Sunday, August 19, 2018
Politics

Know Your City Council Candidates: Barclay Harless vs. Brandi Gabbard | District 2

Two first-time political candidates hope to replace term-limited council member Jim Kennedy, a Democrat who has served since being appointed in 2007. District 2 covers most of northeastern St. Petersburg up to Feather Sound, the Gateway and Gandy areas.

About the job: City Council members serve four-year terms on the eight-seat board and earn $44,452 annually.

Brandi Gabbard

Profession: 

Realtor

About the candidate: 

Gabbard, 41, has been active in the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the local Realtor trade organization.

Education: 

Indiana State University, 1994-99.

What are your top three priorities? 

I believe and will fight for an inclusive and transparent government which protects public safety, fights for attainable workforce housing and has a clear vision of economic development throughout our city!

How will you fix the sewer system? Would you reopen Albert Whitted sewage plant? 

A study would first need to be done to find out the real financial impact of doing so and a clear plan for funding of the reopening … Our current system with only three plants may not be enough to handle major storms and rain events in the future as daily capacity naturally increases.

What city resources would you use to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg? 

I would support the city focusing their financial resources on infrastructure improvements in and around the (Tropicana Field) site and incentives for private entities and local businesses to spur redevelopment around the stadium.

What are the biggest needs in Midtown and how would you address them? 

Access to amenities that are "basic human rights," such as grocery stores, affordable housing, education. "We have to work with the community on solutions …

Assets/liabilities/income: 

Assets: $588,221, home, property, IRA Liabilities: $431,314, mortgages, car loan Income: $71,882

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $37,318 Expenditures: $10,151

Personal: 

Married, 6-year-old son

On the web: 

www.Brandi4StPete.com @Brandi4StPete Facebook: facebook.com/Brandi4StPete/

Barclay Harless

Profession: 

Bank of the Ozarks manager

About the candidate: 

Harless, 31, has worked for State Sen. Darryl Rouson and was the state policy chair for the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Pinellas Charter Review.

Education: 

University of South Florida, bachelor's degree, 2010.

What are your top three priorities? 

I believe one of our core and top city responsibilities is rebuilding much of the water systems, bridges, and roads that were built during the 1950-1970(s) …

How will you fix the sewer system? Would you reopen Albert Whitted sewage plant? 

I do currently support reopening Albert Whitted ... I believe the facility should at a minimum be brought back online until the capacity challenges are met.

What city resources would you use to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg? 

I do agree with the (deal) allowing them to search Tampa Bay for a future site if that is not at the current Tropicana location. I am circumspect on city general funds being spent on a new stadium.

What are the biggest needs in Midtown and how would you address them? 

I am a firm supporter of early learning … Providing decent jobs and careers is another pathway to working on the needs of Midtown.

Assets/liabilities/income: 

Assets: $198,048, home, 401k Liabilities: $180,735, mortgage Income: $59,000

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $53,425 Expenditures: $ 30,807

Personal: 

Single

On the web: 

www.voteharless.com @BarclayFL Facebook: facebook.com/voteharless/

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