TARPON SPRINGS — It came up a little short last month, but Tarpon Springs put its best foot forward while in the running to become an All-America City. Delegations from 25 cities across the country traveled to Denver from June 13-15 in an effort to become one of 10 selected by the National Civic League for its yearly designation. As part of the selection process each delegation createda 10-minute presentation that demonstrated why their city deserved to be a 2014 All-America City. Although Tarpon Springs didn’t end up making the cut in Colorado, its representatives staged their presentation publicly at last week’s regular meeting of city commissioners.
The team was comprised of a diversity of individuals, each highlighting a separate element of the city. Participants included, among others, Mayor David Archie, Police Officer Jose Yourgules, artist Christopher Still, former Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce President Sue Thomas, former city commissioners Chris Alahouzos and Robin Saenger. Following the presentation, Archie suggested that a more all-encompassing buy-in from throughout the city might be needed in future years if Tarpon Springs wishes to crack the top 10. “The only way we could do it and win would be for it to be a total community effort,” he said. “Because those other cities there ... spent a lot of time, effort and resources and had a lot of support from businesses and corporations to help them in their endeavor.” This year’s 10 National Civic League All-America Cities are: Montgomery, Ala.; San Pablo, Calif.; Brush, Colo.; Fort Lauderdale, ; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chelsea, Mass.; Independence, Ore.; Brownsville, Texas; Hampton, Va. ; and Eau Claire, Wis. City honors local injured soldier Tarpon Springs officially honored Levi Eaves during last week’s commission meeting, the Tarpon High grad and U.S. Army soldier injured in Afghanistan on June 26. Eaves, 27, sustained critical injuries from an improvised explosive device and is hospitalized in Europe. After Mayor David Archie read a proclamation Tuesday, Eaves’ sister, London, read a statement and provided an update. “This has been a difficult time for all of us, but with the awesome outpouring of prayer and support from everyone has been magnificent,” London Eaves said. The Eaves family created a Facebook page called The Latest on Levi, and a Sunday post stated that Levi had undergone 6 1/2 hours of surgery last Friday and remains in intensive care. “I know sometimes the word hero is just kind of thrown around and most of the time people use it for some sports figure who has the type of character that none of us would really like,” Archie said at the meeting. “So it’s indeed an honor and a privilege that the city is able to say an individual like Levi is a true hero.”