Family: Wife, Cyndi; adult sons, Brandon and Austin
Education: Osceola High School; two years in Valencia College’s electrical engineering program; HVAC air-conditioning apprenticeship program, Local 803
Related experience: Incumbent since 2006; former Winter Garden Planning & Zoning board member; past board director, Florida League of Cities; certified mechanical contractor; former instructor at Orange County Public Schools; Roper YMCA Indian Guides; formerly on Building Owners and Managers Association legislative committee; Florida Health Care Association; AdventHealth Winter Garden Advisory Council; account manager, Trane US Inc.
Why do you want to serve as District 4 commissioner?
I have a passion for the city, and I am proud of all the work I have done to make it ranked as one of the top 10 cities to live in (according to money.com).
If you are re-elected, what do you hope to accomplish as a commissioner?
Keep Winter Garden’s small-town charm and feel; smart redevelopment of blighted areas on Highway 50 and Dillard Street; (and) complete the vision in the Master Parks Plan.
Why should District 4 residents vote for you?
If they love what Winter Garden has done over the past 15 years to make it what it the great city it is today, they should vote to keep my vision for the city moving forward.
What are your thoughts on Winter Garden’s approach to managing or accommodating growth within the city?
It has been because of all the strategic planning and smart development that we have methodically planned that has made Winter Garden the cultural and economic hub of West Orange.
What are some potential solutions for managing traffic conditions in conjunction with the city’s growth?
Working with the expressway authority to add the new interchange of the 429 onto Stoneybrook (West) Parkway was a proud accomplishment. We also added a roundabout at Stoneybrook (West) Parkway and Roberson (Road) that had amazing results by replacing the traffic light. We need to add the planned roundabouts on Dillard Street. We are also working on other intersection improvements (and) retiming of the traffic light at Marsh and Avalon (roads).
What are the top challenges you believe the city of Winter Garden faces? What are some potential ways to address them?
Keeping our status as the top city to live, work and play in. My experience having been the
District 4 commissioner for the past 15 years has given me a unique ability to lead Winter Garden through the current crisis as we did during the 2007 and 2010 recessions. There is no doubt that Winter Garden is a great city today because of the decisions that we have made.
If you had a magic wand, what three issues for Winter Garden would you change immediately?
No. 1, adding (a) second fire station in District 4. With the expansion of new homes in Winter Garden in the Marsh Road area, we need another fire station to reduce response times to medical emergencies and fires. When I was first elected, District 4 did not have a fire station. I worked to bring the first fire station to District 4, located on Daniels Road. Now, I will work to bring the second fire station to District 4. We will use impact fees collected from the new developments to pay for the new fire station so our existing residents do not bear this cost.
No. 2, additional parking for residents and visiting guests downtown. We are discussing the opportunities available for another parking garage and purchase of additional land. This is a win-win for our residents, our visitors and also the downtown businesses who will be able to provide service to those additional visitors. This will allow us to continue to grow the city in the best possible way.
No. 3, Highway 50 corridor improvements. Phase 1 incorporated the landscape medians, upgraded traffic lights, (and) crosswalks to add character and beauty. Now, we are looking at attracting quality business opportunities for redevelopment of current blighted areas. We replaced the old hotel and abandoned gas station at 50 and Daniels with a new Wawa and restaurant.
If re-elected, how will you ensure transparency and open communication with residents?
I have my office phone forward to my cell phone. I recently had a resident call me on Dec. 29 at night between Christmas and New Year’s. They were shocked that they actually got me on the phone. I listened to their concerns for about 20 minutes regarding dump truck speed, noise and safety concerns on Marsh Road. Because of their call, I was able to get with staff after the New Year and start taking action. I am also keeping residents up to date with my Facebook page.