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Home Budget 2020 General Election: Treasure Coast candidates’ questionnaires

2020 General Election: Treasure Coast candidates’ questionnaires


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With voting recounts in full swing, you might be worried that your ballot got lost in the action of it all. Here’s how you can check to see if your vote was counted. GINNY BEAGAN/TCPALM

In August we began to ask candidates to fill out questionnaires to help you understand your choices on the November ballot. 

The following candidate responses were not edited.

Our editorial board planned to interview candidates in September for selected general election races. The editorial board planned to consider making recommendations in those races.

KEY LINKS:

Treasure Coast municipal elections 2020: Candidate questionnaires

The latest election news from TCPalm: TCPalm.com/elections

Indian River County Supervisor of Elections website

St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections website

Martin County Supervisor of Elections website

Florida Division of Elections website

State races

House District 82 

2018 Editorial Board recommendation

House District 84

2018 Editorial Board recommendation

St. Lucie County

Clerk of Court

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Joseph Smith Jr., Fort Pierce

Party: Democratic

Age: 43

Educational background:

M.A., The George Washington University; B.A., University of Central Florida

Current occupation and work history:

Clerk of the Circuit Court, St. Lucie County (2009-present)

Certified Clerk of the Circuit Court, Approved by the Florida Supreme Court (2010-present)

Elected President, Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers, the statewide association of Clerks and Comptrollers (2014)

Former Vice-Chairman of the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority

Elected Chairman of the Board, St. Lucie County Commission (2007)

Elected Vice-Chairman of the Board, St. Lucie County Commission (2006)

Elected St. Lucie County Commissioner, District 1 (2004-2008)

Parent Information Specialist, St. Lucie Public Schools (2004-2005)

Public Policy/Grassroots Manager, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations: Washington, D.C. (2001-2003)

Government Relations Coordinator, National Utility Contractors Association: Arlington, VA (1999-2001)

Volunteer and civic engagement:

First St. Lucie County Clerk to be elected to the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers (FCCC), the statewide governing association of all Florida Clerks.

Chair, Court Operations/Rules Review Committee Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers (FCCC).

Board Member, Big Brother/Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties.

Board Member, Treasure Coast University Schools (Palm Pointe Research School).

Board Member, Fairlawn Elementary School Improvement Committee.

Keeper of Finance, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Organist and member, St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, Fort Pierce.

Former President, Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers.

Former Vice-Chairman of the Florida Courts E-Filing Authority.

Former Chair, Executive Roundtable of St. Lucie County.

Former Chair, Public Safety Coordinating Council.

Former Chair of the Board, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Academy Board of Trustees.

Recipient of the 2018 Partnership Award by Florida Rural Legal Services.

Recipient of the 2016 Access to Justice Award by Florida Rural Legal Services.

Elected Florida Government Finance Officers Association 2016 Leadership Class Leader.

2014 Honorary Chair of SafeSpace’s Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.

Why are you running for office? 

This is an extraordinary time in government. I have the experience & strong partnerships with my court system colleagues required to create innovative ways to fully reopen government for our citizens. I am running for office because Experience Matters and Results Matter.

I serve the public as the watchdog of their finances. Each day, the team of professionals in your Clerk’s office and I work together to provide amazing customer experiences and operational excellence while being financially accountable.

During my tenure as Clerk, the office budget is lower than in 2008 and we provide many more services. Our accomplishments of the past 12 years include:

Achieved a 97.5% Customer Satisfaction Rating (tallied by a third-party company)

Earned the coveted Best Places to Work Award 10 Years running and numerous local, state, and national awards.

We have made and saved you more than $56 million since 2009.

We hosted seven Shred and Protect events to secure your sensitive documents and saved you $75,000 in the process.

We earned you $1.7 million by creating a new source of revenue by implementing a Credit Card Rebate program and we saved nearly $1 million in printing and mailing costs since 2011.

We created the first-in-the-nation Alexa skill to provide court users with personalized court information from the comfort of their homes.

