- March 9, 2019
Name: William "Bill" Martini
Education: Bachelor of Design degree from University of Florida, 1989
Occupation: Finance Specialist at Volunteer Florida (a division of the State of Florida) administering multi-million dollar hurricane disaster recovery grants for FEMA. He is also a licensed Realtor and Notary Public.
What motivated you to run for town council?
When I first moved to Windermere 22 years ago, I was very impressed by the level of volunteerism here. Our town runs on the strength of our volunteers! I have been involved and volunteering since day one, and I have often considered those two decades of experience and knowledge as a springboard to serving on town council. Now is the time for me to step up and help guide Windermere into the future while preserving the charm and uniqueness that enticed so many of us to move here in the first place.
If elected, what would be your top three priorities for the town?
The safety of our residents is my No. 1 priority, and we must take steps to control the dangers of the ever-increasing traffic. I also support, and intend to further, the positive initiatives and enhancements underway by our current administration (new town facilities, water utility master plan, stormwater retention, multi-modal pathways, sidewalks, etc.). The protection and preservation of the precious surrounding natural resources that enticed many of us to move here in the first place
Why should town residents vote for you?
I have been a resident and property owner in the Town of Windermere for 22 years and have dedicated countless hours working on various committees and in volunteer positions for the Town, most notably as a member of the Town of Windermere's Long-Range Planning Committee for the last 4 years. This committee considers and makes recommendations to the Town Council for long-range projects and improvements for the Town. I have also served on the Windermere Wine & Dine Committee (6 years), Town Branding Selection Committee, Windermere Elementary School PTA (12 years), Windermere Safety Watch Sector Leader (3 years).
What do you feel is the best way for the town to handle its ongoing cut-through traffic issues?
We need to take back our neighborhoods from the ever-increasing cut-through traffic. The volume and dangerous speeds of traffic on our side streets is a recipe for disaster, so we need to take steps to limit the impact this issue is having on our Town residents and their safety. Today is the best it will ever be and we need to explore as many options as possible to find what works and enact measures immediately (greater police enforcement, alter speed limits, limit access, etc.).
Where do you stand regarding the town’s initiative to provide safer, modern facilities for the town’s administration personnel and police officers?
I am 100% in favor of the initiative to fund new facilities buildings. There is a solid plan in place to pay for this project: No property tax dollars would be used, and property taxes would not/can not be raised either. Our police officers put their lives on the line for us every day. They, as well as the rest of the staff, mayor, council members, and 50+ various volunteer committee members deserve to have safe, professional facilities in which to work. New facilities would enable the Windermere Police Department to become accredited also, which is not possible with current facilities.
Some believe the town needs better protections for its trees. What specific changes, if any, would you like to see in the town regarding environmental protections?
I would like to see an updated tree ordinance that works for everyone, and any removed trees should be replaced with new ones. Also of great importance to me is the protection and preservation of the precious surrounding natural resources that make our town what it is. A greater law-enforcement presence is direly needed on the lakes and at Bird Island and the boat ramps due to a marked and rapid increase in boater volume and unsafe boating practices.
How would you improve communication between the town administration and residents?
The town website will be updated soon! We also need a single-point source of dispensing information to residents –preferably by email although, not all residents have that option – which also would require a complete/current resident database. Also, any resident who is directly affected by a project or improvement should be contacted before work begins so that there aren't any surprises. There are also many different volunteer committees working simultaneously, but very little communication between them. Therefore, I will be proposing a biannual all-committee workshop for information-sharing.