The big question is: What is the vision of the residents of Key West for their city in 10 or 20 years?
I am committed to helping our city explore that question so we can arrive at a consensus (that is, “I can live with that”) vision for out shared future.
A variety of time-honored as well as modern methods for engaging this important question: open public forums (both in each District and City-wide) and online surveys and other modes of input.
Because unless we have a community vision, we will be spending all of our time, energy, and money on fixing problems rather than creating the city we want.
With a clear vision for the city that has been created and affirmed by the community, the City Commission will have a standard against which to measure the issues which come before them. No more agendas driven by special interests which are contrary to the collective vision. No more focus on waiting until something becomes an emergency. No more dithering in search of a direction.
Vision helps us to stop treading water, and start swimming toward our goals.
I would be remiss if I did not share with you some of the elements of my vision for our City.
- Environmentally Smart: we need to become a world-recognized city which lives in harmony with our environment more than trying to control nature
- maximize the use of renewable energy
- develop real plans for responding to issues of sea level rise
- make recycling mandatory for all
- reduce our carbon footprint as deeply as possible
- make use of our unique location to become an incubator of new ideas and technologies for a more Eco-Smart world
- A walkable, bike-friendly city: we need to lessen our dependence on the automobile and truck as the major mode of movement in our city
- development of parking just off-island, with regular, reliable shuttles on land and water to convey tourists (and visitors from the other Keys) into town
- development of regular, pedestrian-only zones on some of our commercial streets
- refinement of the our local bus system to provide “memory” schedule service (where a bus arrives at the same time each hour)
- creation of two, free circulator routes of public transportation within the city:
- one looping via Whitehead, South, Simonton, Front street
- another looping out Truman from Whitehead to Kennedy to Flagler to White to United
- limiting residential parking to only vehicles registered to an address in Key West
- a city for all ages: we need to find a way to enhance life for people of all ages in our city
- create a program of support to help our seniors age meaningfully in their homes
- more recreational programs for our children and youth
- better medical facilities
- Affordable housing: sufficient affordable housing for all who are needed to work to maintain the life and livelihood of the city
- develop multiple approaches to affordable housing including major development, in-fill small development, rehabilitation of run-down housing, and more
- incentives for owners to maintain rentals at affordable levels
- security for seniors who are leaving the workforce to be able to stay in their housing
- develop a program of loans and/or grants to help with the often-impossible-to-meet requirement of first, last, and security in order to obtain a rental
- An economically diverse community: development beyond the current one or two major economic engines of our community in a manner that allows for all levels of society to be part of Key West
- An Economic Development Director (full or part-time position) to help the City attract diverse work to our community, focusing on infrastructure and resource demand limited ones
- moving to a Living Wage
- And a government that is accessible, transparent, trustworthy
- regular opportunities for residents to be able to communicate ideas, suggestions, and concerns to the Mayor and Commission in open, public forums
- consistent sharing of all information known by elected officials with other elected and appointed officials AND the public, in a timely manner and not only at the time of final action on items of business
- respect for the community vision as a guide in all dealings with the public