Motown Revue featuring The Soul Sensations!

Motown Revue featuring The Soul Sensations!

The WBMA Social Committee is excited to announce our next event, The Motown Revue, featuring The Soul Sensations!

This event will be on Saturday, March 21st, 2020 at 7:30pm

The Classic Car Museum

5500 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida

Tickets are $22.00 which includes your first beverage.

 Purchase your tickets by calling (941) 355-6228.

Tickets sell out quickly!!

When you call, let them know you are with the Whitfield/Ballentine Manor Association.

Rodney Dangerfield Tribute Show

Rodney Dangerfield Tribute Show

A fun time was had by all at Tarpon Bay, showcasing the Rodney Dangerfield Tribute Show! Bill Peterson, as Rodney Dangerfield, brought smiles and laughter to the WBMA audience.
The WBMA Social Committee has been busy bringing you events that bring our neighbors together!





Reflecting on 2019

The year 2019 is coming to an end as I write, and as a goal-setter, I like to look back and think about the things I am most proud of and what I could have handled better. Every year it is hard to take time to give these things the proper reflection, as my life moves at a pace that sometimes feels like the speed of light, but each year I silently remind myself of the importance of finding some quiet time to reflect. Because, while we move forward each day with the best intentions, life can only be understood when we think about it in hindsight.

Our boys, Joaquin and Marc, are now on active military duty and I’m writing just days before they will arrive home for Christmas. Both have told us it is unlikely they will make it home for Christmas next year. While our daughter Alexandra lives in Bradenton, she is frantically busy with graduate school and working, and there is little time to spend together. Our children are now adults, and they have each developed their own philosophies and opinions, which are not always the same as mine. I’ll admit that I occasionally stop myself from offering them unsolicited advice and try to remember that offering them a warm and loving connection may be more important than my opinion. My husband spends the work-week in Pasco County, returning home only for weekends and holidays, and all of this reality underscores the importance of the coming weeks for me, as it may be the last time for a long time that we are all together.

As I reflect on my first year as a County Commissioner, I realize I have learned a lot, and there are two things that stand out: 1. Listening is more important than talking, and 2. keeping emotions in check is easy if you don’t take things personally. 

Being an elected official allows me to interact with many people, and some come to me with a problem or complaint. Sometimes their problem makes them angry and difficult, which can naturally place me on the defense. But each time I am reminded to take a breath, refocus my perspective, and to try and understand what they are feeling. I have come to realize this past year more than ever before, the importance of understanding other perspectives. I’ve found that when you try to understand each other, it is easier to bring compassion to the discussion rather than judgement. And if you didn’t already guess, being on the commission can sometimes feel like a crazy rollercoaster, but I’ve learned that being open to other ideas is how we build paths to walk together instead of putting up walls that stop us dead in our tracks. 

I am proud of what I, along with your help, accomplished as a commissioner in 2019.

Here are some highlights:

1. The creation of the District 4 Citizens Coalition on Growth, to add more voices to the discussion of how our community should grow. This was a campaign promise that was my first priority.

2.Adoption of the public safety ordinance was a big win, which will not only reduce panhandling, but hopefully reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities on our roadways. 

3. Our Board unanimously supported the adoption of a massage parlor ordinance in an effort to eliminate nuisance businesses that are straining our resources and contributing to human trafficking in our community. 

4. Many residents in Pride Park will soon receive surveillance doorbells thanks to in an effort to increase safety, and our Sheriff’s Office has taken a lead role in this effort. 

Looking ahead, I am excited to work with our Code Enforcement Department and our major landlords in 2020 in an effort to develop a program together to foster community pride in our neighborhoods.

I believe that one of the keys to making sense of all of our relationships is to continue to expand our perspective from “how I feel” to “how others feel.” This shift removes the narrow blinders of our comfortable view, and widens our vision, sometimes to an uncomfortable place. Whether my role is a county commissioner, a mother, and even a spouse or friend, this shift has helped me when seeking to understand others.

As we begin the year 2020, I pray we can all take some time to savor the joys and sorrows of the past year and open our minds to the opinions of others as we build our future. And while we think about what is important, let us also broaden those thoughts to consider what is important not only to ourselves, but to our family, coworkers, and our community. Let’s make 2020 the best year yet!

