A. Representing ecosystems. Ecosystem decline threatens human survival and therefore is my top concern. Restoring ecosystems would include: expanding natural habitat by placing an impact fee on new development to finance the purchase of land to be turned back to nature (to filter pollution, absorb floodwaters and carbon, produce oxygen and house wildlife); transitioning to renewable energy; reducing toxics and waste. B. Public safety. Reduce violent and property crime as well as traffic fatalities. Reduce chance for a ransomware attack by backing up systems and ensuring resilience in the event of attack. Review police and fire staffing/equipment needs to ensure swift response to emergencies. Review mass violence readiness to avoid the problems that occurred in Parkland. C. Economic expansion. Expand habitat to draw ecotourists who generate billions in revenue. Diversify the economy. Pursue progressive environmental policies to lure new businesses with younger workers. Solicit businesses that contribute to resident quality of life. Lower/eliminate license fees and reduce red tape that hamstrings business development. Help connect residents needing employment with jobs.
My first priority will be to start the search process for a new city manager and attorney. I have just completed the search for a new CEO at Ruth Eckerd Hall and am very familiar with the process and leading the process. My second priority is focusing on our aging housing stock. I believe addressing this issue will address many of the other issues plaguing the city. The third priority is building our reserves that were used to bolster the city during the Great Recession. The reserves are less than a percent higher than when I left in 2012. During the good times the city needs to build the reserve for bad times.
A. Collaboration: I. It is most important to have a collaborative relationship among the members of the Clearwater Council and to have a common understanding of the collaborative decision-making process. This is required to provide clear and consistent performance expectations to the city manager and city attorney. II. This collaborative relationship should extend to all members of the city staff and to the community. B. Municipal Excellence: I. The city must improve its responsiveness and use best municipal practices. II. Continual improvement is an important part of the governance process (International City/County Management Association manager benefit). III. Readopt City organizational values — Clearwater used to have these, but they were abandoned about 2008. IV. I would invite the Florida Sterling Council to evaluate the permitting and building inspection process. V. Code enforcement needs to be consistent and oriented to ongoing compliance. VI. Development decisions that follow the code, are predictable and rendered rapidly. VII. The selection of a city manager should give heavy weight to past performance excellence. C. Inclusiveness: I. We need to ensure that we are reaching out to all members of the community and including them in the key community decisions. II. The city needs to increase its investments in supporting neighborhoods and small businesses. Priority should be given to pedestrian safety and effective choices for traffic calming instead of just jarring speed humps. Note all priorities need to consider their impact on III. On the long-range impact of today’s decisions on the environment, IV. On the attractiveness of Clearwater for our children and grandchildren, V. On the sustainability of the city’s human resource capabilities, and VI. On the sustainability of the city’s physical resources (infrastructure and built environment).
1: Preservation. I would like to help Clearwater continue to grow economically but also not forget its history and roots. I want to see some of our history preserved including the Downtown Bluff properties and keep them part of the city for generations to come. 2: A greener Clearwater. I dream big. I want to see 1 million trees added to Clearwater. I am a Boy Scout at heart, and we like to leave things better than we found them. I want to clean up some of Clearwater's environmental problem areas while making sure we don't have more problems in the future and expand Clearwater's Greenprint Program. 3: Grow small businesses and start-ups: I want to support small businesses and startup companies establishing themselves in Clearwater and make it a little easier for them to set up shop here. I often visit other surrounding local communities and wonder why we cannot have our own little town area bustling with small shops. These businesses bring so much diversity, culture, and enrichment to our communities.
Accountability, affordable housing and standing up to Scientology. We need to put the needs of our neighborhoods over those of developers, address the serious lack of affordable housing, and the city needs to grow a spine on dealing with Scientology.
1. We must find citizen consent on our current Imagine Clearwater plan and continue to move the project forward at the desire of the citizens. Stakeholder inclusion must be included in all policy formation processes. 2. The city should begin a national search to replace our retiring City Manager Bill Horne. This is the first step in beginning to reshape our internal workplace culture, re-evaluate our municipal compensation position and improve our business climate to become more friendly, have less red tape, be seamless where applicable, and remove unneeded regulation. A smooth transition of leadership is essential. 3. Drive discussions regarding a strategic vision for Clearwater. We are missing prioritization and budget mechanisms for several city projects being discussed.
1. Push for strong, visionary leadership throughout all levels of city government that will make sure that all of citizens of Clearwater, especially our neighborhoods, are heard and considered in making decisions. 2. Grow our economy responsibly that protects our pristine environment and our current tax revenue base. 3. Reduce traffic congestion and push for better collaboration regionally and state-wide for creative solutions to transportation challenges.
A. Community Redevelopment Agency. B. Opportunity Zones. C. Affordable Housing.
Economic development: so that every citizen of Clearwater can achieve their own dreams for themselves and their families. Infrastructure maintenance: make sure that our water, sewage and roads are adequate and well maintained. Affordable housing: ensure that all citizens of Clearwater have safe, adequate and affordable housing.
My mission is to raise the bar on what it means to be a council member. First, lead development of a strategic plan that sets clear goals and accountability requirements related to top priorities such as affordable housing, environmental stewardship and city operations. I will communicate this plan to residents and be transparent and accountable in all decisions. Second I will engage with residents and business owners to develop ways to revitalize/engage their neighborhood and business and develop a unique identity and sense of pride in our community. Third, address community concerns about the up front and ongoing costs of Imagine Clearwater. Design modifications are needed to reduce costs. Input from residents and experts need to be incorporated into decision-making.
A. Top priority is to continue to be a guardian of our tax dollars. Only council member to vote against raising property taxes. B. Continue to side with residents when it comes to rezoning residential property to allow businesses to build close to neighborhoods. While I firmly support wise growth, I sometimes was the lone vote on the council opposing such rezoning efforts by developers. C. Finally, we need to do more in communicating with residents to better understand their needs. I was the only council member the past four years to hold regular meetings with residents at our five libraries, doing so over 30 times. We must always keep in mind that the City Council serves its citizens and not the other way around.
1. Improved communication/dialogue between city hall and the several neighborhoods 2. Fiscal Responsibility 3. Rehabilitation of Coachman Park
1. Improving the Business Climate in the city. Businesses have trouble opening their doors in Clearwater due to the red tape that the city puts on them. I’m proud to have the endorsement of Amplify Clearwater PAC. 2. Focusing on all Neighborhoods. Currently, our city council seems to only talk about projects in our downtown area but forgets that they represent every neighborhood. As a councilman, I’ll listen to their issues in every neighborhood and be their representative. 3.Public Safety: It’s vital that our police and fire departments have the resources needed to effectively do their jobs.