Meeting Minutes 2/20/21

Opening:  Cathy Parks, LPENA vice president, convened the annual meeting of the Lake Pasadena Estates Neighborhood Association (LPENA) at 10:15 a.m. on February 20, 2021, at Bear Creek Park. Attendance was light due to the chilly weather and the continuing COVID‑19 pandemic. Cathy noted that president Joe Baldwin was unable to attend the meeting due to personal and health reasons.

Minutes: Minutes from the last general meeting, held in May 2019, were posted on the website at that time. Alfredo Barquin made a motion, seconded by Roberta Yancey, that the minutes be approved. There being no objection, the minutes were approved as posted.

Old Business: Cathy reiterated the association’s agreed-upon stance of taking no position, for or against, individual property owner’s request for dispute resolution, approval of zoning waivers, etc. unless such a request affects the overall neighborhood (e.g., safety issues, beautification).

Financial Report: Jeff Smith, LPENA treasurer, reported that the annual state-required documentation and fees to charter LPENA as a tax-exempt organization in Florida have been filed for 2021. No federal tax reporting is required at this time. LPENA finances are currently stable since no other recent expenses have been incurred.

New Business:

  1. New LPENA Website: Upon recommendation by the Board of Directors, a new website using the same URL address ( will be built by neighbor Sylvan Mackaness to reduce the annual costs of the current site. The new website will include those aspects most commonly used on the current site, such as email “blasts” to all neighbors registered to receive them, private or small group emails among neighbors, announcements, posted meeting minutes, archives for by-laws and meeting minutes, etc. Carol Gruszka made a motion, seconded by Kent Carroll, to authorize building the new site, with fees to be paid from the general treasury. There being no objections, the motion carried.
  2. City Website for Reporting Infrastructure and Zoning Compliance Concerns: Cathy reminded attendees that the City of St. Petersburg maintains a website ( for reporting City-based items of concern such as trash build-up in alleys, blocked sidewalks, street potholes, unsafe sidewalks, clogged storm drainages, and brush impeding sidewalk or street access, even alligators in the lake. The site requires a verbal description of the precise location of the problem and also permits posting of photos to permit quick analysis of problem severity. Neighbors who have experience with the site, either as reporters or violators, agreed that the City is very responsive in analyzing and addressing reported problems.
  3. Neighborhood Cleanup: All neighbors are encouraged to participate in making Lake Pasadena development more beautiful, whether by picking up trash and debris (safely) in streets, parks, lake areas, alleys, and sidewalks; weeding and watering City-owned plant and flower beds; assisting neighbors with limited mobility in maintaining their own yards; and any other ways that will improve the overall appearance of the neighborhood. Small groups are encouraged to band together to make such activities not only more quickly accomplished but also more fun. Jill Coots stated that a neighbor had contacted her about getting assistance in discarding weeds from City-owned property, and Jill will request a schedule of her planned weeding times so assistance can be requested in advance.
  4. Block Ambassadors Sought: Noting the number of new residents purchasing homes in the Lake Pasadena development, Jill spoke of the need for volunteers with some free time to act as “block ambassadors” to welcome new neighbors in a two-to-four block area around their home. Neighbor Tav Rainey spoke of his experience upon first moving into Lake Pasadena, with new neighbors knocking on his door, some even bearing a gift of a bottle of wine. Block ambassadors would not preclude neighbors from greeting new neighbors but would enhance the aura of friendliness and welcome that would help quickly assimilate new neighbors into the neighborhood. Please consider volunteering to become a block ambassador in your immediate area, and let Jill know via email ( the area you are “adopting.” (Subsequent to the meeting, one neighbor has already volunteered to serve his immediate vicinity. Several directors also agreed on the purchase of a number of LPENA business cards for our organization and website that can be given to new neighbors. The website includes a list of important points of contact and phone numbers.)
  5. City Grant Program Still Active: Jill (who has been VERY active for us -- thanks, Jill) also reported that the St. Petersburg Neighborhood Association Matching Grant program is still active. It was this program that encouraged us to re-form as a neighborhood association in 2018 so we could apply for a matching grant for the City to install the gray stone-look fence on City property separating the 6500 block of Pasadena Avenue North from the traffic light and six-traffic-lane intersection with 66th Street North. Neighbor volunteer Dimitri Gruszka wrote that proposal, submitted it to the City, and oversaw the neighbors’ monetary and work-hour donations to match the City’s ~$7,000 payment for the fence. Look around your immediate neighborhood vicinity to see if you can spot another area of the Lake Pasadena development that might benefit from another matching grant proposal for 2021 or 2022. The City also has an active mini-grant program (no matching neighbor work or money required) whereby a neighborhood association may be approved for up to two mini-grants (not to exceed $500 total) for events (including social events) that “enhance community involvement.” If you have an idea and are willing to help coordinate such an event, please submit it to the Board of Directors (roster below).
  6. Re-election of 2021 Officers: Since the association did not hold a general meeting in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board expressed a willingness to continue serving in 2021. Nominations from the floor were solicited, but none were received. Reelection was thus declared unanimous.

300 61st St N




6083 4th Ave N




6531 Pasadena Ave N




6301 Dartmouth Ave N




6032 Dartmouth




6544 Pasadena Ave N




301 61st St N




1244 Country Club Rd N






On a motion by Kent Carroll, seconded by Jeff Smith, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m. Following adjournment, dues ($20 annually per household) were collected and yard signs ($6 each, including wire holder) were sold to those wishing to purchase.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Gruszka, LPENA secretary