Why I'm Running

Our city has been a ship without an effective captain for too long. Milton desperately needs new leadership that will address the challenges our city is facing with rapid out of control development and loss of quality of life. The community deserves an ethical leader that will unflinchingly face these challenges and engage innovative cutting edge solutions. On November 7, Vote for the change you want to see in Milton!

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My Campaign Blog

"What is the point of your candidacy?"

Oct 28, 2017
I had a young woman who was clearly a supporter of my opponent ask me recently:

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

In January 2014, I went to the city armed with ideas to help with what was obviously coming. The land was being purchased and clear cut at a very rapid pace. Our city vision statement about preservation of rural character, small town life, and the equestrian life style was about to face an onslaught of bulldozers. I quickly realized that despite rhetoric and city branding. nothing had been done by the city to preserve the city's vision.
I proposed several well proven programs that are widely used across the country for land conservation. First, I proposed a large green space and conservation bond. I gave the city manager all the contacts, examples and information he needed to make it happen. Second, I proposed we needed an assessment of the undeveloped land left in the city so that we would have inventory of what was left and could begin to create a prioritization based on conservation value balanced with public use potential. Third, I encouraged the city to pursue the conservation subdivision ordinance which was in all THEIR planning documents and had been recommended by numerous consultants. Fourth, I recognized the Transfer of Development Rights program had great potential and was not being used effectively by the city. I read and studied quite a bit and recommended a banking program and several other changes to help the program work. In addition, Laurel Florio, a city conservation consultant recommended a number of other excellent changes to the program before she was fired. The city manager at the time, the mayor and community development director completely rejected most of these ideas. However, they did agree to begin to write a conservation subdivision ordinance....and much later Mr. Lockwood announced that a bond would be helpful to our city.

“What is the point of your candidacy?”

When I decided to run for mayor, I contacted Mr. Pruetz, the consultant who designed our TDR program and who is the nation's expert on these programs. I wanted to validate the ideas I had proposed. After contacting the community development manager to learn more about city status, he affirmed they would most effective for the city's TDR program and for land preservation in our city.

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

I have sat in and listened to hundreds of council meetings where there is no civil debate or intellectual fact-based discussion by the council. Character attacks and hatefulness are the modus operedi to win a debate. I have watched numerous times while elected officials behaved in ways that were legal but completely unethical. I have listened as even council members do not understand the basic concepts of property owner rights. Each time, I have gone home and studied: Municipal ethics, Transparency, Open records laws, conflicts of interest, zoning, legal precedents, property owner rights vs community rights....the list goes on......because I never stop thinking about how to do things better and to find the very best answers to our problems.

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

At this point in time, the political climate in our city is no different from the poison that is going on nationally. People have lost their ability to empathize with others much less remember we are all human beings. Nasty character attacks are rampant as is political bullying. Are we as a community really no better than what is happening nationally? Isn’t it possible we could do something different and actually have civil discourse and rational fact based debate on the troubling issues that our community faces?
Or is this election about popularity and political sign placement? Leadership can model the behavior they would like to see in the community but this only goes so far when it comes to bullies. Bullies exist to intimidate others and as long as we allow that it will continue. The leaders who enable them because they help their cause are just as guilty as the bully. What do I mean by enabling? Sitting back and doing nothing and saying nothing even when he knows the behavior is misguided and damages our city. Leadership is about courage. Our mayor has demonstrated he does not have the courage to stand up to bullies.

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

The most pressing problems for our city faces right now are relate to land use planning. Traditional city planning tools are not going to get us where we want to go because their purpose is DEVELOPMENT. To slow and in some cases stop the development, you have to look for other tools and new ideas. Land conservation tools were made to preserve land and prevent development. However, we should not limit ourselves to them. There are plenty of other ideas out there to address our problems.....WE JUST NEED TO LOOK FOR THEM!!

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

We need to change our path. We need to invite new ideas and diverse thought into our government. We need to celebrate the diversity of our community and embrace our difference. Right now, men outnumber women 9 to 1. I am aware of only one person in an appointed or elected position, who represents a different nationality or race. In addition, only conservative beliefs are represented.

