Okeechobee High School, 1973
Stetson University, B.A., Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, 1978
Duke Law School, Juris Doctor, Law Review, Moot Court, 1981
Orange County Commissioner
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
MetroPlan Orlando Transportation Agency, past Chairman
Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency, Advisory Board
Orange County Arts and Cultural Tourism Advisory Council, Board Member
Orange County Research & Development Authority, Board of Directors
Orange County Commission on Aging, Former Board Member
Central Florida Fair, Executive Committee
American Cancer Society’s Cattle Barron Ball Sponsor
“Blow the Whistle on Asthma Walk”, American Lung Association, Honorary Chair
Quest (provides education and training to children and adults with disabilities), former Board of Directors
What are the three top challenges facing the Orange County Commission? Briefly describe how you would address these challenges. (limit 150 words)
1. Public Safety: The most important service government provides is public safety, and in the aftermath of the horrendous Pulse shootings, it became more evident the critical importance and sacrifice of our dedicated law enforcement and first responders. I am proud to report Orange County has continued to fund the Sheriff’s budget and public safety at historic levels including the funding of body cameras for our law enforcement officers.
2. The Economy and Jobs: During my term in office unemployment in Orange County has gone from 11.2 percent to 4.2 percent. I have further been supportive of major branding efforts by Orange County to attract high-paying jobs to our community, to preserve the military presence at the Central Florida Research Park, and reducing regulations and red tape for businesses dealing with Orange County. In addition, our Board has held the line on not raising taxes and balancing the budget while ensuring critical services are delivered efficiently.
3. Environment. I sponsored the Orange County Tree Preservation Ordinance to provide for the protection and replacement of trees, prohibit the clearcutting of property, and a tree replacement fund. I further championed efforts to protect our environment through conservation including running fleet of garbage trucks on natural gas and implementing programs to enhance recycling by Orange County residents. I also voted for Orange County’s resolution opposing fracking
What is your experience working with large budgets, revenue shortfalls, and oversight? (limit 150 words)
I have 14 years experience working on Orange County budgets and have successfully worked with the County Commission to provide services efficiently and cost effectively. I have also sat on numerous Boards such as Metroplan, UCF Research Park, the Orlando Downtown CRA Advisory Board, Orland Orange County Convention Bureau, and private charities that have had to balance and mange budgets. I have a proven record.
What are three things “going right” for Orange County? How will you continue forward progress? (limit 150 words)
i) UCF, Technology and Simulation Industry. Led by UCF and Medical City, Orange County is a leader in the simulation industry and growth of high tech jobs. The diversification of our economy is critical to our future. The approval of a Downtown campus for UCF is further evidence the second largest university in the U.S. will continue to be a leader for years to come.
ii) Tourism and Convention Center. Orange County is the tourist capital of the world with the second largest Convention Center bringing a record 62 million visitors to our County last year! Tourism continues to be the largest industry in our County, property tax payer, providing opportunities for growth and new milestones for future generations.
iii) Quality of Life. Orange County is a wonderful family oriented community with citizens fully engaged in our government and workforce. We need to protect our environmental, education, public safety and economic resources to provide opportunities for future generations.