To find out more, please visit https://clerksmith.com/achievements/

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

Creating a sense of normalcy for our team members and the public we serve remains my priority. Our courts have not had a jury trial since March. Members of the public have had limited access to public buildings. Our office is providing more services online and will continue to seek solutions that provide our citizens with options for how they interact with their Clerk’s office.

The first in-person jury trial in Florida occurred recently in St. Augustine. Next year, if I am honored to receive your vote this fall, we will continue to work with all of our judicial partners to provide you with a Clerk’s office that is transparent, financially accountable, and continues to demonstrate excellence in government.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

Experience.

The Clerk’s office team has worked hard to serve you and this is a small sampling of what we have accomplished on your behalf:

The office budget is lower today than it was 12 years ago and we provide many more services.

We achieved a 97.5% Customer Satisfaction Rating (tallied by a third-party company)

We earned the coveted Best Places to Work Award 10 Years running and numerous local, state, and national awards.

We have made and saved you more than $56 million since 2009.

We hosted seven Shred and Protect events to secure your sensitive documents and saved you $75,000 in the process.

We earned you $1.7 million by creating a new source of revenue by implementing a Credit Card Rebate program and we saved nearly $1 million in printing and mailing costs since 2011.

We created an Internal Audit department in collaboration with the Board of County Commissioners to protect citizens against waste, fraud, and abuse.

We implemented a citizen-led Internal Audit Advisory committee.

Our office continues to exceed state reporting standards and we are #1 out of 67 counties in the state for our collections rate among felons and #2 out of 67 counties in the state for misdemeanor and criminal traffic collections so there remains room for improvement.

We created the first-in-the-nation Alexa skill to provide court users with personalized court information from the comfort of their homes.

We continue to earn national and international awards for our website and for our transparency in sharing financial information with the public.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No

Link to campaign website or social media page

http://www.clerksmith.com 

County Commission, District 1

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Chris Dzadovsky, Fort Pierce

Party: Democrat

Age: 59

Educational background:

AA Business, AS Political Science IRSC, Florida Real Estate License, PADI Dive Instructor,

Current occupation and work history:

St. Lucie County Commissioner District 1

Realtor at Coldwell Banker Paradise

Retired Airline Safety Professional USAirways (25 years)

Communications Director – Association of Flight Attendants

Business Owner Dive Resort and Dive Instruction

Volunteer and civic engagement:

St. Lucie County Fire District Lil’ Feet Organization

Formally Fort Pierce Exchange Club

Why are you running for office? 

As I seek reelection I am reminded of significant challenges that SLC has faced since the start of the recession of 2008. I am battle tested with budgetary concerns through a recession, hurricanes, the proposed loss of the NY Mets in SLC and Spring Training on the east coast of Florida, and unemployment which was reported in my first year at 16.9%, blue green algae and cyanobacteria, and now a COVID19 Pandemic. I have seen and fought at every turn to protect and to serve St. Lucie County, I know how to lead and St. Lucie County needs strong leadership and significant knowledge of how government works!

As such, I have been a part of some of the most important and successful changes to make SLC more sustainable, business friendly; attracted, retained, and expanded local business with hundreds of millions in private investment and employment in SLC.

I have been part of maintaining a balanced budget while being able to secure funding in capital projects that benefit all areas of the county. As to the future, I want to continue the momentum in private investments in business expansion and attraction while seeing through the expansion of airport operations and manufacturing expansion. This will go well with Port of Fort Pierce expansion and employment and spinoff business efforts. As promised as part of a five year budget plan to right size and achieve equilibrium in revenue and expenses this year we have been able to successfully lower the county portion of millage rates to help our residents just in time when it is going to be needed in this Covid-19 Pandemic.

Lastly, our Veterans are an important pillar of our community and I had the unique opportunity in 2014 through to today to garner public, state, local and federal government support to bring the Ardie R. Copas Veteran’s Nursing Facility to St. Lucie County for which I am grateful and proud of being a part of such an important collaborative effort and facility.

