(Port St. Joe, FL)
Saturday morning, approximately 40+ community members and friends gathered at the Washington Improvement building for a delicious brunch and to discuss the next strategic plan.
John Hendry stated “I left Port St Joe 10 years ago. When I returned, I was delighted with the change. I saw change everywhere except in North Port St Joe. Even though many wonderful people pushed for the so-called redevelopment expansion area, that covers all of the community, even with the 2010 Master expansion plan, nothing has happened. But something is happening now. I urge you all to look at the plan if you haven’t done so already.
It’s available on the website. Download the plan to your computer. The most important element of the plan in my mind is the intent to implement change. And not wait for change to happen. Plans only work if they are executed”.
Tommy Curtis, spoke of his main focus—Self Empowerment. “We are not asking the government for money. We are not requiring them to step forward and have them meet to determine if this is something we need to do. We are honoring people like Clifford Simms. Our objective is everybody around who is in government, except our commissioner; it was always a resource issue. Basically, we’ve addressed the resource issue. God has provided us with our own resources. We go to the churches, and we transcend color lines.” I am here because United States Senator Bob Graham retired, said hey we are going to build a brand new seaport; the one you signed off on in 1985. I asked “where is that?” He responded “Port St Joe.”
Curtis went on to say, that when it comes to Port St Joe, “I’m focusing on the whole community. But we have 1949 pipes in the ground. That’s a Flint, Michigan danger zone. The first 10 seconds you turn your water on, it’s brown. I already know that. That has to change and private sector has to be the one to do it.”
As each group/individual went around the table, the coverage for this project spanned from Health Care Services, housing transition for ex-prisoners to construction. Each person represented a department that is going to be necessary to accomplish the goal.
“The purpose was to bring the community together and to design a service and delivery model that would operate under the redevelopment activities into North Port St Joe,” said Danny Bolden, Vice President of the North Port Joe PAC. “It’s not about just brick and mortars. It also includes jobs and many more. We just wanted to bring everyone together to showcase what we have and to get everyone involved”.