 

To qualify, a candidate must be a full-time resident of the district they wish to represent and submit official paperwork. Commissioners are elected by district and serve for two-year terms.

The election date was established for March 12, 2019. If needed, a runoff election would be held on April 9, 2019.



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