Family: Married (for 30 years!) to Pamela, three wonderful children
Education: Bachelor’s degree in design, University of Florida
Relevant experience: Current Windermere Town Council member; town resident and homeowner since 1997; Long Range Planning Committee member (2014-2019); licensed Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway; former finance specialist for state of Florida division administering multi-million-dollar FEMA hurricane disaster recovery grants; small business owner; Notary Public
Why do you want to serve on Town Council?
I am seeking my second term as Windermere Town Council member. I have lived in Windermere for 25 years, and it is an honor and privilege to serve my fellow residents. There are many significant projects currently in the works or underway, and I would like to see them through to completion or at least keep them moving in the right direction. It is of vital importance to guide Windermere into the future while preserving the charm, character and unique features that make the town of Windermere such a desirable place to live.
If elected, what would be your top three priorities for the town?
The safety of our residents is still my No. 1 priority, and we must continue to take steps to deal with the amount of traffic that traverses our town on a daily basis. Current projects and anticipated future initiatives such as our new town administration and police facilities (including accreditation for the Windermere Police Department); water utility master plan; road improvements for stormwater retention and drainage; multi-modal pathway including new pedestrian/golf cart bridge; park improvements; downtown redevelopment proposal, etc.; have all required significant time and attention in my first term and will continue to do so for the next several years. Additionally, protecting and preserving our most valuable natural resources (the Butler Chain of Lakes and our tree canopy) is of very high priority.
Why should residents vote for you?
I represent our residents and have no personal agenda. I spend the amount of time required and necessary to make informed decisions, and every decision I make, whether simple or difficult, is made with the best interests of our town and residents in mind.
What do you feel is the best way for the town to handle its ongoing cut-through traffic issues?
Windermere is continually working to address this issue, most of which was created by explosive growth in West Orange County with little foresight regarding its impact on our town. While we are working with representatives of Orange County government to find solutions, I am generally opposed to any measures that make it easier or more convenient to drive through the town of Windermere, rather than find an alternate route. As for cut-through traffic on our side streets, we have explored and considered many different options and have begun implementation of some in an effort to increase our resident's safety without inconveniencing them extensively.
What is your stance on plans for bringing residents access to potable water?
Forty percent of town residents are already being served by Orange County Utilities, and I fully support the implementation of our water master plan for the rest of our community. This plan will not only provide safe drinking water for all residents but will also greatly improve our fire protection capabilities due to the additional hydrants that will be installed. Construction/completion is a few years out (depending on project funding availability, of course), but the design stage is currently under way and the project will be completed in several phases.
If you had a magic wand, what three issues for Windermere would you change immediately?
Reduce/eliminate traffic, obtain more funding for improvements and get our ZIP code back!
How can the town of Windermere best support its residents and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Shop/eat local, adhere to safety protocols, care for your neighbors, and look to the future as this too shall pass! Despite the overwhelming challenges of the pandemic, we have enjoyed many successful events (elder luncheons, farmers markets, modified Halloween/Easter events, park improvements, tree giveaway, etc.) and I give full credit to our town staff, police department, and our amazing volunteers and committees for their time and dedication to our Town. We all miss our pancake breakfasts, beer fests, and Food truck nights, though, and can’t wait for those to come back!
If elected, how will you ensure transparency and open communication with residents?
The first paragraph of Windermere’s Town Charter states: “We recognize that the orderly, efficient and fair operation of town government requires the intelligent and informed participation of individual residents.” I spend enormous amounts of time interacting and communicating with our residents and will continue to do so. There is always room for improvement when it comes to communication, but I have found that the more involved and informed our residents are, the greater the chance of a successful outcome, be it an individual concern or a town-wide issue. Our new town of Windermere mobile app can instantly share important town info, and the relatively recent advent of online meetings has also greatly enhanced our ability to share information and has resulted in far greater resident participation than traditional in-person meetings.