Our unique equestrian culture
I would like to acknowledge the fact that the City Council Seat 2 that I am running for in August was most recently filled by the late Patti Johnson who was a member of our equestrian community. There are over 54,000 residents in our city and like most of us, I do not own a horse. However, I do support the equestrian community and their needs through my 13 years of service on the Parks and Recreation Board.
For many years, our city had a separate volunteer board (the Equestrian Board) comprised of people in the horse community and horse owners to advise and make recommendations to our city on improvements to equestrian facilities. A few years ago, our city decided to dissolve the stand-alone equestrian board as it had served its original purpose, and rightfully rolled the oversight of equestrian affairs into the Parks and Recreation board of which I was the Chairperson. The Parks and Rec board was expanded by two seats to accommodate previous equestrian board members and to ensure that equestrian affairs were still addressed as their facilities are part of our city parks system.
Our equestrian community and farms are a unique aspect of Pinellas Park and a point of pride. There are approximately 700 horses in our city (https://www.facebook.com/cityofpinellaspark/videos/1006640066184013/), and while horse owners comprise a very small percentage of our citizenry, the many equestrian related small businesses and equestrian events at our city parks draw visitors to our community and help create the unique character of Pinellas Park.