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Central Oak Park
Neighborhood Association

Newsletter December 2017 - No. 52


Steve Billa

Vice President
Travis Kraus

Bridgit Mathers

Phillip Baker

Michelle L. Anderson

Elaine Hartin (Community)

Will Johnson (Social)

Gerard Izzo

Nick Ricchini

Lynn Deibert (Alternate)

Chris Kelso (Alternate)

Michelle L. Anderson


Police Emergency


Police Non-Emergency

Mayor's Action Line

Animal Control

Sanitation Department
Happy Holidays Central Oak Park!

The next time we meet, in the last week of January for our first general meeting of 2018 it will be a time to look ahead and forecast, to set new goals and to seek out new volunteers to bring those ideas into fruition. But now as the weather cools off intermittently and the colored lights and decorations go up, it’s a good time to reflect back on 2017 and everything we’ve celebrated and accomplished together this year. 

We hosted several social events this year, including 7 porch parties across the neighborhood. We launched new traditions with our first annual Plant & Seed Swap and Halloween Block Party. We marched with the rest of the city with our own float in the St. Pete Pride Parade. Most recently, we closed the streets and shared our unique cultural culinary traditions at our annual Holiday Block Party. These are always bright moments full of laughter and conversation where we come together to build the relationships that are at the core of Central Oak Park.

We also came together for our community this year with two great events, adopting 2 local homes in need of repair and beautification for the city-wide initiative Carefest and continuing our tradition of honoring local emergency crews with our annual First Responders Dinner. Let’s commit to building on this civic outreach in the coming years.

A core focus for the board this year was strengthening our foundation as an organization and we made great progress. We launched a new website, rebranding our online image and consolidating many of the services we used previously and opening up new forms of communication. We ratified our Bylaws in part to meet the membership requirements to re-join the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) as well as to complete our 501(c)(3) application to become a charitable organization. This will open up many new fundraising opportunities for us. Our application required us to file for a new tax ID number, which has been accomplished and we are now watching the PO Box daily for our approval letter. Additionally, we voted to send 2 representatives to the CONA leadership program, which begins it’s 12 week program next month.

We recently attended a meeting with the Central Avenue Council. This organization plays a key role in the vibrant business community along Central Avenue. We’ve been invited to seek membership on the council and we are researching the requirements and responsibilities of this great opportunity. We elected 2 new board members mid-term to form a new COPNA Business Alliance that will help bring focus to branding and enriching the Central Oak Park businesses along the Central Avenue corridor, extending the vitality creeping up from downtown, the Edge and Grand Central across 34th and into our neighborhood.

Early in the year, we completed a doorhanger initiative begun by the previous board, reaching out to every household in Central Oak Park. This was a great success. We increased our membership by 62% this year, up 70 from 113 to 183 members. We also completed the 1st half of an another initiative the last board started, rebranding our street signs with Central Oak Park signs atop the street markers. We’ve started work on the second half of that project, beginning the re-application process for the city grant and securing a quote for the new signs at a 40% reduction in cost. 

We met with City Services to formally begin our Neighborhood Strategic Plan. This long-term initiative will coordinate our goals as a neighborhood with ongoing city initiatives such as the Complete Streets and Rapid Bus Transit projects to bring progress, growth and vitality into Central Oak Park at a generational level. 

Finally, we are closing out the year with a financial surplus. Our Treasurer reports $3778.44 on the ledger. We recently voted to establish an audit committee to review our books for the past 3 years. This audit will be complete before the March elections. The Audit Committee will include 2 board members and 2 members from the general membership and will provide confidence and transparency in our finances as we seek to invest in new forms of growth in 2018. 

All of this was achieved through team work and yet there is much to continue to improve on. I want to say thank you to the board for meeting regularly and pushing past all our varied personalities and priorities to put the neighborhood first. There were many others who showed up as well to promote and work towards the things we all hold dear for our shared vision of Central Oak Park. There is nothing we cannot achieve together when we put our minds to it.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Blessed Yule or at the least a warm reflection on family and life. Rest up and eat well, we have much to do in 2018 and we will all be needed to get it done.
New Engine Ceremony

The Central Oak Park Fire Station 6, located at 4825 9th Av N installed a new fire engine at a ceremony on December 20.
Board Members Will Johnson and Michelle Anderson attended to represent COPNA.

As the saying goes – “We’re NUTS about our neighborhood.” We in Central Oak Park take pride in our neighborhood, and that includes our alleys. We have 2 factors at play here which include our own residents and dumping by nonresidents.

COPNA recently reached out to the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association (HKNA) and asked how they keep their alleys looking good. Brenda Gordon, President of HKNA said, “We too have our share of inappropriate alley dumping and it seems to be a constant battle.”  Some of the things they do include communication with residents on “alley etiquette,” including a once a year presentation at their membership meetings from the St. Pete Codes Department.

Here are some things that we can do to improve the appearance of our alleys:
  1. If there are bulky items dumped in your alley, call the St. Pete Dept. of Sanitation and report it for pickup by calling 727-893-7398 or report through SeeClickFix.
  2. If there are smaller items dumped in your alley, pick them up and place in the dumpster.
  3. take photos of contractors and others who dump in the alleys. If the photo includes the name of a business on the side of the truck or the license plate number, the City can fine them.
  4. Make sure any contractors you or your neighbors use are not dumping. Jobs for hire should include appropriate debris disposal.
  5. Place the “NO DUMPING” stickers on your dumpster. Stickers are provided by the City. You can get a sticker at an upcoming Membership Meeting or to pick one up send us an email.
  6. Cut the grass! We are all responsible for our section of the alley. If a neighbor on your alley is unable to cut their grass, lend a helping hand. Some chose to utilize the space for plants.
1210 35th St N
December Yard-of-the-Month
4846 12th Ave N  - Home of Bonnie Green & Paula Tripp
Note: We are temporarily suspending the official Yard-of-the-Month poll while we reorganize but will continue featuring a home monthly. View photos of featured Central Oak Park homes.

January 12
COPNA Porch Party
home of Gerard Izzo
3862 Dartmouth Ave N

January 16
COPNA Board Meeting

January 30
COPNA General Membership Meeting
St. Luke's United Methodist Church
4444 5th Ave N

See full COPNA Events calendar

See a full list of area events.

Happy holidays all,

It has been one busy year in the garden. If you planted your tomatoes and kale in October, you should be harvesting now. You still have one more growing season starting in February before it gets too hot. With the cool weather and low humidity, you can have that lawn you always wanted. Plant rye grass and water everyday for a week. You will be proud of your turf. Now is the time to plant pansies, merigolds, snapdragon, and petunia flowers.

Enjoy your gardens ...Will Johnson
from Michelle L. Anderson, REALTOR®
November Home Sales

COPNA Homes Sold in October: 19 (20 in Oct.)
As of 12/19/17 there are 31 properties listed for sale in COPNA and 15 pending sale.
Please use Nextdoor for crime watch information. The COPNA Nextdoor page is monitored by the St Petersburg Police Department.
Questions about the newsletter? Send an email to the Newsletter Editor, Michelle.
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Central Oak Park Neighborhood Association · P.O.Box 12702 · St Petersburg, FL 33712 · USA

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