Misty Servia is a Manatee County Commissioner who represents District 4.

You can reach her at

January 2020 Association Meeting

January 2020 Association Meeting

Happy New Year!  Let’s hope that it will be one without Red Tide, which we all have
experienced. Have you wondered if there is something you can do as an individual or as a
neighborhood to improve the health of Sara Bay and Bowlees Creek?  Well, bring your
questions because we are excited to have Shaun Swartz from Mote Marine Laboratory and
Aquarium as our guest speaker. Shaun has examined the impacts of environmental
degradation and development across Asia, along with developing reforestation projects in
Australias Kuranda Rainforest.
As always, we will have donuts and coffee. Cocktails are available for purchase at the bar.
If you have a raffle gift for the meeting we will happily accept it at the check-in desk!
See you January 13, 2020!

It’s Holiday Time!

It’s Holiday Time!

It’s Holiday Time!

Our festive annual holiday party will be on

Tuesday, December 10th

at the Sara Bay Country Club.

• Cocktails at 6:00 PM
• Dinner from 7:00 – 8:30 PM

The fabulous raffle will be held during dessert.

Entertainment provided by The Divine Lady Jazz
offering soft, smooth jazz and dance
music, and the dance floor
will be waiting for your
smooth moves.

The cost is $35.00 per person
and please note that we are
unable to provide reserved seating.

Please send your reservation requests to

and we look forward to seeing you at this wonderful event!

November Annual Meeting

November Annual Meeting

This is our annual meeting and we are excited to have our County Commissioner, Misty Servia, update us at the county level and answer questions you may have. Our President, Bill Espy, will give you the wrap up for the year regarding the association, what to look forward to in the coming year and of course, our annual Board of Director election. This is an important meeting and we hope that you will be able to attend. As always, we will have donuts and coffee and cocktails are available for purchase. If you have a raffle gift for the meeting we will happily accept it at the check-in desk!

WBMA Wins Competitive Grant

WBMA Wins Competitive Grant


Whitfield Estates Historical Marker

A new historical marker will replicate the design of our existing marker near the bay and highlight our neighborhood’s rich history east of the Trail.

WBMA Wins Competitive Grant!

By Norm Luppino

Just as our newsletter was going to press, we received the wonderful news that our Association was awarded a Neighborhood Enhancement Grant in the amount of $6,362.65!

The grant, which is administered by Manatee County government, requires the Association match the County’s contribution through both cash outlay and sweat equity by our residents.  Projects include adding new historical and entrance markers and the general maintenance of our public landscape triangles – such as trimming palm tree and re-mulching.

The grant application process was quite cumbersome and fiercely competitive as many Associations throughout the county vied for the limited funds.  However, through the hard work and expert writing skills of WBMA directors Carole Martin and Julie Grossner, our Association prevailed.  Great work ladies!



SRQ Demos Old Tower

SRQ Demos Old Tower

SRQ Demos Old Tower to Make Way for New Development

The demolition of SRQ’s old air traffic control tower in September was the final step in preparing the north endof the airfield for future development.  The tower was vacated in June of 2018 and was emptied of hazardous materials like asbestos in preparation for the demo.  The actual demo took only 3 days, but a week was spent sorting through the materials for recycling.

The standalone building, built in the mid 80’s, had no base building to accommodate any administrative functions.  It was open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight and only closed during the threat of a hurricane.  It was 88 ft tall and consisted of 6 floors plus the top cab.  The cab housed the air traffic controllers where they monitored airplane activity on the airfield and within 5-10 miles of the airport.  An average of 15 – 20 people worked there daily, and records indicate that during the life of the tower, controllers guided approximately 5 million planes to and from SRQ.

The function of the air traffic control tower requires that the top floor be completely free of any obstructions that would prevent a 360-degree view of the airspace from the cab, therefore, the tower’s elevator only went to the sixth floor requiring controllers to climb a very steep stairway to access the cab.

