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A passionate advocate for the city and an outspoken business leader

Pete Boland is running for City Council District 3 of St. Pete to end the cycle of career politicians with a small business approach to problem solving and to move the city forward.

Pete’s Vision:

Singular Focus on Positive Impact— St. Pete First

Every issue will be viewed in the prism of one goal— how does this make St. Pete better? Making St. Pete the best is not just an idea, but it is the vision of our goal. I am in this race to always be St. Pete First—to fight the good fight, to solve long standing liabilities and tired issues that have plagued our city for far too long. We need to build more houses, modernize our institutions, cut spending and taxes, champion small business and work to save Major League Baseball. I want to hear from you. I want to be your voice. I want to make a difference.

Affordable Housing

Our success and geography have caused an affordable housing problem in St. Pete. The only way to attain affordable housing in a county that is 99% built out, is to build up, with a keen eye towards density and preservation of existing housing stock. The greater the housing supply that addresses the appropriate demand will yield stabilization and lower the housing prices. Zoning also needs to be analyzed to allow more multi-family units in neighborhoods (triplexes, duplexes, garage apartments, small-scale apartment buildings) where it is appropriate while maintaining the character of our neighborhoods.

The future requires more housing, with less office space development, for the modern family and future St. Pete.

We must also remember that the most affordable housing is the housing that already exists. We are in a unique pickle in Pinellas relative to housing, it will require unique solutions. We need to protect our current housing stock, build up with shrewd density strategies, accelerate and simplify the permitting process, and attract high-paying jobs that can make everyone’s housing more affordable.

Improving Public Schools

St. Pete/Pinellas long-struggling public school system needs full support from the City and City Council. A degree of focus must be given to the issues parents face at home so that better outcomes can be achieved. The achievement gap must be targeted and shortened. The city should work with the county to attract the best school teachers and include them in affordable housing plans. A city liaison needs to participate in all available school board activities. Neighborhood associations should be pipelines into Parent-Teacher Associations to improve outcomes for pupils in St. Pete. Programs like Former Mayor Baker’s “Doorways” program must be revisited so that can better connect local businesses to the city’s schools.

Invest in the Police

We must continue to modernize SPPD and fund them to retain and attract the best officers and most dutiful public servants in America. With all our public services, we must strive to be the best, most agile, and adept. The biggest role of government is public safety. We in St Pete should have the most highly trained police force in the nation that is also the best compensated. Public surveillance cameras should be installed in high crime & dense areas. Petty crimes will be addressed, criminals will be prosecuted. We need more cameras and more highly paid officers. Also, we must prioritize being a friendly police force as part of the police culture, welcoming the countless visitors that come to enjoy the Sunshine City. The City Council must work closely with Chief Holloway to ensure officers are being held accountable and praised & rewarded consistently for their excellent service to our community.

Protect the Waterways of Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay and it’s Inlet waters are at the absolute core of what make this city so special. Educating our residents, visitors and students about the importance of environmental friendly practices, conservation and stewardship are pivotal to the long term health of the Tampa Bay estuary and our most valuable asset, our waterfront. The environmental disaster of 2015-2017, when the city dumped up to 200 million gallons of waste in our waterways, must never happen again. Implementation of a rebate program to replace private laterals must take place. Improper disposal of sewage sludge should never become an option to prevent treatment plant overloads during an extreme weather event. Re-opening of Albert Whitted sewer plant must be revisited.

Protecting & Improving Albert Whitted Airport

Albert Whitted Airport is a uniquely special asset to our City that can be a large economic driver for our city. It’s a historic aviation site, that needs to be preserved. Albert Whitted should be expanded, not developed, drawing in superior air traffic and improving the power of its economic engine.

Trim The Fat

St. Pete’s City’s budget has exploded in recent years. Every single department will be analyzed and scrutinized with a business-like mindset for the best possible outcomes and optimum efficiency. No department will be pushed to improve. Staff will be held accountable, prudent, and praised often for saving taxpayer dollars.

