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St. Petersburg Council Member District 4

The city of St. Petersburg operates under a strong mayor and city council system. The St. Petersburg City Council is the non-partisan governing body of the City. The Council is responsible for legislating ordinances and resolutions, approving the city budget, appointing the charter review commission, and establishing a code of ethics for the city government and city employees. The Council consists of eight Council Members, elected from each of the eight districts of the City. Elections for the City Council are held in odd-numbered years, usually with each election including four of the eight districts. In 2021, in addition to elections for Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8, there will be an election for District 1 because the seated Councilmember resigned his seat in order to run for another office. In the general election, all eligible city voters vote "at large" for the candidates running in all of the Districts that are on the ballot.Term: 4 yearsSalary: $48,079

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  • Candidate picture

    Lisset Hanewicz
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Tom Mullins
    (N)

Información Biográfica

What character traits, views and experiences do you possess that best qualify you for this seat on the St. Petersburg City Council? (600 characters)

Would you support a Tropicana Field redevelopment proposal that included a stadium for a part-time team? Why or why not? (600 characters)

What are your plans for increasing resiliency in Coastal High Density areas, flood zones, areas affected by sewage overflow, and areas affected by stormwater management issues? (600 characters)

The Tampa Bay Times has reported that "the state Legislature put in controls on how often and how much local governments can increase impact fees." This may affect St. Petersburg’s ability to ensure adequate infrastructure to accommodate new buildings and development, such as water, sewage, environmental protection, transportation, and more. How do you plan to balance new development and adequate infrastructure to ensure quality of life in St. Petersburg? (600 characters)

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly half of renter households and one-quarter of owner-occupied households in Pinellas County spend 30% or more of their income on housing. As rental and home prices continue to rise rapidly, describe one creative solution you’d support to increase the availability and attainability of affordable housing in St. Petersburg. (600 characters)

Many people in St. Petersburg are reliant on low-wage jobs. What steps would you take to promote living wages and fair labor standards in the city for these workers? (600 characters)

Preliminary findings of a USF study on structural racism in St. Petersburg indicate a history of city policies that have resulted in racial disparities that currently impact Black residents. What steps would you take to address racial equity in the city? (600 characters)

There are 7 amendments to the St Petersburg City Charter on the ballot this year. Which amendment do you feel most strongly about and why?

