I came to Safety Harbor in 1979 to start our family business because of the tranquility, scenery and friendly small-town atmosphere. I grew to love this city and met my wife, Jill, here. Together we pooled our ideas, concerns and dreams about our city into reality.
We became involved with the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Safety Harbor Museum. This work only encouraged me to become further involved in our community. I served on the Safety Harbor Planning and Zoning Board, 1987-89, and as an alternate member of the Safety Harbor Board of Appeals, 1988-89. I was elected to the Safety Harbor City Commission in 1989, and served as vice mayor in 1990-91.
Accomplishments as a commissioner I feel important were the Free Annexation Program, which increased our tax base; the acceleration of the Sidewalk Improvement Program; the assigning of manpower to clean and maintain major drainage corridors; having the lowest expense budget; working to create our program for recycling oil; and being appointed as the city's first representative on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council's Agency on Bay Management.
Due to expansion and relocation plans of my business, Unique Engineering, and the responsibilities and time involved, I chose not to seek re-election last year. Now I am eager to again have the opportunity to work for our community.
Currently, Safety Harbor's expenditures are exceeding revenues. We are experiencing the constraints of limited revenue due to recession and build-out. Our budget needs to be curtailed to reflect this trend. The budget is being balanced with reserve funds. Our reserve funds are being depleted to cover expenditures. I propose that the city devise and prioritize a five-year funding and implementation plan for drainage, the library, parks, recreation and sidewalks. Recycling should be simplified to encourage better citizen participation. Rules, policies, goals and objectives need to be established for these projects that will remain in place, despite political whims and staff changes.