Invest & Improve Infrastructure

The government’s primary responsibilities are public safety and infrastructure. We’ve all traveled over uneven sidewalks and roads with potholes and have seen flooded streets. The city needs to stay on top of sewage, storm drainage, water runoff, roadways, bridges, electrical grid, codes, and more. The government has to have an efficient, well-run, clean, and safe city for its citizens.

All Policies

Trim the Fat

St. Pete’s City budget has exploded in recent years. Every single department will be analyzed and scrutinized with a business-like mindset for best possible outcomes and optimum efficiency. There is no department that will not be pushed to improve. Staff will be held accountable, prudent and praised often for saving taxpayer dollars.

Fund the Police

We must modernize SPPD, and fund them to retain and attract the best officers and most dutiful public servants in America. Strive to be the best, most agile, adept, and most highly trained police force in the nation that also is the best compensated. Public surveillance cameras and should be installed in high crime & dense areas, and “The Blue” needs to be backed by the city. Petty crimes will be addressed, criminals will be prosecuted. We need more cameras, and more highly paid officers. Also, we must prioritize being a friendly police force as part of the police culture. The next Mayor must work closely with Chief Holloway to ensure officers are being held accountable, and praised & rewarded consistently for their excellent service to our community.

Law & Order— be tough on crime

SPPD will have support from the mayor’s office and will tackle petty crimes. Graffiti, petty theft, simple battery, and other small crimes will be addressed aggressively. Police resources will be used and encouraged to improve public safety.
Bike theft is a big issue, thieves will be arrested. Auto theft is a big issue, it will be addressed. Educating the Public and pushing a public bike registry will help get bicycles back under their rightful owners and will send bike thieves to jail.

Decriminalize Marijuana

We can’t wait for the county and the state to do the right thing. The drug war is a massive failure, and should not be waged against marijuana in our city. Embrace the cannabis economy, and follow suit with city of Tampa & city of Miami to decriminalize. Too many lives are derailed thru meaningless arrests for marijuana. This is an issue with bipartisan support.

Change and improve the Parking Enforcement system

Encourage and subsidize more workers to use garages, help to create a more comprehensive permitting program. Also increase metered times and create more amnesty programs. Parking Enforcement should not be a revenue center for a bloated city government.

Commission a St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Every March is the busiest time of year in St. Pete, with St. Patrick’s Day being one of the days that draws the largest crowds. The city needs to embrace this culture and celebration and push it to the next level with a St Patrick’s Parade officially making St. Pete the number one place for St Patricks Day celebrations in Florida. This event could be an economic driver for the entire city and elevate St. Pete to the level of Savannah, New York, Chicago, and Boston as a premier destination for Celtic Culture.

Restore the Prestige of MLK Day Weekend

As a youngster, the MLK parade was a huge event in the city that attracted people from all Florida to celebrate in the memory of Dr. King. This needs to be a poignant celebration that brings the city together and is looked forward to much like the city’s Pride Parade. MLK Day Parade should be widely revered as an economic driver for the city and an opportunity to bring our community together.

Protecting and improving Albert Whitted Airport

Albert Whitted Airport is a uniquely special asset to our City that can be a large economic driver for our city. It’s a historic aviation site, that needs to be preserved. Albert Whitted should be expanded, not developed, drawing in superior air traffic and improving the power of its economic engine.

Improving public schools

St. Pete and Pinellas County's long struggling public school system needs full support from the City, and the Mayor. A degree of focus must be given to the issues parents face at home, so that better outcomes can be achieved. The achievement gap must be targeted and shortened. The city should work with the county to attract the best school teachers and include them into affordable housing plans. A city liaison needs to participate in all available school board activities. Neighborhood associations should be pipelines into Parent-Teacher Associations to improve outcomes for pupils in St. Pete. Former Mayor Baker’s Doorways Program must be revisited to better connect local businesses to city schools.