Email Address lissethanewicz@gmail.com
Phone (727) 914-4070
Education Florida International University - B.A., M.B.A, University of Florida - J.D.
Professional Experience Office of the State Attorney 6th Judicial Circuit, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, opened private law practice in 2014.
Public Service President of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association, co-founder of Friends of Woodlawn Elementary, Pinellas County Schools LunchPals mentor, board member of the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation, and former Membership Chair for the Council of Neighborhood Associations.
I would serve on the City Council the same way I have as the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association president - listening to the concerns of my constituents, working with them to form sound policy, and putting that policy into place. I also believe my background as an attorney will help me effectively advocate for our city.
I want to keep baseball here, but I am not willing to put significant taxpayer money towards a new stadium. I agree that the stadium situation needs to be solved sooner than later and I’m keeping an open mind - but I would only support a proposal that benefits the city as a whole. We are still recovering from the pandemic and it would be irresponsible to put the financial burden of a new stadium on taxpayers.
The City needs to continue addressing and planning for climate change using available data to plan for the future. I would support capital investments now to prepare for projected sea level rise and prepare our city and protect our homes. Those would include increased stormwater improvements, investments in our sewage system, sea walls, and other recommendations as set forth in the Integrated Water Resources Master Plan. Those investments should also prioritize local hiring so our tax dollars are going back into our economy.
Tallahassee has shown it has no regard for home rule as set out in the Florida Constitution. Impact fees are an important source of revenue to fund the required infrastructure due to new growth. We need to require sustainable and resilient infrastructure in any new development. We need to continue collecting data to demonstrate the increased impact generated by new developments to ensure we can show the need for additional capital facilities and meet the requirements set by the legislature. We also need to proceed with our Integrated Water Resources Master Plan.
We can consider community land trusts on city-owned vacant properties where nonprofits can acquire the land in a trust and develop the property. The homeowners enter into a long term lease. This arrangement separates the cost of land from the cost of the building making it much more affordable.
Workers need to be paid a living wage. I will work with local companies and stakeholders to raise wages and provide more stable employment for workers. I will support our living wage ordinance and ensure there is enforcement and that employers are compliant and following fair labor standards. I will support workforce training programs to prepare people without college degrees for jobs with promising career paths. We should also be strategic and identify the areas of growth where training efforts can be focused. St. Petersburg is targeting five major industry sectors.
Although it is going to take time to address the issues of racial equity in our city, we need to work as quickly as we can so every part of our city can benefit from our growth. I think a Community Benefits Agreement when we redevelop the Tropicana site can address issues such as job training, local hiring, paying a living wage, affordable housing, and any other community needs to address racial equity. I do think that we should examine removing or repurposing I-175 to create a better connection to downtown and the Tropicana site.
Amendment 1 will shape the future of our representation in St Petersburg. I believe having more local representation that answers directly to their district is good for a healthy democracy and lowers the cost of running for office. One downside to consider is that it may lead to more conflicts since each Council Member will only have to answer to the voters in their districts and will likely focus on district issues as opposed to taking a whole city approach in their decision-making process, which is something current Council Members must do since they are elected citywide.
Campaign Website http://tomforstpete.com
Email Address info@tomforstpete.com
Phone (727) 201-5489
Education B.A. from Vanderbilt University MBA from Dartmouth College
Professional Experience Investment banker with Raymond James from 1986-88 and from 1990-present. From 2005-2019, I was head or co-head of the firm's Transport & Infrastructure practice group, where I personally led financing and acquisition transactions for clients in the environmental service, transport and infrastructure sectors.
Public Service No prior government positions.
I believe I am differentiated from the other District 4 candidates in several ways: -Only candidate warning about strong recent hikes in property taxes and prioritizing containment of property taxes -First candidate to call for scrapping the existing Trop re-development concepts and doing a new RFP process to attract truly transformative proposals which bring a jobs engine -Only former union member -Only one personally associated with major local job creation events: Raymond James (8,000 jobs), Allegiant Air (+400 jobs) -Only candidate who has worked with global infrastructure funds
No. It's a priority to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay area but baseball is not the highest and best use of the Trop site any more in light of the City’s current priorities. Officials have really underestimated the value and re-development potential of the Trop site. I want to lead an alternative RFP process, modeled after a 2011 NYC process led by Mayor Bloomberg, to solicit proposals for truly transformative redevelopment concepts that come complete with their own jobs engine, such as a major university relocation/extension, Fortune 500 corporate relocation, or similar.
I support the 2020 City code changes raising construction standards for development in these areas, which happen to be 40% of all dry land in St Pete! Climate change poses greater risks to St Pete than to most other U.S. cities, so St Pete’s climate change solutions need to take very tangible civil engineering forms: hardening the city against storm risks and sea level rise with prudent fortifications such as seawall expansions, break-waters, new mangrove fields and similar investments – being careful not to waste taxpayer $$$s by building too far out in front of sea level rise models.
Impact fees should be used to the extent possible. But infrastructure needs will be higher than projections as existing area population forecasts ignore Covid-related changes in location preferences; accelerating migration to Florida from large misgoverned cities in the U.S. and increased migration from all corners of Latin America. The city council must have members on it that know how to finance this infrastructure efficiently (such as with global infrastructure funds) and not just blindly raise taxes or add debt to the city because they don't know how to analyze other financing solutions.
The only real way to improve the affordability of housing is by growing housing supply. Taking money from one taxpayer and giving it to another as a housing subsidy does not count as “affordable housing”. St Pete zoning needs to accommodate high-density housing alternatives to an even greater degree than today. Two ideas: Give homeowners freedom to rent garage apartments. Also, consider allowing “villages” of high density housing and retail / commercial development in parts of the city outside of downtown where this type of development is not presently allowed.
Proposition 2 puts Florida wages on a ramp to $15/hour. However, the minimum wage is still $0/hour for people who can't find work. That's why my top priorities are policies which optimize private job growth so that both employed and unemployed people have the widest possible job opportunities and leverage to ask for fair wages and working conditions. To drive that type of business climate, we need to achieve low taxes, sensible business regulations, Trop redevelopment that includes a jobs engine, and acceptance of further area population growth and (tasteful) real estate development.
The U.S. private economy is the most successful and inclusive engine for lifting people from poverty that the world has ever seen. There are thousands of Black professionals in Tampa Bay alone which prove this point. We must sustain the health of that economy and thwart numerous "progressive" initiatives that make it harder for Black residents to climb higher. Examples include: "open border" immigration, denying Black kids charter schools, crushing franchise / independent contractor business models often used by Black entrepreneurs, and generally hostile tax / regulatory policies.
I am opposed to the No. 1 Charter Amendment. If passed, this would end city-wide elections for city council posts and limit city council elections to just the voters in the applicable district. A quick Google search using key words "hijack local elections" reveals many, many examples of elections similar to our council elections (low-turnout, high cost to run) being hijacked by eccentric wealthy candidates, religious fringe groups, and far-left and far-right activist groups who plainly have agendas different than the people they represent and who become disruptive actors in local gov't.