There is more to accomplish and I hope to continue working for the people of St. Lucie County.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

As much as I would like to accomplish, recovering from this COVID 19 pandemic must be a major focus as well as plan for the reopening of our thriving economy we were enjoying prior to this crisis

If that unfolds as hopped I intend to push to ensure the Port of Fort Pierce continues to develop including the a successful Master Plan update that will hopefully include The Bell family in which greater use of the port will enhance economic success. This coupled with the future North County Utility Authority which may provide for the dismantling of the old Waste Water Plant from the South Beach which will help to protect the Indian River Lagoon.

Continue the economic recovery with the expansion of the manufacturing sector throughout the county which will be supported by the future airport connector from 95 and the Turnpike north of Fort Pierce connecting to St Lucie Blvd at the airport. All of this activity will ultimately provide all taxing authorities the revenue necessary to continue to reduce millage rates and property taxes across the board, thereby supporting property owners and residence.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

Vision and Experience

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No

Link to campaign website or social media page

http://www.chrisforcommissioner.com

Ryan Collins, Fort Pierce

Party: Republican

Age: 37

Educational background *

Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne

Current occupation and work history *

I currently work as a Realtor with Reef to Ranch Real Estate in Fort Pierce.

My experience includes working as a site manager for a construction company after graduating from high school. After graduation from college, I worked as an independent insurance adjuster for residential and commercial properties, mainly following catastrophes like Hurricanes Francis, Jeanne, Katrina, Wilma, etc. I have also worked, managed, and formerly owned my family’s bail bonding business.

I hold a 2-20 General Lines insurance license, a Limited Surety Agent license, an Independent Adjuster license, and a Real Estate Sales license.

Volunteer and civic engagement *

I began volunteering at a young age while a member of Boy Scouts as well as with my mother for summer youth events. Since that time, I have previously been a board member for the Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful Committee and the City of Fort Pierce Board of Adjustment. I currently serve as a board member for the City of Fort Pierce Board of Examiners of Contractors.

I am also a Past President of the Rotary Club of Port St. Lucie. My family and I have also adopted a street and participate in many litter and beautification projects in St. Lucie County.

Why are you running for office? *

I am running for office to provide my fellow citizens with a St. Lucie County Commissioner, who will be a true representative of them. Like many others, I believe the commission should focus on the basics like roads and other infrastructure, safety concerns, and environmental issues. With a priority on these things, St. Lucie County can end the designation as having the highest average millage rate in Florida. Any decisions made by the BOCC should benefit the majority of residents and businesses in the county.

My decision to run resulted from speaking with new and long time residents and sharing their concerns about them not being adequately represented by the current District 1 Commissioner. While I have followed local politics from a young age, I feel now is the time to seek the position after being encouraged to do so by many respected community members.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain *

During my first year in the office, my top priority will be to examine each component of the county’s budget. It will involve reviewing the budget, meeting with county staff and administration, and going into the community to speak with residents and business owners. The 2020-2021 budget will already have been established when I am sworn in. Therefore my first year will be spent preparing for the following year’s budget. This time will allow me a comprehensive understanding along with inside and outside knowledge to develop a complete budget plan. It will also give me a working relationship with citizens who know they can count on me to be accessible and accountable.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? *

I believe several things distinguish me from my opponent in this race. The first being my experience of owning and operating small businesses in various industries. Small businesses employ 57% of the private workforce, and our county needs representatives that understand how to run a business. My experience will allow me to work for solutions in our county government with a mindset to operate more like a business and not rely on tax raises to solve budget problems.

Another factor that distinguishes me is my lifelong history in St. Lucie County. I have seen the changes and growth that has occurred in our county over the past 30 years. Many residents, including myself, see the need to be more proactive rather than reactive to our county’s issues and problems. My desire to see the county improve is inspired by my family, friends, and coworkers who believe in me to work hard for them. I will be a true representative and 100% accountable to the people in order to improve the county for the future of our children.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain *

No, I have never filed for bankruptcy.

