Meeting Minutes 2/20/24

Opening:  Cathy Parks, LPENA president, convened the quarterly general meeting of the Lake Pasadena Estates Neighborhood Association (LPENA) at 6:30 p.m. on February 20, 2024, in the Menorah Life conference room. She welcomed attendees, thanked the Menorah Life staff for offering their conference room and visual aid accommodations, and noted that the evening’s agenda included hearing from our community police officer, city storm water manager, and lakes environmentalists.

Minutes: Minutes from the previous general meeting, held November 14, 2023, are posted on the website (shortcut: Ctrl+click

Officer Lenard Cox, Community Services Officer: Cathy turned the floor over to Officer Lenard Cox, our Community Services Officer for Lake Pasadena Estates (LPE) and other neighborhoods on the western end of the city. Officer Cox provided statistics of the prior 3-months’ crimes in LPE, specifically, only five property crimes, including three auto thefts, one motorcycle theft, and a commercial burglary at CVS. LOCK YOUR AUTOS, FOLKS! Don’t make crime simple!

Council Member Copley Gerdes: Our District 1 Council Member Copley Gerdes announced the good news that paving construction on 66th Street North would be complete in two weeks. Sewage and sidewalk construction along Central Avenue will continue through the end of the summer. He noted that budget priorities are now in Council discussions, and funding for city parks is expected to increase.

Guest Speaker Mike Perry, Lakes Manager for Storm Water Department: Mike Perry, in a return visit to an LPENA general meeting, provided an update on the problems our lakes have experienced since his last visit in early 2023. The year-long drought caused significant water-level drops, below the caged “bubblers” installed in Lake Pasadena that help reduce algae buildup. This has resulted in erosion of the lake’s banks as well as additional concentration of polluting nutrients in the water. The algae can also cause a discernable odor and possible respiratory effects if breathed deeply. With higher water levels from winter rains, the city has begun treating algae growth in Lake Pasadena, starting with hydrogen peroxide on February 9, followed by administration of a copper product shortly thereafter. These additives should reach full effectivity by mid-March. Both lakes now have power adjacent to the lake, accomplished by Duke Energy upon city request.

Mike also noted that storm waters flowing into both LPE lakes bring with them nutrients from fertilizers and lawn debris, which, coupled with the droppings of our many birds and turtles, cause our lakes to become shallower and more nutrient-concentrated each year. Of our two lakes, Lake Pasadena is the more polluted with nutrients and algae, but testing is being done at both lakes. In response to a question about dredging, Mike stated that city lakes have not been dredged since the mid-1950s, but he is looking into implementing a 10-year plan for dredging our urban lakes.

Jim Bays, SoUL President: Jim Bays, biologist, environmentalist, and president of Stewards of Our Urban Lakes (SoUL), provided a slide-show of the work SoUL has done for city lakes over the past 15 years, as well as an overview of the help SoUL can provide to neighbors leading the effort to clean up and improve the condition of our two lakes. (See for details.) Jim also noted that bird-watching is a huge pastime for many people, and Lake Pasadena has a larger bird population than any other city lake, primarily due to the center island rookery and the cypress trees near the west shore. This is a “value enhancer” for the neighborhood as no other city lake has these features.

Treasurer’s Report:  Carol Gruszka provided the treasurer’s report:

  • Operating Account: $1,909.63 (total of $2,719.63, less $810 from prior donations for Pasadena cul-de-sac fence maintenance.)
    2024 income to date: $49.98 dues payments from two neighbor households via Square. Please let Carol know if you pay by this method as Square does not identify payees.
  • Several attendees paid dues before or after the general meeting.
  • Please support our efforts to offer social activities and contests (Yard-of-the-Month coming), maintain the website, continue registering as a tax-exempt organization on SunBiz, document the neighborhood’s history, etc. Officers and directors work hard and often donate personal funds to keep us active. We need everyone’s participation.

Old Business:

  • Simultaneous Yard Sales March 2-3: LPENA will advertise on social media (Facebook, Instagram) the simultaneous yard sales of neighbors who submit their intent and address to as soon as possible.
  • Charity Yard Sale: The Board of Directors approved socialization of a charity yard sale on March 23 at 6044 3rd Avenue North, home of Kerry and Rick Kriseman. Donations of items for sale are encouraged; all proceeds will go to benefit the Southeastern Guide Dogs charity.
  • Thirsty Thursday March 7: Chuck and Erica Lauer Vose have volunteered to host the March “Thirsty Thursday” porch party at their home on 6345 Burlington Avenue N. The event will start gathering at 4:30 p.m. Bring beverage and a munchie to share, and musical instrument (if desired); and come meet and mingle with your/our neighbors. The weather is wonderful!

New Business:

  • Lake Champions for LPE Lakes: Prior to the meeting, one neighbor, Gay Inskeep, had volunteered to be Lake Champion for Lake Pasadena. This role serves as liaison with SoUL points of contact and leads volunteers in efforts implement the ongoing clean-up of invasive plant species and replanting of environmentally friendly plants that enhance the health of the lake. Subsequent discussion led to another volunteer, Mike Price, a long-time neighborhood resident (53 years) who has served as a long-time volunteer removing deceased animals from the Big Lake will continue to serve in this capacity and can be called on for other assistance at the lakes as needed. Contact Information: 727‑415-3294 email:
  • Annual Election of Officer and Directors: Cathy presented the list of 2024 LPENA officers proposed by the Board of Directors, as follows:
    • Stacy Vermette (President), 310 61st St N,, 727‑455‑0565
    • Cheri Riley (Vice President), 6310 Burlington Ave N,, 404‑944‑9992
    • Joe Vermette (Secretary), 310 61st St N,, 727‑XXXX
    • Carol Gruszka (Treasurer), 6531 Pasadena Ave N,, 727‑410‑0665

Cathy then opened nominations from the floor. There were none, and the officers were elected unanimously.

Combined continuing Directors as well as volunteers from the floor or via prior phone call were also elected unanimously, as follows (listed alphabetically):

  • Lorraine Armstrong, 330 61st Street N,, 727‑410‑2106
  • Kent Carroll, 1244 Country Club Rd N,, 727‑345‑8971
  • Cher Lowther, 6340 Burlington Ave N,, 727‑317‑8889
  • Cathy Parks, 6083 4th Ave N,, 443‑388‑2421
  • Dr. Jordon Vanderveen, 6021 2nd Ave N,, 616-301-4108
  • Chuck Lauer Vose, 6345 Burlington Ave N,, 503‑367‑6226
  • Roberta Yancey, 5942 Burlington, 727‑324‑3134

Next General Meeting: The next quarterly general meeting will be held at Menorah Life on May 21, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. Please attend, tell your neighbors about our organization, and pay dues ($25 annually via check or cash to any director, or $26.05 online via Square) so we can keep on working for you and for our lovely Lake Pasadena Estates neighborhood, known 100 years ago as the “Garden Spot of St. Petersburg.”


Following a motion, second, and unanimous approval, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m. Volunteers for working to clean up the lakes stayed to discuss future plans with Jim Bays and Margaret Zak.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol H. Gruszka, LPENA secretary