Protect the Waterways of Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay and it’s Inlet waters are at the absolute core of what make this city so special. Educating our residents, visitors and students about the importance of environmental friendly practices, conservation and stewardship are pivotal to the long term health of the Tampa Bay estuary and our most valuable asset, our waterfront. The environmental disaster of 2015-2017, when the city dumped up to 200 million gallons of waste in our waterways, must never happen again. Implementation of a rebate program to replace private laterals must take place. Improper disposal of sewage sludge should never become an option to prevent treatment plant overloads during an extreme weather event. Re-opening of Albert Whitted sewer plant must be revisited.

Grow smart, grow green

As Florida’s “First Green City”, we must continue to lead the way to address the concerns of climate change and to make city government more energy efficient. Modern technology and 21st century strategies must be employed so we can grow green. Universal broad band access should be available in every corner of the city. Disaster Preparedness Plans must be made and updated for the challenges of the 21st Century.

Uplift Flood Vulnerable areas with Stilts

As a native and current resident of Shore Acres— we all know flooding should be addressed. The city should lead the way and fight for State and Federal subsidies to literally help to lift homes onto stilts in flood threatened areas like Shore Acres & Old Southeast that cause so much damage and pain. Mitigation of the flood hazard for these homes and the residents inside of them will save the city millions, and protect the vulnerable from the dangerous storms while also increasing the tax base and home values. We cannot let our dynamic neighborhoods be washed away.

Speed up and improve the woeful permitting process

Add and train more staff in permitting to meet the demands of the growing city. Improve efficiency and view the applicants as customers that need to be satisfied. Implement a culture change that not only protects but also serves the public. Permitting needs to be less punitive, and more constructive.

Recruit the best grant writing teams

Talent sits right within our own backyard, and must be drawn in to bring home the Bacon for the Burg. State and Federal Funds must always adeptly be applied for. Our neighborhoods should have the best support and be eligible for any and all state and federal programs.

Futurism— modernizing the city’s entire infrastructure

We must embrace the new economy of robotics, automation, and renewable energy to clear the way from regulations prohibiting progress. We need our streets, parks, marketing, government and real estate holdings to be the most modern and for the 21st Century citizen.

Preservation

Part of what makes St. Pete so special is it’s history and style. Historic buildings and neighborhoods should be highlighted and protected. These areas should also be fully considered when introducing new development. Preservation and reverence to history are in fact conservative issues.

Affordable Housing

Our success and geography has caused an affordable housing problem in St. Pete. The only way to attain affordable housing in a county that is 99% built out, is to build up, with a keen eye towards density. The greater the housing supply that addresses demand, will yield stabilization and lower housing prices. Zoning also needs to be changed to allow more multi-family units in neighborhoods (triplexes, duplexes, garage apartments, small scale apartment buildings). The future requires more housing, with less office space development, for the modern family and future St. Pete. We can’t have a NIMBY mindset, but instead a YIMBY mindset (Yes - In My Back Yard!)

Stronger Neighborhoods

Regular meetings from the Mayor’s Office into every neighborhood should be held to connect the city to it’s neighborhoods, and the neighbors to each other. Apps like Next Door are not the the only way—solutions are better brought to the surface by person to person connectivity.

Tackling Homelessness

Homelessness is a multifaceted cocktail of problems that needs be addressed from each angle. Temporary housing, health care, personal hygiene assistance and panhandling need to be addressed as well as mental health stability and improved partnerships with St Vincent DePaul and Pinellas Safe Harbor. The Homeless needs clear pathways to help, and should not be dehumanized.

Target and Eliminate Food Deserts

Create a public/private partnership with the city and the hospitality industry, to get nutrient rich foods into the mouths of the needy and malnourished. Support the construction of a Culinary & Hospitality Education center that feeds families, trains grocery & hospitality workers, educates on nutrition, and advocates for urban farming. Explore culinary partnerships with SPC and others to create pipeline of workers, and feed the hungry good food. Community Gardens should be inspired and supported throughout our neighborhoods.