This is not representative of our population. Different life experience and perspectives enhance government’s ability to address the complexity of problems we face. The good ‘ole boys club keeps us our government stuck in a self-affirming self-congratulatory bubble that is blind to anyone but their own interests.

“What is the point of my candidacy?”

The point of my candidacy is that I have complete confidence that I can do a far better job than our current mayor. He has weak plans and worse yet...NO VISION for the city success of our city in 5-10 20 years other than more development and more homes.
In contrast, I am a big picture thinker and a creative problem solver. I have plans, numerous ideas and will TAKE THE INITIATIVE to continue to look for the best ideas across the country for our city. I will use my knowledge as a psychologist to decrease the hatefulness and facilitate empathy. There are plenty of things about running the city that I do not know. However, I am a quick study and I am tenacious. I am not afraid to ask for help or rely on the expertise of those who know more. Most of all, I am not interested in popularity or notoriety. I want to get things done.

That is the point of my candidacy.

October 20,, 2017, I could not be more proud to be endorsed by the NewPower Pac. The purpose of NewPowerPAC is to empower, endorse, and elect qualified women to office – at the municipal, county, and state level. It is a nonpartisan group that believes women's voices are an important part of political leadership.

The NewPower Pac

Oct 10, 2017 I met with the board of subdivision HOA last night. It was interesting to hear their concerns. They were very receptive to my ideas and we had a good discussion about the future of the city. They were surprised to learn, as many people are, that we have "by-right" one acre development. This helped me make my point about land conservation being our best option to address many of the problems people are concerned about. I am glad my message is resonating. Looking forward to meeting with all the subdivision residents later in the month. :-)

September 30, 2017
Had a lovely fundraiser held for me this week by local resident, Debra Jones at her husband's restaurant, Firefly. The food was incredible. I recommend both the shrimp and scallops appetizers. We had a good turnout with lots of new faces. I greatly appreciate the financial help with my campaign.

It is good to hear how many people truly care about the city and believe in the need for change in leadership. It is disturbing to hear how fearful residents are about taking sides in this election. They clearly fear retribution for not supporting the incumbent. Many people are reacting by withdrawing from the process. It is truly sad that our city has come to this point. The nasty rumors, personal attacks and attribution of nefarious intent, are not necessary to correct inappropriate behavior or questionable ethics. I hope I can bring something different to the table by standing up against bullying and standing up for rational civil discussion. We need to move from an "us vs them" mentality and away from the idea of competitive teams. Winning the argument at the expense of collaboratively solving problems, is not a productive way to run a government.

Addressing this problem has to start at the top with leadership that draws lines in the sand regarding acceptable behavior in council meetings. The primary focus of leader should not be about being liked, it should be about being respected.

Qualifying day!

September 22, 2017
How did I end up running for Mayor of Milton? This is a question I ask myself daily as I juggle my job,home responsibilities and a political campaign. I swore I would never get involved in politics due to the underhanded and negative experiences that I had and witnessed. Have I temporarily lost my mind?
I question myself, but I always come back to several personal values that I hold.
Today, I just want to address Gandhi's wisdom. He said, "Be the change you want to see in the world," For years my work as a therapist represented the way I made ripples of change in the world. In my office with each client , I help them find new understandings of themselves and their world. Then, we set about a journey to help them change. One tiny step at a time. Change is a very difficult thing for most people to do. Often times we try something new and it does not go well and we think we failed. Some of these times I help my client tweak their words or behavior to be more effective in the next try......although each time reminding them that the attempt was a change in itself. Other times I have explain that just because their attempt at change was very well done, does not mean the people in their world are going to like their changes. In fact, they will often be criticized or punished for their very attempt to change. The world often wants us to "change back"

True strength is about pushing through the resistance to find our way forward.

My value of personal and community change is part of what drives me to become the next mayor of Milton. Our city has gone through very rapid changes but with little readiness for them. We have significant problems as a result. Do we continue to allow the rapid changes all the while lamenting their inevitability? Or do we think more carefully about our future, anticipate and envision what could be and create a better plan to shape the future of our city?

I believe in agility in response to change. Assessing and reassessing what's working and what is not, and being flexible to looking new ideas. and different point of view....all the while retaining the VISION of where we want to go.