Link to campaign website or social media page

http://www.ryanforslc.com

County Commission, District 3

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Christopher Thompson, Port St. Lucie

Christopher Thompson, St. Lucie County Commission candidate (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO FROM CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON)

Party: Republican

Age: 41

Educational background:

JD from Syracuse Law, MA in International Relations from Syracuse, BS in Finance from BYU

Current occupation and work history:

Attorney and small business owner.

Volunteer and civic engagement:

My wife and I are active in our church, our three daughters’ school, and other community and civic efforts.

Why are you running for office? 

As a small businessman, attorney, property owner, and father of three, I love this community and have a vested interest in improving our quality of life while making our community more affordable for veterans, seniors, and families. I am running for the St. Lucie County Commission because my wife and I care deeply about this community and want to build a strong legacy for my kids and future grandchildren. As Commissioner, I’ll reduce property taxes, end reckless spending, and restore accountability to our local government.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

Reducing our high impact fees & the highest property tax rate in Florida will be my top priority my first year in office. This previous year, it was inexcusable that the Commission did not reduce the millage rate. The sales tax referendum passed, Amendment 1 failed, the school board passed a millage rate increase that took away the county’s responsibility to fund school resource deputies, and property values increased for a 7th straight year. Citizens should no longer pay the highest tax rate in Florida and it’s unfortunate all the current commissioners (except Commissioner Townsend) voted to play political games with taxpayers’ wallets. Port St. Lucie city government has made rolling back their millage a priority – and there hasn’t been outrage or a massive reduction in services. I would take much the same approach – make a commitment to reduce taxes and fees and do the hard work to get it done.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

I am a businessman. My opponent is a career politician. I am for lower taxes and seek to make our community more affordable. During her decade on the Port St. Lucie City Council, my opponent raised taxes 57%. As Commissioner, she voted for the highest property tax rate in all of Florida and refused to give tax relief when we needed it most. I will hold our government accountable and end reckless spending. My opponent voted for VGTI, Digital Domain, and the failed boondoggles that put the city of Port St. Lucie a billion dollars in debt, which we’re still paying off. My competitor is a great person who cares deeply about our community; however, our community can no longer afford her track record of poor decision-making and costly policies.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No.

Link to campaign website or social media page

https://www.facebook.com/thompson4commissioner/

Linda Bartz, Port St. Lucie

Party: Democrat

Age: 69

Educational background *

Some college

Current occupation and work history:

I am currently the District 3 Commissioner for St. Lucie County, having been elected in 2016. My prior work history includes being elected in 2006 representing District 1 on the Port St. Lucie City Council. Six of those years I served as Vice Mayor. I have a 30+ year banking career working for several local financial institutions. My last position held in that industry was Vice President.

Volunteer and civic engagement:

Giving back to our community and volunteering has been an important part of my life. Long before I became an elected official, I was a member of numerous non-profits and civic organizations.

I am the founder and current Chair of the Quick Response Team, (QRT), which addresses opioid addiction issues. As County Commissioner, I have been appointed to serve on the Council on Aging of SLC, SLC Transportation Planning Organization, Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Children’s Services Council, St. Lucie County Fire Board, SLC Concerned Citizens and I am current Chair of SLC Sustainability Ad Hoc Committee. Prior to being elected as County Commissioner, I was also a member of many of these same organizations as a City Councilmember.

Aside from my Commission appointments, I am also a 20 year member of the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers, Inner Truth Project, SLC Boys and Girls Club, SLC Chamber of Commerce, Fort Pierce Women’s Club, Port St. Lucie Historical Society and a lifetime member of the PSL Botanical Gardens.

Why are you running for office? 

During the past 3 1/2 years this county has made great headway in many areas. I am running to continue that work and continue the forward movement of our County.

St. Lucie County, has seen unprecedented job growth, with new companies locating here and expansion of existing companies. The airport has experienced growth, along with facility improvements and the Port is seeing its’ first redevelopment project in years, with Derecktor.

