Latvala has been a political fixture in the bay area, serving as a Pinellas County commissioner since 2000. Latvala was also a member of the Pinellas County School Board from 1992 to 2000. However, the moderate Republican from Palm Harbor recently announced she will not run for re-election and plans to retire from politics.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm reading Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life by Jane Pauley.
How far into it are you?
I'm about halfway through it. ... I didn't realize that I had some things in common (with Jane). She never expected to have such a wonderful, fabulous ride, but eventually she realized that she didn't want to do it anymore. The book has chapters of all these people who had careers — wonderful, successful careers, and then they realized they didn't want to be doing what they were doing until their last breath. Instead they wanted to start doing all those things that might not bring money, power and glory, but still (bring) self-satisfaction.
Can you elaborate on not realizing you had things in common with Pauley?
She replaced Barbara Walters on the Today Show, but she didn't have a degree in broadcasting. The comparison is that I never dreamed of being in politics. I was doing much lower level public service — the Woman's Club, sitting on nonprofit boards — but it didn't feel like enough, so I kept going. I never dreamed that I'd spend 22 years in public office. But that being said, it's been an honor to serve.
Piper Castillo can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4163.