FROM YOUR PRESIDENT -THE YEAR THAT WAS!!!
Just when we thought we were on the down slide of Covid-19 we are now seeing a rise in cases, younger people are getting sick and even people who have been vaccinated, getting a return of symptoms. Your Board and Volunteers have been continuing to work to increase membership and making Sandpiper Bay a better place to live. We are the original planned community in Port St Lucie so we are the senior neighborhood and the city looks to this area for our accomplishments.
Even through these tough times our membership has grown by 12% to the end of July. The only way we can grow right now is “Neighbors Telling Neighbors”, and that is the part where we need your help. You can either direct your neighbors to www.sandpiperbaycommunity.org or send an email to email@example.com with their name, address and phone number if you have it and we will send them an enrollment package.
We worked with a member and the city to have a memorial bench installed at our park at the end of Gowen and Westmoreland. At the same time we had the city install a second bench as a replacement for a memorial tree that had been removed. It was in memory of a longtime volunteer for Sandpiper Bay, Chic Chilton.
Louisa and Gary Beckett have come forward as volunteers to head up our social and print media. They are in this business now, so it is great to welcome people with experience. If you have information that you would like sent to our members, please send your material to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Quaile who headed up our membership had help from Robin Montcerisier. From a list of new homeowner addresses that Shelly Hammer provided, these two people would locate who the new owners are and we send them a welcome package. Thanks to you both.
Sandra Pikuski who is a member and a web designer volunteered to build us a new web site and tie in a better merchant accounting system is nearing the end of her work. We do need some help in filling in some of the blanks and find some advertisers to sponsor the expenses of the web site. If you have some time please contact Sandy at email@example.com
The Adopt-A-Street has continued to operate under our volunteer Chairperson Ivars Mazjanis. If you are out walking your neighborhood, Ivars would like you to join in his program or better yet help him by starting a group in your neighborhood.
Sandpiper Bay Community Patrol suspended operations for several months and finally started to operate again last month only to suspend operations again because of the spread of the new Covid variant. Not sure when it will operate again.
We have missed offering social events all spring and summer. We planned to start with a bang up get together in September at the Saints Pub but again we can’t make a decision or plans until there is a lowering of covid-19 infections. Kathy Dunkel is our chair for social and as I keep saying she welcomes your input and help.
The Civic Committee continues to meet with the city on your behalf. Here are a few items discussed/proposed at out last meeting:
Sandpiper Bay Park Needs – SBC recommended the need for more benches, picnic tables, an exercise pod and a children’s pod. The city agreed to consider more benches and picnic tables, and the possibility of an exercise pod. Ms. Caraballo, our council woman said that the city does not put children’s pods in Neighborhood parks, plus this park is too close to a main road and would be dangerous for children.
Coyote issues. The city agreed it was a common problem. Mr. Lee provided them with the recommendations from the FL Fish and Wildlife Commission and the program that Atlantic Beach developed and requested that information be given to PSL residents. One key element emphasized was to prevent the availability of human food to the coyotes by securing our food waste.
Bike Lanes at Roundabouts – The need for them was expressed by SBC. The city recognizes this as a significant but costly problem.
Code Compliance- SBC reviewed the summary list provide by the city’s Code Compliance Supervisor. As a summary all definitions are not fully described, and confusion can result. It is recommended that a reference to the compliance code website be included to avoid misunderstanding.
Community Patrol – Community patrol is managed directly by the police department for liability reasons. Coordination with civic associations, where available, should be included for the mutual benefit of the community and their ability to solicit volunteers and support the COP.
Sandpiper Bay Nights – are being considered by SBC. The first night is Wednesday, September 22 at the Saints Pub. Preliminary plans call for 5-7 dining and 7PM on for fun events for our members. Remember, all members get a 10% discount anytime at the Pub when they show their SBC card.
Upgrade the Saints Golf Course – a seed question was asked; can the Saints be up graded to more of a country club atmosphere, especially considering Club Med issues. Further discussion was agreed to.
This piece was longer than I had planned but it does show our continued support for our community
Greetings Sandpiper Bay Neighbors and Friends,
We have continued to make progress on the former Club Med golf course, even through the recent heavy rains, and trust you share in our excitement as we bring the golf course back to life. Our agronomy team is among the best in the golf industry. You will see, and enjoy playing on, the revitalized golf course as we target an October 1st public opening.
We are working productively on the many other areas of the golf operations as well: Golf shop merchandise, golf equipment and technology for club fitting, technology for the driving range, golf programming, instruction and coaching for young and old – and of every level of ability!
We will be offering some upcoming “sneak peek” open house tours and will share that schedule with you later in July. We also are creating some golf and instruction specials exclusively for the Sandpiper Bay Community resident neighbors and friends. We have met many of you out on the course and around the community in the past weeks, and we are grateful for your kind support.
We are excited to create a wonderful, innovative and special golf course experience for all to enjoy. And we look forward to enjoying the golf journey together with you!
Warmest regards, The Reimagine Golf and Eagle Management Golf team
Dear Vice Mayor & City Council, City Manager & Staff, and the People of Port St. Lucie,
This statement serves to follow up on my previous statement of May 20, 2021, in which I announced that I would not be seeking reelection, and the statements should be considered together.
As my family and I came to terms with the incredibly difficult decision to not seek reelection and to instead pursue other public service employment opportunities, we had no idea what opportunities would present themselves, where, and when. As fate would have it, something special came along much sooner than we anticipated in a place that is very special to us as a family and to me as a native Floridian and someone who loves the water and the environment.
