To begin, I believe in the American Dream – low taxes, affordable housing, safety & security, and good schools. I was born and educated in Palm Bay, back when our taxes were the lowest in the county, housing was affordable to all, and roads were not a safety concern.
A little about myself, after graduating Bayside High School in 2006, I attended Florida International University (FIU) obtaining a degree in Political Science. My career in government and public policy began at the age of 18 while working at the Town of Surfside across several departments, including Parks and Recreation, Tourism, Public Works, and the Police Department. I absorbed any task that I was given. This experience provided me the exposure to the interworking of local government.
After graduating from FIU, I assumed a permanent role as a full-time dispatcher for the Surfside Police Department. As a resident of Surfside, my neighbors relied upon me as a source of important information, public safety, and a liaison on important issues. As an employee of Surfside, I received multiple commendations, including the prestigious Miami Dade Law Enforcement Officer Award (first dispatcher to ever receive the award).
After 10 years in the Town of Surfside and 8 years as an employee, I moved back to Palm Bay. Today, my government experience continues, as I work for an IT consulting company that fulfills contracts across multiple federal agencies. I also sit as Vice Chair on Brevard County’s Planning & Zoning Board, as well as the County’s Local Planning Agency. I was also recently appointed to Palm Bay’s Bayfront Community Redevelopment Agency.
As a candidate for Palm Bay City Council Seat 2, I would like to mention three things that will be a top priority for me during my term as a council member.
Number 1 – RFPs
The city has had a reputation of awarding RFPs to people and entities that are not local residents or businesses. I am a strong advocate for buying and hiring local and this issue is very important to me.
These RFPs range from real estate brokerage services, playground equipment, to building an entire new facility.
Palm Bay is just north of 115,000 residents, the fact the city can’t find a resident to perform these services is alarming.
As a newly appointed member of the Palm Bay’s Bayfront Community Redevelopment Agency, I plan to look into this further. Today, the scoring criteria does not present any incentive to find qualified local businesses within Brevard for such RFPs and quite frankly if the City of Palm Bay cannot find a candidate within the county line, then we have to question whether Palm Bay even needs the RFP fulfilled.
Number 2 – Infrastructure
The depleting and insufficient infrastructure of the City of Palm Bay is a major concern of mine as well as many residents of Palm bay. The is a major task of the next generation of local leaders.
As a council member I will work to make maximize the resources and the ability to deploy them for not only new infrastructure, but also maintenance of what has existed for many decades.
I have heard the calls of our residents on the difficulties of getting attention to much needed repairs across the 88 square miles of Palm Bay – including potholes, swale trenching, traffic signs, signals, and more.
My mission is to institute a portal on the City’s website that will allow residents to report any non-emergency services that require attention. I believe this will save time and resources over the long-term for tracking and maintaining our infrastructure.
This portal would bring Palm Bay into the 21st century, by having the resident’s help report non-emergency problems to the City of Palm Bay from a smartphone or computer.
Number 3 – Indian River Lagoon
The beautiful Indian River Lagoon is very near and dear to all of us. Many of us grew up living near, swimming, boating, and fishing throughout the lagoon. We all share fond memories of this in some way or another.
I have worked with the Marine Resources Council on promoting Low Impact Development (LID). LID is a recognized stormwater management approach that protects downstream surface water quality, reduces downstream flooding and improves overall resilience, a little change such as a permeable driveway (pavers as an example) can allow the ground to absorb rainwater in lieu of running off into a storm drain connected directly to our Lagoon. Legacy has solutions. Let’s get back to living the American Dream, Let’s turn Palm Bay Around.