Keep Our City Affordable
The economy is on a general upswing across the country and right here in Pinellas County, but there are families that are still working long hours every week to make ends meet. While our city has changed tremendously over the last 103 years, one thing has remained the same – this is a community of hard-working people. My parents worked very hard to provide for me; and my husband and I do the same for our son, Garrett. It is extremely important that Pinellas Park remains an affordable place to raise a family and operate a business.
This is accomplished by keeping taxes low and staying in touch with our business community to make sure they have the tools they need to be successful.
Promote Our Local Economy
One of the many roles of city leaders is to make sure Pinellas Park is a viable option for business and if you have driven down Park Boulevard lately, there is no question that we have been successful on that front. In fact between 2012 and 2014 over 150 new businesses were established in the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) alone!Businesses and developers flock to our city because we believe strongly in working with them, not against them when it comes to codes and regulations – we can always find a common ground to make their project a success. Sometimes government needs to get out of the way!
I am very passionate about economic development as evidenced by being nominated as “Business Woman of the Year in Government” in 2008 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Invest In Our Community
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the most effective way to encourage redevelopment and growth in our community. Some argue that this should be left solely to the private sector, but the fact of the matter is private businesses like to see commitment from local government before they are willing to add their money to the equation – particularly in blighted areas.
I have had the opportunity through my involvement in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and Florida League of Cities to travel around the country and our state to see examples of local government thinking outside the box and working with the private sector to make their community better place.
Continue Improving City Infrastructure
Pinellas Park’s future is bright, but have you noticed some of the streets are brighter too? This is thanks in part to my commitment to efficiency and improving city infrastructure. Our partners at Duke Energy are still in the process of converting all of our traditional, incandescent street lights to brighter, more efficient LED street lights.
In addition to street lighting, we are continuing to invest in our roads, sidewalks, and drainage systems to make sure they are up to the task of supporting a growing community!
Ensure City Employees Have Competitive Pay & Tools To Get The Job Done
I think we have the best general employees and first responders in the county. I want to make sure that they have competitive wages and benefits so that Pinellas Park remains a viable option financially for the best public service professionals in the market for employment.
Technology is constantly evolving and we need to stay on top of the latest and greatest advancements in police and fire technology. A big topic of conversation among Pinellas County Mayors is how we can work together to make Pinellas County safer as a whole. There are a lot of collaborative opportunities on the horizon, particularly when it comes to predicting and preventing crime.
Be An Advocate For Our City
If you’ve lived here long enough you may remember the days when Pinellas Park used to have a reputation that we couldn’t necessarily be proud of. Fortunately over the last twenty five years, city leaders have earned a seat at the table with leaders across Pinellas County and our state. I am proud to serve as Chairwoman of the Mayor’s Council of Pinellas County and an active member of Suncoast League of Cities, Florida League of Cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors.
While my primary focus is advocating for you at city hall, I travel to the State Capitol as well to meet with lawmakers to remind them of the realities we face as a community and how many of their policies adversely affect us here at home. Some members of the legislature got their start in local government but many don’t have a clue about what it takes to run a city, let alone pay the bills at home.