Copley Gerdes

Candidate for: City Council, D1
Amount Raised: $51,640
Cash on Hand: $11,497.67

Chamber Interview-

Candidate Q&A

Should changes be made to I-175 and/or I-375? Should they be brought to grade and transitioned to boulevards? Should they be brought below grade and capped (built over) to help bridge the gap between South St. Pete and Downtown?

I support investments to improve our highways and infrastructure. I support grading I-175 and I-375 into boulevards as it would drastically advance the flow of traffic, reduce congestion and the frequency of vehicle accidents. Doing so would also benefit public transit and make it easier to expand routes into South St. Pete. South St. Pete has been neglected by city officials and this initiative would help bridge the gap between those neighborhoods and Downtown.

How does our community connect St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Beaches to the Brightline termination station in Tampa by 2024?

To connect to the Brightline station we will have to work closely with leadership in our surrounding communities, especially in Hillsborough County. I have the experience we need to be able to foster these relationships and work together to build a better, more connected, Tampa Bay.

Do you support the plan to lease our City Marina to a developer to operate and make improvements instead of keeping the marina under city management and make the repairs ourselves?

While I understand some of the benefits of leasing our City Marina to private developers, I generally view the City Marina as a city asset that should remain under city management.

What specific impact have you already made in St. Pete toward equitable economic development?

I’ve dedicated my career to helping individuals make secure financial decisions and that experience will serve me well on the council. By helping individuals develop their own financial security we build a stronger and more stable community.

How should the city balance historic designation with property rights?

Our historic properties are an important element of St. Petersburg’s unique character. It’s important that we protect properties that embody that history so that they can be appreciated by future generations while balancing the importance of smart growth and the rights of property owners. I’ll support programs and efforts to assist property owners who want to designate their own properties but it should not be used to impede growth and development in areas where significant historic properties aren’t present.

What are your priorities for both sustainability AND resiliency (taken separately) for the City? What are 2 examples that you see as the City’s best opportunities to address climate change impacts?

We’ll be a more resilient city if we choose safe and smart zoning standards when investing in residential development. I’m proud that St. Pete has enacted the Implemented Sustainability Development Initiative and I’ll work to expand renewable energy options such as solar to help reach our emissions reduction goals.

Additional Resources

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