It’s Michael’s belief that local government should be a semi-revolving door of willing, innovative people that are eager to keep Tampa on a positive track of progression. Long terms lead to complacency and alternative motives. Gone are the days of a council that consists of retirees and members that no longer interact with the commerce of society. 8 years is enough time to make your mark on Tampa and contribute to the great city you live in.
Affordable housing is a combination of many efforts all pulling in the same
direction. New developments need to be weary of climbing rent prices while
existing properties and landlords need to be kept in check by local government
initiatives. Small incremental rent increases are acceptable as is some form of
agreement for long lease holders in up-and-coming parts of town. It is also up to
the community to be cognoscente of the surrounding areas and keep houses in a
similar demographic as they were prior to renovations.
Tampa has many non-profits that work on their own to fight the plight of our
homeless population. Michael is skeptical to think that each of these organizations is open to working with other groups to try and identify overlap and redundancies of effort. Michael would like to form a committee that works with each of the 7 or 8 groups throughout the city and keeps them all on track, not individual institutions. Michael would also like to look at any city funding or participation from the local community to ensure resources are being used properly.
Tampa’s public transit system needs an overhaul. Much to the dismay of local
unions Michael has voiced his opinion in the best interest of our city. A trolley is
not the answer to modern day transit challenges although it may have its place in the more touristy areas. Tampa will take a combination of efforts revolving
around our transit issues, some focusing on commuters, some focusing on moving
people from parking lots around downtown to business’. Recent transportation initiatives that would have opened state funding have been voted down; therefore, it will be up to us as a city to find money in the budget each year and slowly start working towards solutions. A few easy steps to take in the meantime, bus routes with less stops, cleaner buses that are not covered in advertisements, smaller buses based on typical demand and lastly a bus route that is based on reservations from an app.
Michael is a huge advocate for more development in Tampa if the local
communities are involved, and if heavy thought goes into long term commercial
progression. Building towers with expensive units is not going to solve any problems and only benefits developers. The same is true with mixed use buildings that include heavy retail on the ground floor. Typically, these business’ struggle with parking and overall customer demand, Michael’s yet to see a single business prosper long term in our growing areas downtown. There are a lot of markets that
do not need office space but building where product development and innovation
can exist. As we continue to tear down smaller self-sustaining structures to build
WeWork rental offices we are only manipulating short term markets to benefit
developers. The first question to any developer should be “how many jobs will
this project create long term?”. To clarify, Michael is not concerned with local
unions staying busy with the build out but who will fill these buildings locally or
bring markets to Tampa.
Michael is currently a volunteer for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and is looking to become more involved in river cleanup process and innovations that lead to reduced litter in our rivers and lakes. With over 20 years of water management experience in Florida and California, there is not much Michael hasn't seen. While collection facilities, dams, and Litter Critter boats help, Michael believes that a lot of the trash in our waterways stems from poor maintenance contracts granted by the city. The FDOT and the City of Tampa tend to subcontract our poor-quality contractors that mow over trash, making it nearly impossible to trap. Years of landscape maintenance expertise have made this a top priority for Michael, and he looks forward to getting to the bottom of the maintenance hiring process and accountability after companies are hired.
While we're happy our trash gets picked up and taken elsewhere, Michael would like to take a closer look at the process and execution behind our recycling and trash programs within the city limits. Michael has hot-button topics: holes in trash trucks, overturned receptacles, poor customer service from drivers, and overall accountability voids in our waste management departments. Like most cities, Tampa has the option to find a better partner that is willing to provide consistent quality service throughout each neighborhood, not only in the nice parts of town. Working with Solid Waste department managers, Michael wants to ensure every community member receives the quality of service they're paying for.
With years of experience working with the City of Tampa permitting office and businesses around Tampa, Michael has the RFP experience needed to be sure the right contractors are hired for projects and maintenance. General liability and worker's comp are necessary for licensed contractors, and Proper Irrigation was one of many Tampa small businesses operated by the book. Project management knowledge, budget, and personnel management were all essential items Michael perfected at a young age and continues to do so in his current career. These days Michael appears on a popular contractor web series that teaches contractors how to install projects safely and adequately. This experience will help Michael make the right decisions for the communities he represents.
As a growing city, we're all very excited about growth. More people and businesses ultimately lead to more resources. However, as our city grows, we need to be sure the infrastructure and commerce exist to support our growth. For example, we have a lot of residential projects going on over the next few years, and we need to be sure there are jobs for all these new residents. We also need to ensure that as new developments are completed, we're not leaving areas littered with old buildings that attract crime and garbage.
PURE Water Project
Michael's exhaustive work in water management makes him the perfect candidate to lead the charge on the reclamation challenges Tampa faces over the next seven years, culminating in the 2030 goal of eliminating over 50 million gallons of reclaimed water a day (MGD) pumped into surface reservoirs. Michael believes incentivizing residents and businesses to use more treated water will help solve some of these problems. At the same time, innovative ways of water use will also cut into the overwhelming amount of water that needs to be displaced to save our natural springs. Another project of Michael's is to unlock many private springs along the Hillsborough River to introduce clean groundwater into our native estuaries.
Staying in touch with the community is a top priority and attending local town hall meetings is something Michael is passionate about. Understanding the key to solid representation in our city, Michael is constantly seeking out forums and volunteer options to stay in touch with citizens expectations on a weekly basis. If you haven’t seen him cleaning up our rivers with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful maybe you’ve seen him at any of the HYNCA, NESH, Forest Hills Community Town Halls, Old Seminole Heights meetings, VM Ybor, Ybor Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay Chamber Meetings or many more, we ask you to follow our list of events to catch up and ask any questions you may have in person.