As your representative in Tallahassee, my job is to be your voice and your advocate. District 72 is a vibrant place, home to gated communities and apartment buildings, retirement condominiums and tiny houses, single-family homes and duplexes. We have the most beautiful beaches in Florida, the best schools including a superlative technical institute, dedicated teachers and supportive parents, amazing restaurants, spacious parks, and access to some of the best physicians in Florida.
If you live in our District, you have 159,167 neighbors. You love the beach, but don’t go as much as you’d like. You're probably either a parent or a grandparent, and in matters of politics, you are proudly independent. You value common sense and integrity, and know the truth when you hear it.
-You vote for the person, not the party.
As your representative, I will always put the interests of District 72 first. I will always remember that the decisions I make and the votes I cast will affect the lives not only you, but my family as well. I will have only one analysis:
Will this decision make my neighbors’ lives better, or worse?
There is no District 72 without clean, clear water. Our environment and the local economy that depends on it are our inheritance, our paycheck, and our retirement.
And yet, virtually every neighborhood in District 72 has a storm water retention pond containing high levels of pesticide, herbicide and arsenic. The aquifer that flows just below our feet is being drained and polluted. We drink bottled water because we don’t trust what flows from our tap.
Years of failed and neglectful state policies have protected the interests of polluters and mismanaged developers at the expense of our beaches and aquifers. The stench of Red Tide represented a catastrophic failure of our legislature to protect our water supply. Over $15 million tax dollars were spent to clean millions of dead fish from our beaches just in 2019. Tens of millions more were lost as tourists avoided our shores. Many small business owners paid the consequence and were forced to shut down.
This neglect must stop. I am committed to protecting our natural resources, our priceless beaches, and the economy they support by forming alliances with inland counties and drafting laws criminalizing the pollution of our waterways.
Each year, our commutes take longer, our streets flood higher, and we question the safety of what comes out of our tap just a little bit more. As boring as it sounds, “Infrastructure” is one of those words that means nothing until you find yourself trapped in traffic on 41 on your way to work, or you and your neighbors have to boil water because the nearby sewage lift station has failed.
Growth is indeed good, but it must be well managed. With thousands of new residents arriving each year, the strain on our aging infrastructure becomes more evident. The consequences of our community’s needs being sacrificed to developer interests becomes more apparent each year. In 2019 alone, more than 600,000 gallons of raw sewage was discharged into our community due to aging infrastructure and incompetent contractors.
District 72 must have the funds required to rebuild and maintain our essential sewers, power stations and roads. As your State Representative, I will draft and support legislation that prioritizes the needs of our community and its citizens while holding developers to a standard of responsible growth.
As a father of three children who were educated by and graduated from Sarasota public schools, I know what a blessing it is to be able to raise a family in a district that cares about the future of our children.
District 72 boasts the highest rated schools in not only Florida, but in all of the United States. It is home to thousands of excellent and determined parents and some of the best teachers in the country. Our schools attract families from around the world. The physical buildings are constantly renovated. Parent-teacher nights are crowded and lively. The curriculum is highly specialized, and students can focus on classes and paths that will help them achieve their dreams.
If this level of excellence is to continue, our public schools and teachers must be supported at the state level, in partnership with the School Board and with continued input from parents and teachers. As your Representative for HD72, I will be a champion of our teachers and block any attempt to divert precious tax dollars to private charter schools at the expense of our amazing public schools.