YOUR PRIORITIES ARE MY PRIORITIES
Water. Our economy is based on water, clean and abundant. Water feeds our fishing, our diving, our tourists, and us. Water keeps us alive and preserves the beauty of our incredibly magical vistas. Too often these ties are left out of the conversations surrounding water policy in Florida. Our economy, our way of life, and our future hang in the balance – so everything surrounding water will be a top priority for me.
Ensuring our fishing guides and boat captains, and all the businesses that depend on them, are at the top of our minds is high on my list.
For about as long as I’ve lived here, the same issues continue to confound the Village Council. In fact, it’s painful to watch them handle the challenges of the day, never mind an inability to forecast the future.
Pictured above: Mary involved in shark research in the Florida Keys..
THE ISSUES, THE CHALLENGES
Florida Bay needs protecting and defending (and always will), which hasn't happened from this council. Our water is our economy, we should behave like it and fiercely protect it. The sugar lobby was gunning for our water earlier this year, and darn near got their way.
Thankfully, Gov DeSantis vetoed Senate Bill 2508. But our own village's lobbyists worked against our interests. Other than Henry, the others on the council defended the lobbyists. That's shameful if you ask me.
We must start with a zero-based budget to get our fiscal house in order. We can't just keep raising taxes. It's past time to finalize the Fills and get it right. It is the side of a highway, not a park. If we need more amenities in all the parks we've got, then let's have that community discussion and plan for it.
We need to seriously address workforce housing, every year they've wasted time not addressing it. We can't turn back the clock, so forward-thinking is a must. I support looking at using existing TDRs only to build housing for people who are in the workforce today. I'm unsatisfied by the little information made available to the public related to how illegal vacation rentals are being dealt with. It never happens, but we must make traffic impacts a key component of every project brought before the Council for approval.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
I have a deep understanding about how and why government functions at every level, having spent the last 30 years driving Everglades and Florida Bay restoration. I have experience moving lobbyists, government agencies, bureaucrats, and elected officials, to do the right thing – keeping the citizens informed and engaged along the way.
The current Council does not respect each other, and meetings last until late at night. I’ve always worked well with others. I know how to facilitate a productive debate and get to a resolution quickly and efficiently. More importantly, I excel in ensuring projects and policy are implemented correctly.