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 would be interested in speaking with our transportation and city planning experts about the effects of changing these interstates. While other cities have removed interstates to create boulevards, it is important we understand how this could affect St Petersburg and its neighborhoods. I do think that removing the interstates, which do tend to act as barriers, could allow for more development and affordable housing in the area that could be beneficial to everyone.
How does our community connect St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Beaches to the Brightline termination station in Tampa by 2024?
While it will require large, long-term investment by local and regional governments, I believe St Petersburg has the potential to create a light rail system between downtown St Pete and downtown Clearwater that could connect to a line along the Howard Franklin bridge which could then connect to the Brightline Station in Tampa. In the short term, I support utilizing major roads and interstates to create a dedicated bus rapid transit system that can quickly get people to Tampa to use the station.
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?
I believe the City Marina is a public asset like our parks. Therefore, I would be very hesitant to enter a long-term lease with a private operator.
What specific impact have you already made in St. Pete toward equitable economic development?
I am a board member of the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation which focuses on closing the education gap for children in St Petersburg. I’m a firm believer that education, job training, and apprenticeships are key to creating more equitable outcomes for our residents.
How should the city balance historic designation with property rights?
While President of my neighborhood association I worked to turn our local baseball park into a historic landmark. It was something that was part of our neighborhood plan that no one had taken the time to pursue even though it should have been done decades ago. I believe that it is better to do something proactively than reactively. I do understand the issue that comes from not balancing historic designation and property rights. There are buildings that should have historic designations and there are some that should not, every designation should be on a case-by-case basis and I oppose any efforts to abuse historic designation in an effort to halt our progress as a city.
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 need to continue incentivizing investments in sustainable technologies for homeowners like solar and improved insulation that can have a huge impact over time. I also believe we should continue investments in our wastewater systems and other infrastructure to prepare for the effects of climate change. As a result, I think it is extremely important to upgrade our infrastructure and make the repairs and replacements to our aging assets pursuant to the Integrated Water Resources Master Plan. As a peninsula on a peninsula, Pinellas needs to take sea level rise much more seriously. I would support investments in physical barriers as well as increased runoff infrastructure to prepare now for adverse weather effects and rising seas.