Comprehensive Plan, issued by Pinellas County, noted that the City of
IRB had reached a “built out” condition of over 90% of all available
land. The Plan recommended that the City investigate opportunities to
acquire land for preservation and recreation before it was too late. In
response, the City Commission, in May 1995, named an Ad Hoc Committee
to inventory, study and make recommendations for possible land
acquisition by the City. Former Mayor James Driscoll served as Chairman.
The findings were acted upon by the Commission. A parcel of
approximately eleven acres was purchased and became the present Nature
Preserve. Parcels were purchased by the City to provide the present
Chic-A-Si Park in the Narrows, as well as the present 12th Avenue Park
and the SWFMD storm water demonstration site at the east end of 27th
Avenue. That Report also recommended that a private, not-for-profit
agency be established to work with that City to stimulate and support
preservation and improvements to the City’s image.
series of six three hour open workshops were authorized by the City
Commission In 1997 to seek grass roots ideas regarding the “nature” of
IRB. Images of the past, the present and the potential future were
debated. The six sessions were attended by a total of 80 to 90
individuals. A general consensus was reached, and a report was submitted
to the City Commission for consideration. The main thrust put
* The unique “small town atmosphere” & small businesses. * Preservation of our beach. * Public Safety (pedestrian, bicycle, children). * Encourage a “Florida “look”.
part of those “imaging” workshops in 1997, all properties the length of
Gulf Boulevard were photographed and displayed in City Hall. When
contrasted with those of today, these 12 year old photos show the
positive results which can be achieved through the enthusiastic teamwork
of City government and its citizens. Many of the attendees of these
“Idea Sessions” became members of IRB A2K when it was founded in 1999.
The Founding of IRB Action 2000, Inc., (A2K):
outgrowth of the momentum generated by the Idea Sessions led a small
group of citizens to establish, in June,1999, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3)
corporation for the purposes of spurring public involvement and private
sector funding of projects in order to improve the physical image of
The five founding
board of directors were Michael Davis, Ralph Montgomery, Larry
Torgerson, Bert Valery and Sigal Weinfeld. Within a year, membership had
grown to over seventy members. Over the next ten years, additional
directors brought new vitality. The IRB Business Association had become
defunct, and the organization gave A2K a boost by contributing $3,500
and inviting its former members to join A2K. This action brought A2K an
immediate blend of residents and business people which has been its
strength to this day. In the year 2002, through the efforts of
Commissioner Joanne Kennedy, The City sponsored a Gala affair which
raised significant money, placed in a Trust Fund, to be used as matching
funds raised by A2K in the private sector.
Action 2000, Inc. seeks to transform the Gulf Boulevard corridor and
other selected adjacent commercial,tourist and residential areas into
vital, thriving, ultra-attractive and highly desirable areas in which to
live, conduct business,shop, dine , recreate, vacation and simply enjoy
the finer qualities of life.” ......(including the preservation of
increasing memberships, sponsorships and fund raising events, A2K has
been able to fund over $100,000 in streetscaping projects, pedestrian
shelters, trash receptacles, assistance in signage and news rack
ordinances and general landscaping improvements. Oktoberfest on the
Beach, a major annual fundraising event, was began in began 2001. The
A2K Board of Directors was seeking a means of increasing organization
exposure and membership. That was the year that the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers’ stadium was selected to host the Super Bowl. A2K Director,
Patti Muneio, had the brainstorm that an A2K sponsored public party
would be a perfect way to celebrate and let local residents and
businesses know about the groups’ plan to preserve, revitalize and
enrich our community. The IRB City Commission approved the event,
granted the use of Chic-A-Si Park, the sale of draft beer and underwrote
the general insurance coverage. Crabby Bill’s Restaurant graciously
provided the liability insurance. This event continues to be a major one
in the Life of Indian Rocks Beach today.
A2K Awards are given to residents and businesses who take the
initiative to improve properties, and enrich the appearance of our city,
both on Gulf Boulevard and in the adjacent neighborhoods.
of A2k, over the years, has continued to advance the stated mission to
preserve and enhance the unique small town character of our community.
The present economic downturn brings a need for increased volunteer
spirit in order to maintain the momentum of our broad dedicated efforts.
It is hoped that the goals of underground utilities, uniform street
lighting and preservation of small scale will be realized though further
dedication and community spirit in many months ahead.
is inevitable that our beach “small town character” will continue to be
subjected to great pressures of change in the future. Through the
spirit of community, which IRB A2K embodies, those pressures may be
dealt with in a way which preserves that character, while maintaining
economic stability. Let us work within this second successful decade of
private community and governmental cooperation.