We have worked with other governmental partners on water projects and have begun a 10-year infrastructure plan in partnership with the Cities of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie to improve existing roads and build sidewalks. These are just a few projects that have launched and I would like to continue to work on, while ensuring fiscal responsibility of your tax dollars.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

There is no “one” priority. There are many priorities that affect all of us, every day. They are quality of life issues and they are all equally important, such as taxes and lowering the millage, jobs and higher wages, affordable housing and protection of our environment. I have been working on all of these issues and will continue to work hard to ensure that all of these are addressed for our residents.

But currently, dealing with the pandemic, COVID-19 is a major priority. We must ensure that our residents are receiving the needed relief and assistance to ensure their health, safety and welfare. With the assistance of local agencies, we will do everything in our power to see that no one goes hungry or homeless. Through the CARES Act funding we will work to assist impacted businesses to help them stay in business, and our residents to stay in their homes. We will be dealing with the results of the pandemic for a while, and I will continue to work to ensure that we will get our fair share of funding from the State and Federal Government.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

Experience and knowledge of our county, cities and issues distinguishes me from my opponent. I am a 35-year resident of St. Lucie County, having raised my three children and now my granddaughter here. I have worked in the financial field for over 35 years, here and in other parts of Florida.

St. Lucie County is growing and changing rapidly and we need seasoned leaders to continue the progress that has been made over the last several years and leaders who have been involved in many aspects of our community. We need leaders who will make the tough decisions, based on factual information and keep the politics out. I continue to be focused on our future, our environment, infrastructure, economic development and fiscal responsibility. Having served on the PSL City council and working with the City of Fort Pierce we are better able to collaborate, coordinate and compromise to get the job done, so our residents, countywide can enjoy a safe, clean environment with a high quality of life.

While it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and be an armchair quarterback, only someone with the knowledge, experience and passion that I have for our community, can lead this county out of the pandemic and it’s aftermath to a positive and successful future.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No

Link to campaign website or social media page

https://www.bartzforcommissioner.com/

County Commission, District 5

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Cathy Townsend, Fort Pierce

Party: Republican

Age: 58

Educational background:

Some college. multiple state certifications, IRCC alumni

Current occupation and work history:

Current County Commissioner District 5, Owner of James L King & Associates, Inc.

Chairman Transportation Disadvantage Board, Chairman Public Safety Board, Chairman BOCC,

Law Library board, Secretary Treasure Coast Regional Council, Transportation planning Organization board, Founding Board member Independence Classical Academy Charter School,

Chairman of Tourism development Council, Chairman Treasure Coast Workforce Consortium, Chairman SLC Property Homeowners Association, Treasure Coast Education Research Authority.

Vice Chair SLC Erosion District.

Past Chairman Value Adjustment Board, Chairman Mosquito Control Board. Chairman Planning & Zoning Board.

In the past I have owned and operated several businesses. From restaurants, a welding company to assisting living faciality. I was a realtor for many years and have served on multiple nonprofit boards and chaired many events. I was a wedding and event planner and my greatest accomplished career has been being a mom.

Volunteer and civic engagement:

Life Builders, Pal, Deaf Service center, Exchange Club, League of Woman Voters ( President 12 years), Moose Club, Elks Club, Treasure Coast Homeowners Association, Humane Society (Fur Ball), Chili Cook off chaired 2 years, Volunteered multiple times with Family Meals, Inner Truth Project, Humane Society, Pal, Created Dancing with the Stars fundraiser, Boys and Girls Club, Moore’s Creek project, Treasure Coast Little League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Graceway Village, Assist the homeless, Serve on the Board of Directors for the Florida association of Counties, FAC Urban counties policy board. Team Tommie Foundation, Hands Clinic, Mathews café. Volunteered with Restoring the village.

Why are you running for office? 

