Ocoee Commission Candidate Q&A: Lori Hart, District 4

Lori Hart is one of four candidates running for Ocoee Commission District 4.

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  • | 11:59 a.m. February 18, 2021
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Age: 54

Family: Daughters Ashley, Brittany and Caitlin

Education: Bachelor’s degree in nursing, Florida A&M University; bachelor’s degree in biology, University of South Florida; master’s degree in education, University of Central Florida

Related experience: Critical care registered nurse

Why do you want to serve as District 4 commissioner?

I am running because I want to continue to serve my community. I have dedicated the majority of my life serving communities as a Critical Care Registered Nurse and as an educator. Ocoee is a great city and has the potential to be a beacon of light to other cities that are transitioning to a more diverse population. To be able to move this city forward it is essential that leadership work together. I am dedicated and committed to ensuring the city of Ocoee lives up to its motto – The Center of Good Living, for all its citizens!

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish as a commissioner?

1. Balanced Growth

  • Ensure that the city has the essential resources and services for the community.
  • Promoting Unity and Diversity in the community.
  • Ensure that incoming businesses will benefit the citizens of this community.
  • Ensure our roadways accommodate the growth and developers contribute their shared cost.
  • Keep industrial businesses out of our residential areas.

2. Education

  • Community Vocational – Technical Fairs for anyone that desires to start or advance their careers.
  • Implement “Getting to Know your City” Seminars focusing on department operations and community services.
  • Offer free tutoring to students leading up to FSA testing.

3. Environment

  • Protect and maintain our waterways and lakes.
  • Hold business accountable for improper disposal of hazard materials.
  • Maintain air and water quality testing.

Why should District 4 residents vote for you?

I come with a fresh perspective — as a mother that raised her children in Ocoee and as a citizen for 27 years of this community. I am dedicated to serving the citizens of District 4 and the entire community. To move this city forward we need leaders that are present and engaged with the citizens year round and not just near election. Also, it is essential that leadership work together — united we stand, divided we fall. The citizens of Ocoee deserve better. It is time for a change!

What are the top challenges the city of Ocoee faces? What are some potential ways to address them?

One challenge is infrastructure. A major issue related to District 4 is infrastructure, specifically Clark Road. Although it is nice that Clark Rd. has been extended to McCormick Rd., the congestion is between Clarcona-Ocoee Rd. and A.D. Mims. During rush hour, the Northbound traffic on Clark Rd. is backed-up from Clarcona-Ocoee Rd. to Hackney Prairie Rd. at times.

The Clark Rd. “project” has been in the making for a long time. The residents have heard many timelines. Therefore, I think it is important that updated information is communicated in a timely manner. The city of Ocoee is still working toward improving racial diversity. As a member of the Human Relation Diversity Board, we have been working toward bringing the citizens of the community together. The Day of Remembrance event that took place in November 2020 not only acknowledge the history of Ocoee but highlighted how far we have come as a city and the desire to move forward as a diverse community. 

If you had a magic wand, what three issues for Ocoee would you change immediately?

1. Clarke Road

2. West Oaks Mall

3. More family dining

What are some potential solutions for managing traffic conditions in conjunction with the city’s growth?

I will work with the Planning and Zoning director to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to accommodate the growth.

Last November, the city held events in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the 1920 Ocoee Massacre. How does the city continue to foster positive relationships throughout the community?

The city has many advisory boards. Therefore, it is essential that the city invite and encourage citizens of various cultures to participate and share their ideas. In addition, continue to support the Human Relation Diversity Board in events that acknowledge cultural diversity and unity.

How does Ocoee balance residential and commercial development with preserving the city’s heritage and culture?

To preserve the “old town” feel of Ocoee it is imperative that industrial businesses are kept within the industrial areas. Single family homes should also be kept in residential areas. Some have raised concerns regarding the city’s ability to retain firefighters.

What steps should the city take to ensure quality first responders and other civil servants stay in Ocoee?

  • Offer competitive compensation packages
  • Job related tuition reimbursement if employee agrees to stay and work for a specific time period.


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