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News Story
Updated: 10/12/2017 08:30:04AM

AP Council disbands beautification committee

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By MARC VALERO

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AVON PARK — The City Council made it official by unanimously voting to disband the Main Street Mall Beautification Committee after most of the members resigned weeks ago.

While the members continued with their resolve to improve the Mall, the formalities and requirements of a governmental committee proved to be the committee’s downfall.

At Monday’s Avon Park City Council meeting, Mayor Garrett Anderson said several members of the committee decided to no longer attend the meetings due to the bureaucracy of the type of board that it was.

There are a few options, he said, eliminate the board altogether or have a citizens advisory committee that would not be bound by the requirements of the previous board.

From what he has heard in the community, there continues to be a lot of people who want to participate and attended meetings to see the mall beautified, Anderson said.

Deputy Mayor Brenda Gray said if the citizens want to disband the board and have an advisory committee the Council should support it.

Councilman Jim Barnard asked what will happen to the $17,000 the Main Street CRA provided for the Beautification Committee’s efforts?

City Attorney Glinda Pruitt said the money would go back to the Main Street CRA to be used only for mall beautification purposes.

Pruitt said the citizens were volunteering to come up with ideas on how to beautify the Mall.

Anderson added that some of them are willing to do some of the work themselves.

The Council unanimously voted to disband the Mall Beautification Committee.

Pruitt advised that Council did not have to make a motion to create an advisory committee.

“If that is something citizens want to do they can go to the Main Street CRA and make those recommendations,” she said.

Judie Lehman who was the vice chair of the Beautification Committee said Wednesday that it was “frustrating” because the committee couldn’t get anything done and members couldn’t walk the Mall together to discuss ideas.

When she resigned at the committee’s last meeting in September, Lehman said she was tired of being “the captain of a ship with no rudder.”

A group of citizens, including herself, will speak to Main Street CRA Advisory Board Chair Gaylin Thomas about gathering a group to present ideas for improving the Mall.

The seven-member Mall Beautification Committee committee, with four alternates, was selected by the City Council from a list of 26 applicants in May and started its monthly meeting schedule in June.


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