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Affordable Housing 

  • After 13 years of requests to eliminate this loophole in our Land Development regulations, I sponsored Ordinance #19-11 on May 9, 2019 which requires not only new constructions (less than 5% of our total development) but now all re-development- ( 95% of our development) to provide 30% of affordable housing with each development agreement. This inclusionary housing requirement closes up a significant loop hole, which previously allowed projects to receive approval without any affordable housing component. 

  • In December, we broke ground for 103 low /very low-income rental apartments. The construction contract was advertised on June 5, and bids are due on August 10 to proceed with construction. 


Quality of Life- Listening to and Engaging Our Citizens 

  • After 15 years of discussion, a 1-year pilot program for a Duval Street pedestrian experience was approved via resolution 19-046 and initiated in February 2019. This pilot program garnered the Outstanding Elected Official Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association and led to our Duval Street Revitalization RFQ. 

  • RFQ: #20-001 Duval Street Revitalization progress; Pre-bid meeting held with 13 qualified planners in attendance. Of 6 responses received February 19, the City evaluation committee has met and will move #1 respondent and #2 respondent forward for a City Commission vote on July 21st. 

  • We are in the final phase of the Truman Waterfront Park, with the multiuser field scheduled to start in October 2020. 


Taking Care of Our Infrastructure 

  • Paved Duval Street for first time in 44 years Completed in two weeks during our COVID-19 quarantine with no impact to the businesses on Duval. 

  • $4 million budgeted for street and sidewalk repairs in the 2019/20 budget. Key West now has a Citizen Action Line request line for sidewalk and street repairs. This allows us to react quicker and reduce law suits. We corrected over 97 citizen requests last year. 

  • Worked with FKAA to repave College Road. ​


A Responsive City Government for Our Residents

  • Streamlined our Building Department to make it more user friendly. To do that, we instituted Walkthrough Wednesdays, 7:30-11:30 AM every Wednesday. A person can come in with a completed application for simple projects and walkout with a permit. 

  • Worked with the IT Department to reduce our backlog of expired permits by 8,000 expired building permits and 1,300 expired HARC permits. Currently, we’re working on an automatic renewal notification so that permits do not expire. 

  • Held two workshops with key City staff members, the City Commission and our Key West Realtor Association to share concerns and ideas. We implemented new processes to streamline the permitting, inspection and permit closure system. I was awarded the Key West “Realtors Champion” award for my work with the organization. 

  • Created “e- comment” in February of 2019. This new system is another tool to promote increased community input for residents who cannot attend our bi-weekly meetings. 

  • Organized the first Leadership Retreat in 13 years for City Management and our Commission, conducted by Elisa Levy Consulting. This resulted in a second public workshop January 15, 2020. Our June scheduled retreat was postponed due to COVID-19. 


Climate Change and Our Environment

  • Fighting FEMA remapping by working closely with our Floodplain Administrator, Scott Fraser, members of FIRM and Ransom. If FEMA is successful in codifying their re-mapping recommendations, over 2,000 Key West properties now located in our X-zone would be re- categorized into the floodplain. This move would result in a $4-5 million dollar negative impact to our Community in increased NFIP premiums. Our City of Key West appeal period will run from September to November. 

  • We have over $4 million dollars in tide valves installed for the City of Key West to reduce standing water in our streets. 

  • In order to protect our only living coral reef in North America, we passed ordinance #19-03 to ban sunscreens containing Oxtinoxate and Oxybenzone. The first reading was unanimous and the second reading passed 6-1. Although this ban is currently being challenged by State legislators, it is gaining support at the Federal level. 

  • Commission voted 7-0 vote to ban single use straws to help reduce ocean pollution. 

  • In March 2019, we received news from our lobbyist that my $300,000 request to fund a glass crusher had been fully funded and closed out favorably during the budget conference. Unfortunately, due to the $1billion reduction in the state budget (due to COVID-19), this project has been put on hold.


Making Every Dollar Work for You

  • Identified over $1.9 million in increased revenue sources to our 2019-20 budget to defray the tax burden on our residents. 

  • Purchased the Citizen Building at 3420 Northside Drive, in lieu of constructing $29 million building to accommodate the needs of Community Services Department. We purchased the building for a cost of $4,950,000 with a restoration estimate of $1 million in an April 16, 2019 referendum. 

  • In July, my Commission signed a contract with a professional organization for the management of our Amphitheater. We signed with Rams Head Promotion of Key West, L.L.C. to maximize the Amphitheater benefit to our Community. 

  • Scheduled for October, our FEMA CRS rating will reduce from a Rate Class 7 to Rate Class 5. This will lower flood insurance premiums by 10% for all Key West policy holders.

  • Pursued and received a $10,000 grant for our SPCA via Better Cities for Pets Grants. 


Citizen Engagement

  • Mayor’s Beautification Committee was formed in October of 2019. This volunteer group, along with City staff, identified 10 hot spots in Key West to tackle. To date, all 10 of those hot spots are either in process or have been completed. Every one of our concrete and wood street signs was repainted by our Citizen/Community Services initiative. Residents came out to repaint Mallory Square, replace stones and plant new trees. They replaced dead trees at the AIDS Memorial, at the historic cemetery to commemorate Veterans Day, and donated trees to the pocket park at 1400 Duval Street. 18 cigarette recycling boxes have been installed at bus stops throughout Key West to reduce litter. Our dumpster painting project was led by Citizen Diane Glorie. Community Services stepped up to repaint historic street lamps, remove graffiti, and remove stickers that marred our island. City staff is working with FDOT to beautify our City entrance at The Triangle, following the Cow Key Bridge Construction. Grinnell Street community pocket park has been renovated and lighting was added. 

  • Historic Cemetery Committee stepped up the Iguana relocation program, repaired historic graves, and cleaned up common areas of rubble and concrete. Wrought iron fences are being repaired and columns have been repainted. New tree locations and bench suggestions have been identified. We are going to continue to take care of our most sacred spot in Key West. 


Making Things Happen

  • Led the first significant Admirals Cut negotiations in 20 years. City Management received proposal from Tannex Development, L.L.C on March 3, 2020 to enter into negotiations for Commission approval. Negotiations are ongoing with a resulting expected within this quarter. 

  • After 15 years (10/21/19), I helped negotiate an agreement with Monroe County and Sheriff Ramsey to allow KOTS to remain and rebuilt on the property located on College Road in exchange for a 1.1 acre stand alone parcel on Trumbo Road for the development of workforce housing for Sheriff’s deputies. 


Our Future

My campaign promise to develop and implement a city-wide Strategic Plan is well on its way to fruition. Our Strategic Planning Services RFP 005-20 was authored and issued on January 15, responses received on March 25, and was ranked by our committee for presentation and vote by the Commission. On July 21st, our Strategic Planning proposal was unanimously approved by the Commission.  Our consultant has already started by organizing a multidisciplinary task force to help us reboot our economy.

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