Being the City’s biggest cheerleader

Bold leadership driven by pure passion for our forever home, our urban paradise of St. Petersburg. St. Pete will strive to attract and compete on every level and work to address every issue facing our city’s quality of life. No one will cheer louder or more passionately to make St. Pete the best place on Earth to live, work and play.

Problem solving > partisan politics

St. Pete needs voices and an approach to leadership that sets partisan politics aside for the greatest common good. The democrat, republican, liberal or conservative ideas don’t matter— what matters is whether or not the idea is a good idea and addresses the concerns of the citizens of St. Pete.

Transparency

No back room deals, no shady Developments, no sugar coating, no political theater. Residents deserve and will get the harsh truth with transparency and easy access to government officials, especially the Mayors office.

Paltry politics of pretend sainthood

Our elected leaders need to get real.
Be authentic; you’re human, you make mistakes! Too often, Politicians take the wrong things too seriously, and the right things not serious enough. I won’t pretend I’m not a bunch of things and that I am a bunch of things, I’m gonna be who I am, a passionate advocate for making St. Pete the best place to do business in and call home.

Singular Focus on Positive Impact— St. Pete First

Every issue will be viewed in the prism of one goal— how does this make St. Pete better? Making St. Pete the best is not just an idea, but it is the vision of our goal. I am in this race to always be St. Pete First—to fight the good fight, to solve long standing liabilities and tired issues that have plagued our city for far too long. We need to build more houses, modernize our institutions, cut spending and taxes, champion small business and work to save Major League Baseball. I want to hear from you. I want to be your voice. I want to make a difference.

Outside the Box solutions

After decades of recurring and persistent issues, new city leadership should explore and covet outside the box approaches to issues like poverty in Midtown, accessibility to job centers and education and transportation. Asking a career politician to do the same things over and over are not yielding results.

Tirelessly support Small Business

Connect small business with the tools needed to succeed and improve, and thrive. Make the city small business liaison a prominent department that incubates and inspires the entrepreneurial spirit and equips those aspirations with a strong support structure. Develop and enhance a young entrepreneur program through The St. Pete Greenhouse, teaching financial literacy as well as the language and laws of business.

Promote Nightlife & Hospitality

There will be no greater champion for the vibrant nightlife and Hospitality industry. Any and all restrictions and regulations on hospitality will be examined. Nightlife will promoted and protected, festivals and events will be coveted and supported. I vow to return and restore city co-sponsored events like First Friday immediately. Remarkable venues like Williams Park, Vinoy Park, North & South Straub, Demens Landing and others need to be marketing and supported to host large events. The “After Hours” permit will be eliminated by executive order in the first 100 days of office.

Change and improve the Parking Enforcement system

Encourage and subsidize more workers to use garages, help to create a more comprehensive permitting program. Also increase metered times and create more amnesty programs. Parking Enforcement should not be a revenue center for a bloated city government.

End Automobile traffic along the core of Central Avenue

Prohibition of motor vehicles along Central Avenue from Bayshore Drive to 34th Street must be studied and implemented to foster a more dynamic walkable/bike-able urban epicenter. This area should also be wet-zoned so that patrons of our dynamics small businesses can sip and stroll without the fear of open container laws. This non-vehicle corridor will allow for greater connectivity from the Pier District, thru the Downtown Core, The EDGE, and Grand Central Districts, creating small business spine of the city with expanded cafes and verandas for locals and tourists alike.

Improved Walkability

St. Pete is already among the most walkable cities in the US, but still has room to improve. Our steamy and rainy summers make walking a little more difficult. Creative partnerships and ideas will be presented to improve walkable paths for pedestrians by incorporating walk scores into new Developement and slowing traffic patterns for optimal safety. More shelter and air movers should be encouraged and supported along pedestrian downtown corridors, which could be included in new codes.

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Pete for St. Pete
PO Box 1151
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

E: Pete@PeteforStPete.com