I ran in 2016 as a local businesswoman on a platform of openness, fairness and a commitment to our local businesses to make SLC more business friendly, for the first 3 years we made great strides then 2020 came along…. Regardless of the challenges we are bouncing back, As Americans we face challenges, we do the hard things and we always over come. I am running for County Commissioner again, because my work is not done. We finally have some traction and are moving in the right direction.

If I did not feel the past few years mattered, if I didn’t feel I could point to positive results I would not have decided to run again. I would like to see my vison completed with a homeless shelter and a future goal of transitional living at our jail.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

To continue to work with the business navigator to help small business owners maneuver the challenges of getting opened. To get a homeless shelter in process. To continue to find ways to cut the spending in order to lower the mileage rate. Develop our airport and North county.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

I have experience, knowledge and leadership he does not have. I have owned and operated my own companies and understand what it is to stay within a budget and not over spend. I have the experience of negotiation to have successful results and have proven this the past 3 years that I have served in office. I had two bills passed my first term as commissioner.

I have wonderful relationships with our legislation in Tallahassee and DC which is important. This is how you bring funds home to SLC.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

NO

Link to campaign website or social media page

http://www.cathytownsend.com

School Board, District 2

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Jack Kelly, 76, Port St. Lucie

Age: 76

Educational background:

14 yrs + Extensive Corporate & Governmental Training

Current occupation and work history:

Retired Vice Mayor / Councilman Port St Lucie 12 yrs

Ind. Eng Work w/G.E. / Int.Harvester….owned 6 successful small businesses

Licensed R.E… Corporate Level C-21 Director…R.E. Investments

Volunteer and civic engagement:

12 YEARS PSL VICE MAYOR/ CITY COUNCILMAN

12 YEARS SLC FIRE DISTRICT BOARD

12 YEARS SLC TRANSPORTATIONS PLANNING ORGANIZATION

SLC UNITED WAY BOARD

HIBISCUS CHILDREN’S CENTER BOARD

SLC COUNCIL ON AGING

SLC ROAD / BRIDGE AUTHORITY

SUNRISE THEATRE BOARD

HCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PSL HIGH SCHOOL ADVISORY BOARD

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB BOARD, PAST PRESIDENT & 25 YR VOLUNTEER

FOUNDER PSL DOWNTOWN LIONS CLUB

MARTIN CO. TRANSPORTATION PLANNING LAISON REP.

PSL POLICE ADVISORY BOARD

PRIMARY SPEAKER PSL DARE PROGRAM

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS 4TH DEGREE CN 7514

PSL ELKS LODGE 2658 TREASURE COAST UNSUNG HERO AWARD..AFP 2010

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION HEART WALK CHAIR

SLC BOYS & GIRLS CLUB 15 YEAR AWARD & PSL TEEN CENTER DEDICATION

ELECTED LIONS STATE FLORIDA COUNCIL GOVERNORS

PSL ELK OF THE YEAR LODGE 7514

PSL LIONS CLUB “LION OF THE YEAR” X3

SLC “DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN AWARD”* BSA TREA. CST.

PSL BOTANICAL GARDEN “KELLY PAVILLION” DEDICATION.

HONORED GRADUATION SPEAKER AT SLC ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND VARIOUS CHURCH SERVICES

Why are you running for office?

I have been a St. Lucie County resident for 30 years. The Community has treated my family and me very well. We have thrived here. My wife and daughter have been County teachers for over 20 years.My close work with the Boy”s and Girl’s club for over 25 years and having been an Elected Official has kept me well aware of school district issues.

The decision to run did not come hastily. After being encouraged by current and past County leaders, I spoke with all school board members and superintendent Gent at length. They are a United ,knowledgeable, amicable board with individual sensible aligned visions. They are all well aware and very concerned about the difficult decisions we face in our current crisis that will affect the health, safety and welfare all our children,teachers and staff.

I contemplated the decision critically because I needed at this stage of my life to be IN %100.

I feel the need to give back to the community that has inspired and given me so much to be thankful for everyday in a sometimes crazy world.

