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Belleair Community Outreach Program – A Well Kept Secret

Belleair Community Outreach Program

On Friday, March 5, I received a Belleair utility bill via USPS. Included in the bill were two supplementary printed announcements concerning four upcoming Belleair events. The events included Belleair’s Sunset 5K run. An announcement about family fun movie night on April 23. A notice regarding in-person registration for Belleair’s Day Camps and Summer Camp at the Belleair rec center and a document shredding event offered by Belleair’s solid waste Department.

Four separate advertisements that 85% of Belleair residents could care less. An example of this was last year’s Sunset 5K run with assistance from Race Hawk, an event marketing firm that gets paid to make sure enough runners show up. The event had 389 entries, 40 of whom lived in Belleair. I find it strange Belleair would host an event. Bringing into town and adding to traffic grievances. Given the complaints voiced by many about beach traffic only a week ago. One of a few things Belleair lacks is being consistent on issues and transparent with residents.  My hope is the new incoming regime will a consistently transparent dream team. An administration that’s a shining example and the envy. For local governments across Florida.

My hopes for the future bring me to the failures of the past 6 to 7. How is it possible Belleair took the energy, time, and tax dollars to stuff a utility bill? By the way, a bill I haven’t been receiving in years since it’s paid through an ACH debit. Without any reference to the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps the most terrible crisis since 9/11. An issue so significant. It dominated most of our thoughts for the past year and likely touched our lives negatively.

All people from all walks of life want information about COVID-19 for the people they elected to do the right thing and protect its voters. Inform them daily or weekly. If nothing more than to ease their minds and hearts.

That Belleair was more interested in a 5K run that 40 Belleair residents attended, hype a rerun movie, or promote the town’s low-cost babysitting daycare service. Then to at least try to offer residents in need peace of mind. How much of our tax dollars and town resources would it have taken to inform residents? 

I was frustrated. Yet fortuitously, the bogus utility bill. Made me logged on to the website, where I found a link to a community program. A program I did not know existed. Called the Belleair’s Community Outreach Program.

I also discovered Belleair’s (somewhat outdated 1/6/21) “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan” It stated Town staff and elected officials are reviewing this fluid situation daily. They will be making adjustments to programs, events, and operations as needed.

Now that’s just wonderful, I guess. It would be even more wonderful if officials informed us about whatever they consider a fluid situation? I remember believing a fluid situation was when my car needed power steering fluid. Instead of jaw wagging, saying nothing, and doing less. Why can’t our elected officials and their employees tell it like it is?

We all must be concerned, with 30% of Belleair residents between the ages of 65 to 95. Why hadn’t at least these older residents been made aware of or informed in some way? Granted, that’s 1200 residents and could take a couple of Belleair employees, if they’re not too busy helping plan a golf tournament or an unofficial presidential visit, few days to make contact.

Belleair’s Community Outreach Program website page requests that residents “Help Us Spread the Word” about the Community Outreach Program. That’s a tough ask. Especially when residents are unaware, the program exists? Why wouldn’t something of this importance be on the home page on its header above the menu?  

The town of Belleair website still has a prominent web page about the 2020 Pelican LPGA Tournament. Held nearly six months ago. Yet, the Community Outreach Program is obscured on the website.

How many residents filled out the online request form, and how many residents utilized the Outreach Program?

The’s monthly website traffic is only about 6000. It isn’t unique traffic. It’s direct, social, and even some emails what this means Belleair webmaster with a few clicks of the keyboard. Can tell Belleair officials the exact amount of traffic for any given website page.

An exception is when many of the surrounding smaller towns. Tell you records of information is on the town website. That not true. When you request records or important details from a town, your seeking is stored off-site. On one of the many firms that towns pay to stores data. Like,,, and others. The local town website is small, and there’s no reason why they aren’t up to date and timely.

I don’t recall receiving an E-blast text. Reading about it on Nextdoor or Facebook? If it was. It should have been resent.

No matter if Belleair dropped the ball as far as alerting residents. Belleair’s Community Outreach Program was a great decision and the right thing to do.

Other than posting links and phone numbers to other state and county agencies. I’m not sure what Belleair’s “Novel Coronavirus Response Plan” accomplished. or if someone knows what exactly they achieved. We’d like to know, and if they provided support, we’d like to say thanks.

As for Belleair’s Community Outreach Program. If it helped one or one hundred Belleair residents. It was a true town program free of any agendas. It appears small towns are better at keeping secrets than our National Security Agency. Sadly, Belleair’s Community Outreach Program was an endeavor. That should have been basking in the Florida Sunshine.


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