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* A Veteran of the United State Navy
* A small business owner for over 20 years
* Long time resident of Venice, graduating from Venice High in 1985
* Graduated from The University of Maryland with a BS in Business Management
* Advocating for the residents of Venice for over 13 years via The Scoop
It makes me laugh when people ask me if I am serious about being mayor. Why in God’s name would I run if I was not serious. Running so that Nick would not walk in unopposed is just one of a few reasons behind getting into the race. Here are some areas where we differ:
• Development. Check Nick’s record and you will see why Neal backs him and not me. I have fought for over 13 years for controlled growth. I am never for changing zoning from open to commercial because a developer wants to develop. I have serious concerns with changing the comp plan text, so that developer can double the number of houses in an area. I support public input throughout the LDR process. If Nick and the other council members should have realized this was an issue. Instead, they rushed to a vote, and I almost think they rushed the vote because it was Feinsod’s idea to slow down and get more public input. Their bitterness towards Feinsod and their willingness to appease the developers, led to the issues the city is going through now. As you all know, I am not a fan of Feinsod, but I am for not taking action because the idea came from him. Controlled growth is the answer.
• Environment. I have been out there fighting these issues for 13 years. Even cutting a video within an outflow pipe. I would continue the monitoring of outflow pipes and use the money set aside to resolve some issues. The outflow test show that pollutants flow freely out of the outflow pipes, as I have always stated. The city rerouted a Venice Beach outflow and we have not had to shut down that area of the beach for a couple years. So, why not act on the others, with the money that has been set aside. Renew interest in Florida Friendly landscaping. Also, I am glad to hear that the city has finally acted on the smoking ban legislation that passed 2.5 months ago. Where has Nick been on these issues for the past three years?
• Leadership. The council only reviews the agenda and acts. We need someone that will look out for the people and that goes beyond the agenda. Ensuring that the city departments are running without issues. We need someone that work with other council members to direct the City Manager, versus the City Manager directing council. We need to avoid lawsuits, like the latest one from Neal over the permit fees. Be a leader and find a resolution with the hospital. 30% of the EMS calls were routed to the Venice Hospital, now they will be sent to SMH, which had bed shortages prior to the closing and the snowbirds aren’t even back yet.
• Public input. As the LDR issues has shown us, public input is an area of concern. Council will state that they have their meetings, email, and a phone. I have dealt with the public for thirteen years via the scoop. I have monitored local government activity during this time, and I can tell you that the public does not always utilize these options. I would bring back coffee with the mayor, which Holic use to have during his three terms. I would have a different approach. I would have to coffee sessions each month, one with the residents and one with the small business owners. I think this type of environment works better when it comes to dialogue between political figures and the residents. Also, if town halls are needed, I would be more than willing to hold town halls.
These are just a few areas where Nick and I differ. I was asked if I was serious at a meeting and the same person noted that I am more than qualified to be the mayor and would probably do a great job. So, am I serious? Yes, if not I would not have gotten into the race. So, I am serious, and I am confident that I would do a better job than Nick, based upon his last three years on the council.
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Frankie Abbruzzino For Mayor - City of Venice
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