I’m healthy, still possess “presence of mind and I’m IN %110 !

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

To help create a doable team plan to keep the District Children and Staff safe and secure. Easily said but quite difficult to create in an ever changing environment with state and federal mandates leaving most decisions to locals without decided funding? All plans and decisions must be in a TEAM effort. All decisions should be based on scientific and expert facts. The decisions must be A-Political. There should be no room for political influence. At this point we do not know if there will be a 2and wave of Covid or if there will be a vaccine in the near future.

So my answer to the question of priority will be the constant effort to keep our children and staff safe and secure with the best possible education during the sensible fight against the eradication of the “New Normal” and the delicate return to the safe and secure Normal environment.

That priority could well consume the entire first year. My priorities will always include keeping equitable policies for all Children no matter what zone or zip code they reside.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

I already possess the knowledge, ability and experience to help form alliances with local children services organizations and inter local government agreements. It will take the combined efforts of the entire County to combat our problems. I know and understand the $ 523 million $ budget I will be NON partisan in my decisions.

There will be no “on the job training ” …but extensive monitoring and gathering of constant information,

I will also be a Full Time member with a transparent, accessible open door policy, as I always have practiced in my prior elected capacity.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No

Link to campaign website or social media page:

http://electJackkelly.com

School Board, District 4

2016 Editorial Board recommendation

Kathryn Hensley, Port St. Lucie

Age: 73

Educational background:

BS in Education, Language Arts and Chemistry

Current occupation and work history:

Currently an full-time Board member and community advocate.

West Burlington High School ( Iowa)

Tillamook Junior High ( Oregon)

Indian River Community College

St. Lucie School District Hospital/Homebound

Volunteer and civic engagement:

Boards and Committees: School Board; Florida School Board Association Finance, Advocacy, Legislative, Equity Committees; Transportation Planning Organization, Local Coordinating Board for Transportation of the Disadvantaged, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Treasure Coast Coordinating Committee; CCKids; Children’s Services Council, Florida Children’s Council; HANDS Clinic; Families of the Treasure Coast;St. Lucie Cultural Alliance; UF/IFAS/Extension Council;Early Learnin Coalition of St. Lucie County;New Horizons of the Treasure Coast; Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments; Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee; Greater Consortium Of School Boards; Multi-county Workgroup of School Districts

Civic and volunteer: Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Backus Museum, Ft. Pierce Art Club. League of Women Voters, Democratic Women’s Club, Ft. Pierce Woman’s Club,Learn to Read St. Lucie.

Why are you running for office? 

Although so much has been achieved, there is still work to be done to ensure the culture of focusing on each student’s success is ingrained in our county. There are more alliances to build, more partnerships to facilitate and more advocacy to be done at all levels of government. I have the passion, dedication and knowledge to take SLC even further to the top of individual and district-wide achievement. My only special interest is in creating a pathway to success for each child.

What would be your top priority during your first year in office? Explain:

Even as we continue to adjust almost daily to the pandemic issues to have the safety and health of our students and staff as our priority, we cannot abandon our other issues. I will continue to assist in the expansion of programs in the trades, manufacturing, agriculture and the arts. Building stronger partnerships with the Manufacturing Association, the TC Builders’ Association, agriculture based companies, etc. are in progress and will be accomplished.

What distinguishes you from your opponents in this race? 

I have a long- standing and deep commitment to the whole child, the future of each student and and my community. The network that has been created and must be further nurtured has led to the total rewrite of conventional wisdom. Yes, we have 75% or more of our students that qualify for free or subsidized meal, but that is not an excuse for lack of achievement. While addressing those that need alternate placement and may not complete on time. the graduation rate is still one of the highest in the region and state.

One of my strengths is recognizing an issue, addressing it head on and seeking the solution. Developing projects and programs to create a brighter future even in times of distress has led to creative partnerships that maximize tax dollars .

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:

No

Link to campaign website or social media page

http://kathrynhensley.com

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