In reading the recruitment for the position of Islamorada Village Manager, I felt that the recruiter, Village Council and community were speaking to me on a very deep and personal level, that I couldn’t ask for a better professional fit or a better next chapter in life for my family. When I realized that the closing date for applying was the same day as my Mom’s birthday (we lost my Mom to cancer in 2013, but she always loved visiting me when I lived in the Keys), I took it as a sign that the universe was talking to me. If you believe as I do, when you feel like the universe is talking to you, you listen, and then you act accordingly. As I think you know, I went for the job, and, due to all the good work we have done here together, my amazing family, incredible references, and an abundance of good fortune, the Mayor, Vice Mayor and Village Council of Islamorada selected me as the next Village Manager. Accordingly, this letter serves to tender my resignation as Mayor effective midnight, the night of June 30, 2021.
I regret that there will have to be a special election to fill my seat, but I take heart in knowing that by most objective indicators, the state of our City is at an all-time high, our reputation has never been stronger, and, most importantly, the Vice Mayor & City Council, the City Manager and hard-working City employees, and you—all of the passionate involved citizens, the Port St. Luckies out there—will keep working hard, smart, and together to keep our community’s incredible progress, and our shared commitment to continuous improvement, on track.
As to whom will fill my seat, I have never been one to interject myself between the voters and their candidates; but, for those who are interested in my opinion, I would share that Vice Mayor Shannon Martin has been an integral part of our great success over the last six years, and it is my hope that she will be given the opportunity to shine and to demonstrate that she is willing and able to lead our City forward.
The Office of Mayor is an incredible thing and among its many virtues, I believe that it simultaneously reveals who you really are while also helping you become a better version of yourself for as long as you can serve with maximum effort and purity of heart. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as Mayor. Thank you for all the support and well wishes. Thank you for your help in making the world a better place, starting right here in PSL. I hope that you’re proud of the work that we have done together. The funny thing is…for all the improvements, for all that there is to love about Port St. Lucie today, I am certain, now more than ever, that Port St. Lucie’s best is yet to come. Onward and upward, PSL!
With gratitude, I am
Very truly yours,
Mayor Greg Oravec and lived in Sandpiper Bay for a long time and always supported our endeavors. He has served both the city and Sandpiper Bay well and we will miss having him as our guest speaker at our board meeting every January. We wish him well in his step forward to the next part of his career.
The hope from Russ Blackburn, the City Manager is to have a byelection to fill the mayor’s position in September. In the meantime, the vice mayor Shannon Martin will take on the duties of mayor.
Some additional information from Christina Flores, Executive Assistant Office of the Mayor and City Council:
“The special election will be held on September 21st. We cannot speak to any possible candidates, only those that have filed. All persons interested in running in the special election have until 12:00pm on July 16th to file and qualify. The City will know at that date and time who the candidates are.”
As always, we welcome any questions members might have.
Barry G Lee
Sandpiper Bay Community
We are so proud of the way you have expressed your civic minded contribution to the well-being of our Sandpiper Bay community over the past many years. Did you know that the city of Port Saint Lucie officials has expressed desires to use the Sandpiper Bay Community/Neighborhood as a model to help promote similar development with the 34 other neighborhood associations?
Unfortunately, however, we on the board are frustrated to learn that the signage at the park on Westmoreland (near Gowin) may not be changed to reflect our new name, Sandpiper Bay Community. In fact, it will even eliminate the old name, Sandpiper Bay Homeowners Association, which the city dedicated to our organization for 30 years of outstanding civic service. In addition, the organization was key in getting the city to dedicate that parcel to a park instead of a development when General Development Corporation donated the land and we paid for the sign.
It seemed like a simple request in September 2019. We want you, the residents, to know about the issue. First, the city records of dedication have not been found. Second, the Parks & Recreation Department wanted to standardize all park signs. They decided to name the park, Sandpiper Bay Neighborhood Park which is not an issue as it identifies all of Sandpiper Bay instead of the requested Sandpiper Bay Community Park. Why? Because the words “Community Park”: are used as one of their five categories of types of parks. Thirdly, city sign zoning has changed, based on a US Supreme Court Rulings and our city’s desire to avoid sign pollution, our name association on public property is being challenged. The sign was there before the Supreme Court ruling.
Sandpiper Bay Homeowner’s Association was the very first civic association in the city, starting in 1965 and incorporated in 1968, and is huge part of Port Saint Lucie history. Unfortunately, the city could not find records of the dedication in 1998, even though it was timed to celebrate the 30 years of community service rendered and that the Sandpiper Bay Community was very instrumental in getting the city to dedicate this parcel, given to them by GDC, to a park. This completely disenfranchises what is now over 52 years of civic service. The record of proof is the sign that stand there today. No other records are needed.
Under the NICE program our city government is to promote neighborhood civic associations, neighborhood identity and support resident inputs. We hope that the well-deserved 30-year effort of our association is not disenfranchised over some technicalities, especially since we have added an additional 23 years of civic service since then.
It would be very disappointing to many who have served our community to see this honor disposed and demotivating to those currently serving. It also would fly in the face of the city objectives of the NICE program. We have since provided the city with two-point papers to validate the legality and need for Sandpiper Bay Community. We hope that by working together the city is now in a position to make an equitable compromise.
Your Civic Committee and President will be meeting with the city in the very near future and want and need your input please. We want to take your responses to the meeting.
The best way to handle a hurricane is to make a plan before the storm. Making an emergency plan can seem overwhelming, but the City of Port St. Lucie created a comprehensive planning guide complete with Federal Emergency Management Agency resources. Visit www.cityofpsl.com/hurricane to make your plan today.