"I believe in efficient, transparent and fiscally responsible government."
We need to run a more efficient government staffed with and led by individuals who are fiscally responsible and recognize residents are customers who deserve respect and representation. We need to identify non-taxing revenue generating opportunities and cost saving measures to further relieve the tax burden on our residents. While as a City we have certain limitations due to our tax base, we have not been running efficiently which has negatively impacted the budget. We also need to respect our procurement system and contract City business consistent with law so we cast as wide a net as possible during the public bidding process and get the best, most qualified vendor and price for our City. It is to our detriment to not utilize the public bidding process. We should also look at opportunities to become true partners with some of our vendors; it is a missed opportunity for the City not to participate in profit-sharing on certain government contracts.
"I will respect the unique character of Delray - and support objectively defined land development regulations."
This is my hometown, and I will respect, defend and look for ways to improve our land use laws. I remember when no one wanted to come to downtown Delray when I was growing up, so we have to remember where we came from to understand the best way to plan for the future. We should have objective, clearly defined land development regulations that respect the character of Delray and provide a predictable playing field to protect residents and be fair to those that want to invest here. We must protect our established neighborhoods while encouraging redevelopment of blighted and under-utilized properties that are not a part of our historic fabric and that could provide a significant economic impact to our City. Our Village by the Sea has a unique character, and my public service will focus on preserving and improving our way of life by utilizing my land use and planning experience.
Clearly a vibrant local economy is critical to our community’s vitality and sustainability. We have seen our City flourish and grow over the past two decades, and we need to keep thatmomentum while staying true to our vision of a small town community. Going forward, Federal Highway, Linton Boulevard and Congress Avenue need to be redeveloped with appropriate low impact commercial and office opportunities to support the residential development and transition appropriately to adjacent residential neighborhoods. Class A office space in our Downtown is an important part of that as well as providing an appropriate mix of desired uses on West Atlantic and Linton Boulevard. I will work with business community stakeholders and the BDB to attract high paying, low impact jobs to our City. Additionally, we should have programs that assist our local, small businesses to succeed. Having a strong local business community is something that will benefit the entire City, and instituting such initiatives will certainly be one of my objectives as a commissioner to ensure economic prosperity in our City.
Some say the city commission has no say in school issues – as a vocal advocate for our schools, I will change their minds. I was the president of my class at Atlantic High School and I'm fortunate to have graduated from the International Baccalaureate program there, before attending University of Florida and then earning my law degree and MBA from Pepperdine University. I know first hand how a good education can change lives, and will be actively involved to make sure we have strong local control of our neighborhood schools and our children have access to the best opportunities from K-12. We will not be able to attract companies to relocate to Delray if they feel the only option for their employees’ children is private school. I would like to see strong and diverse academic and vocational programs as well as a City-led push for enhanced athletic programs (such as lacrosse, tennis, swimming and golf in addition to our current focus on other traditional sports). My goal is to help create a strong academic and athletic base so our youth are prepared for whatever opportunity they desire to pursue, and those that leave our City to seek higher education opportunities, return as I did, to make our City stronger.
Traffic impacts us all, and there are some basic things we can do to alleviate congestion. Better synchronization of signals with regular recalibration is critical and an oftentimes overlooked issue. Constant review of traffic patterns is an important part of 21st century city oversight. We also need to find ways to encourage non-vehicular users – Delray signature local mass transit opportunities such as the Trolley and the Downtowner, bicyclists and pedestrians. And sometimes it is the obvious we miss - why is SE 1st St still one-way, when NE 1st St was reverted to two-ways years ago to improve traffic and reduce congestion? It's a matter of leadership, it's a matter of attention to detail and it’s a matter of understanding logistical planning issues our City faces now that it has grown; with my experience I'll make our City better. I would also like to see our police force augmented with additional security details paid by the CRA in areas that are of concern. This allows us to put potentially more police on the street without impacting our budget. We have gotten national attention for our events and our Downtown, and need to ensure that we are providing a safe environment for our residents, businesses and visitors. With regards to transient housing, many of the issues related to transient housing can and should be addressed with more effective code enforcement and law enforcement. As it relates to sober houses, as an attorney I understand the challenges dealing with Federal and State law on this - we need to continue to work with our lobbyists, representatives and fellow municipalities to better serve our residents and protect our neighborhoods. I believe Senator Clemens’ recent legislation is a strong step in that direction.