This was a comment in another post.
I want to thank Scott and the previous posters for their show of support. A lot of people have asked me why I chose to run city-wide. While there were various issues that helped me decide this, one major consideration is the fact that Seminole Heights is a microcosm of all the issues that face the entire city. Code enforcement, traffic calming, economic development along urban corridors, parking, historic preservation, interaction with TPD, interaction with FDOT, right-of –way encroachments, insurance requirements for events on city property - the list goes on. If there is an issue out there, Seminole Heights has usually faced it and taken a leadership role in dealing with it.
I have been fortunate to work with a great many individuals who have helped to make Seminole Heights one of the most activist, influential and successful neighborhoods in the city of Tampa. The presidents of SESHCA and SSHCA, Sherry Simons and Gary Ellsworth, along with their board members, have been instrumental in embracing more cooperation among the three associations. The leaders of the neighborhood’s Crime Watch areas and mobile crime patrols (“hooker patrol”) have developed tactics that have not only successfully drastically reduced crime in the area, but are models for other areas of the city. Our residents have worked to create historic districts and the city’s first residential overlay district. Working with these dedicated people has enabled me to develop knowledge and expertise on a wide range of issues. But it has also taught me that effective leadership requires listening to those around you, both to identify problems and develop solutions.
Having started down the path of success with Seminole Heights (although by no means reaching the end of the journey), I feel there is now an opportunity to apply my experience on a citywide basis. Many of the issues that we face in Seminole Heights require city-wide attention to develop functional solutions. Traffic calming will come to Seminole Heights when the city as a whole focuses on traffic calming, instead of budgeting an amount that is less than that budgeted to a Riverwalk consultant. Parking solutions will come to Seminole Heights when the city as a whole focuses on the rapidly escalating parking crisis which is only getting worse with a geometric increase in density in areas with the biggest problems. Redevelopment of our urban corridors will increase when the city modifies development codes designed for suburban sized lots. While our interaction with Code Enforcement has led to the creation of the Seminole Heights Task Force, a model of inter-department cooperation that needs to be applied to other areas of the administration, Code Enforcement also needs a cohesive city-wide strategy along with computers that provide the information that inspectors need in the field and a commitment to foreclose, when available, on blatant repeat offenders. And we will only get cooperation from FDOT when the city makes it clear that it needs to have a symbiotic relationship with them, not act as a parasitic host for raceways through our residential communities.
In short, there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed on a city-wide basis. I look forward to having the opportunity to apply my experience to develop and implement solutions that will help not only Seminole Heights, but the entire city.