Construction cost of the new air traffic control tower was approximately $25 million and funded by the FAA, FDOT and the Airport Authority.  It stands taller, extending 135 foot above ground, and improves the line-of-site across the airfield.  The FAA began operations in the new air traffic control tower in June of 2018.

Development Plan Approved for Former Church Site

Development Plan Approved for Former Church Site

Development Plan Approved for Former Church Site by Norm Luppino

On October 3rd, the Manatee County Commission approved a commercial rezone and General Development Plan for 66,625 sq. ft. of building area on the 4.37-acre portion of the former Whitfield Presbyterian church property that abuts U.S. 41. The eastern portion of the site was not included as part of this request and remains residential.

Your Association participated in the hearing process and requested that motor vehicle repair establishments (such as tire stores and auto body shops) be excluded as potential uses due to the excessive noise these uses generate. Both the County and the applicant agreed; hence these uses were eliminated from the approval. We also successfully lobbied to have the minimum building setback increased to 50 feet from Jungle Way in order to provide a better transition into our residential neighborhood.


Love is All You Need?

Manatee Matters with Commissioner Misty Servia

I never imagined I would be writing about domestic violence because it affected our family, but the day has come. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to turn a bad experience upside down and help others. Our daughter met her first boyfriend in college and we were all surprised that the relationship would end with violence that left her with a black eye, bruises around her neck from being choked, and bite marks on her arm; all from a man who claimed to love her. Looking back on the times our family spent with him, the warning signs were there. He would buy her special clothes to wear, raise his voice with authority when he felt he wasn’t being heard, and even kicked a hole in a closed door when she wanted to be
away from him. His manipulative ways came clearly into focus after the incident when we learned that his parents (whom he told us were both dead) actually were both alive and well. These are
all traits that we now know illustrate the “total control” sought by batterers and reminds me of tactics used on prisoners of war who are fearful and helpless due to the daily psychological trauma.
It is ironic that our daughter’s boyfriend saw himself as the victim. He had a laundry list of reasons why he was pushed to physically control her, and in denial that he was responsible for her injuries. When she escaped from his grip around her neck and cried that she was calling 911 for help, he hid her phone and made the call himself proclaiming HE was the victim and discrediting her as “crazy”.
I now understand how women in this situation can blame themselves for the abuse – after all, “he is such a nice guy” to everyone else. The truth is, they are master manipulators.

What I learned from this experience is that our community has wonderful people who help the victims take back control of their lives; and with 1 out of every 4 women destined to suffer domestic violence, I want everyone to know about the life-changing resources available. Our Sheriff’sOffice has specially trained detectives and advocates who are the first line of defense. They take the lead in a collaborative effort that includes the State Attorney’s Office, Centerstone, HOPE Family Services, and Child Protective Services if children are involved.
HOPE Family Services is a nonprofit organization that promotes safety, strength, and well- being for those affected by domestic abuse. They have a 24-hour helpline and a confidentially located safe shelter for victims to get away, think clearly, and make decisions about the life changes needed to escape mental or physical controlling behavior. They also provide legal assistance to those who may need an injunction filed and remove barriers such as the need for housing, food, clothing, childcare, and job assistance that may prevent someone from seeking a change. The help they provide is the bridge to real change for a victim who feels they have no other option than to tolerate the psychological and physical torture.

When the State Attorney’s office decided to drop the changes in our daughter’s case because her ex-boyfriend had two scratches on his body from the altercation and both said the other one had started the fight, it only amplified the PTSD that our daughter experienced. She felt as if the State had shrugged off the trauma that she relives daily, as a “tit for tat lovers quarrel.” It was so much
more than that. The sad truth is that statistics show he will harm again, and the abuse will intensify until the batterer gets help and learns that no one is ever entitled to place hands on another person as a matter of power and control. Thankfully our daughter did not go back to the relationship, but many women do.

If you suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence, seize the opportunity to let them know there is help and they deserve to live in peace. Statistics show that there are thousands suffering in silence in our community right now, and contrary to one of my favorite Beatles’ songs, “love is not all that you need” and will not change an abusive relationship.

Misty Servia is a Manatee County
Commissioner for District 4 and represents south county.