Gail Garrison said she is running for City Commission because she fears city officials are ignoring residents' wishes. "I think it's really time for our City Hall to listen to us instead of doing as they want," she said. "We've built and built over the years and now it's time to stop and look back and save what we have."
Garrison, 44, is challenging one-term incumbent Dennis Duda to represent District 3.
Garrison said her fears stem from the city's idea for a municipal marina. Voters rejected building a municipal marina near City Hall by a 2-to-1 margin in November.
The referendum was non-binding, but City Commissioners had said they would abide by it. Garrison said that leaves the door open for the marina issue to resurface. Garrison, a member of the Future of the City Planning Committee, said she opposes a marina because it might harm the environment and cost the city too much money.
But overall, she said the city is taking good care of the environment. "I think they're headed in the right direction," Garrison said.
Garrison, 44, said she has lived in St. Petersburg Beach for five years. For 25 years before that, she lived in Pinellas County. Garrison grew up in Venezuela, where her father worked in the oil business.
She and her husband, Scott, have one grown son.