Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Politics

Know Your City Council Candidates: Justin Bean vs. Gina Driscoll, District6

Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll, the top two candidates from the Aug. 29 primary that drew eight hopefuls, are vying to replace City Council member Karl Nurse, who is term-limited. District 6 includes parts of downtown, the Old Northeast, Midtown, Historic Uptown and the Old Southeast.

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

Justin Bean

Profession: 

Business development sales manager

About the candidate: 

Bean, 30, has been chair of the St. Pete Young Professionals, sat on a committee to help determine who would design a $20 million section of the Pier District and was a consultant on a proposal to redevelop Tropicana Field.

Education: 

Lakeland Christian and Allendale Academy, 2005; Polk State College, associate degree, 2011.

What are your top three priorities? 

Community-led economic development, early childhood education and infrastructure update and maintenance.

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

Utilize the Albert Whitted sewage plant for overflow storage while expanding capacity at other plants. Make sure manholes, sewer mains and laterals are in top shape.

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

I'm against using public funds toward a new stadium. I'm open to helping with infrastructure and surrounding area development.

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

Roadways and sidewalks . . . need to be fixed. Housing must be affordable for multiple income levels. There must be a grocery store. Community-led economic development.

Assets/liabilities/income: 

Assets: $25,746; motorcycle, shotgun Liabilities: None listed Income: $86,692

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $26,560 Expenditures: $26,076

Personal: 

Single

On the web: 

justinbean.com @JustinBean Facebook: facebook.com/VoteBeanStPete

Gina Driscoll

Profession: 

Sales manager

About the candidate: 

Driscoll, 46, is president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. She has lived in St. Petersburg for 12 years and is endorsed by outgoing City Council member Karl Nurse.

Education: 

Pasco High School, 1989; University of Tampa, Pasco-Hernando Community College and University of Central Florida. No degree.

What are your top three priorities? 

Affordable housing, continuing to upgrade the infrastructure, particularly the sewers, and supporting the schools by increasing after-school and summer programs.

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

The triage approach the city is taking is an important step. We need to invest as much money in it as it takes . . . I'm in favor of reopening the Albert Whitted sewage plant if it is determined to be the best use of our resources.

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

Before we commit to providing financial resources for another baseball stadium, we should focus on getting input from residents and business owners . . . We also need to make sure that the city wouldn't be responsible for the entire bill.

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

More affordable housing and retail, including a grocery store. I will bring my experience working with businesses to help attract more retail stores . . . Streamline the process to assist nonprofit groups to build affordable housing. Increase transportation options.

Assets/liabilities/income: 

Assets: $20,750, personal possessions Liabilities: None listed Income: $39,602

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $32,201 Expenditures: $28,213

Personal: 

Single

On the web: 

ginadriscoll.com @VoteGina2017 Facebook: facebook.com/VoteGinaDriscoll/

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