Dunedin, Florida


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Bandstand at Edgewater Park.

Dunedin (IPA pronunciation: [dənˈi.dɪn]) is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The name comes from the Scots Gaelic Dùn Èideann meaning Edinburgh. The population was 35,691 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 36,632.[1]. Dunedin is home to several beautiful beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, which is consistently rated among the best beaches in the world. Dunedin is one of the few open waterfront communities from Sarasota to Cedar Key where buildings do not obscure the view.

The quaint, but thriving downtown business district has become a model for many other west-central Florida cities. It is striking in comparison to neighbouring Florida communities for its absence of commercial signage and corporate franchise restaurants and retail stores. The Pinellas Trail, a 39-mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail that traverses all of Pinellas County, intersects downtown Dunedin. On any given day, it is common for more bicycles to pass through downtown than cars.[citation needed]

Since 1977, Dunedin is the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as the class-A Minor League Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League. Knology Park is situated a few blocks south of downtown on Douglas Avenue, besides the Dunedin Public Library, and a block east of the Gulf of Mexico and Edgewater Drive. Dunedin is one of the smallest communities used by Major League spring training teams, Knology Park was built as a replacement to Grant Field, the Blue Jays' first spring training ball park. Until early 2005, it was the home of Nielsen Media Research's production operations.

 

Education

Within the city limits of Dunedin, there are 3 public elementary schools (Dunedin, Garrison-Jones, San Jose), 1 public middle school (Dunedin Highland), and 1 public high school (Dunedin). There are also 5 private schools (Athenian Academy, Academie Davinci, Anchor Academy, Dunedin Academy, Our Lady of Lourdes School).

Until July 2006, Dunedin was also the home of the main campus of Schiller International University.

86.6% of the city's 36,000 have a high school Diploma, 22.4% bachelor's degree or higher, 7.1% graduate degree.

History & traditions

Dunedin's Scottish-American Society maintains Dunedin's Scottish heritage.
Dunedin's Scottish-American Society maintains Dunedin's Scottish heritage.

Scottish families originally settled the City of Dunedin in 1899. Two Scotsmen, J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville named the settlement Dunedin, the original name of Edinburgh, their hometown in Scotland.

Sister city to Stirling, Scotland, Dunedin has maintained and embraced its Scottish roots, and evidence of this heritage can be seen everywhere. Once a year, Scottish clans descend upon the city for the Dunedin Highland Games. The sound of bagpipes is commonly heard throughout the city. Both Dunedin High School and Dunedin Middle School have pipe and drum marching bands, known as the Scottish Highlander Band and adult members make up the City of Dunedin Pipe and Drum Corps. In addition to the Highlander Games, Dunedin hosts many other annual festivals. The most popular among these is Dunedin's Mardi Gras celebration, during which by thousands of visitors descend on the small town.

Dunedin Government

The City of Dunedin currently operates under a nonpartisan commissioner-manager form of government. The commission comprises four commissioners and a mayor, who are elected by the registered voters under a staggered system.

The chief executive officer, known as the City Manager, oversees the eight departments and the annual budget.

Currently, the Dunedin City Commission is made up of Mayor Robert Hackworth, Vice Mayor Deborah Kynes, Commissioner Dave Eggers, Commissioner Julie Scales, and Commissioner Julie Ward-Bujalski. The City Manager is Rob Dispirito.

The City of Dunedin Government is made up of eight departments with various divisions and sections. The departments are Administration, Human Resources, Public Works, Leisure Services, Fire, Library, Community Service, and Finance.

The City of Dunedin also boasts an extensive Volunteer Services Division, and enables all citizens the chance to have their opinions expressed and tended to. Currently, there are 39 boards and committees that serve as advisory groups to the City Manager and the City Commission.

Recreation

The City of Dunedin boasts a large Leisure Services Department, which provides low-cost recreation programming to the City's residents. The City operates four recreation facilities, each one designed to provide resources for a specific age group.

The Dunedin Community Center: General Population Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center: Teens, Young Adults Hale Activity Center: Adults and Senior Citizens Highlander Pool Aquatic Complex: General Population

The City also has a large athletic base, with community soccer, baseball, hockey, and softball teams.

The City reflects the Gaelic origns of its name by playing host to a new American shinty club, Dunedin Camanachd.


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