Voter Guide

Find Your Races

St. Pete City Council Dist. 1

The city of St. Petersburg operates under a strong mayor and city council system.The St. Petersburg City Council is the non-partisan governing body of the City. The Council is responsible for legislating ordinances and resolutions, approving the city budget, appointing the charter review commission, and establishing a code of ethics for city government and city employees. The Council consists of eight (8) Council Members, elected from each of the eight (8) districts of the City. Elections for the Council are held in odd-numbered years, with each election including (4) of the (8) districts. The election cycle for Council consists of a primary election in which only residents of each district can vote for that district’s commissioner, and a general “At Large” election where all voters are eligible to vote on the candidates in the (4) districts included on the ballot. Term: 4 years Salary: $49,281

Voter Guide

Candidate picture Choose Chosen

Robert G. Blackmon (NP) Real Estate Investor

Biographical Information

Campaign Website http://Blackmon4StPete.com
Email Address rblackmon15@gmail.com
Phone (727) 244-0379
Education St. Petersburg High School, 2007, Graduate Florida State University, 2011, Political Science Major, Dual Minors in Communications and Emergency Management
Professional Experience Over 10 years of business experience owning, operating, and renovating apartment buildings, managing and hiring employees. Highlights: 2014 St. Petersburg Preservation “Award of Honor” (top award) for multifamily real estate renovation.
Public Service Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) representative. Regency Condominium Association Vice President, 2015-2018. Villa Valencia Garden Condominium Association board member, Present. Friends of Salt Creek, member. St. Petersburg Preservation, member. St. Petersburg Musuem of History, member

Do you support using additional city resources to make it more attractive for the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in St. Petersburg? (Multiple choice)

Strongly oppose
Oppose
Neither support nor oppose
Support
Strongly support

What policies and programs do you think the City should implement, or improve, to attract living wage jobs, support small businesses and generate sustainable economic development? (400 character limit)

In all decisions we make, we must consider the economic ramifications. To start, the city should attempt to expedite the permitting process for new businesses. This alone can be a complete killer for a new business, if they are paying rent on a facility, and paying employees, with no income. We must also court corporate relocations and satellite offices due to existing tax benefits of our state.

What are the City’s most important public safety priorities? How do you intend to address them? (400 character limit)

Of primary concern in any community is traditionally violent crime. I would encourage more community based policing to get officers into the neighborhoods where they are needed most. I am hopeful that the new police headquarters will help attract the best and brightest new officers to join our ranks, and that increased technological capacities will help us to solve crime.

Rate how well the City is balancing resource allocation between downtown and the neighborhoods and business districts in outlying communities. (Multiple choice)

Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent

How would you work with city departments, businesses and the community to create more affordable housing and limit the displacement of residents? Where would funding for these efforts come from? (400 character limit)

We need to allow relaxed zoning restrictions for new construction. Duplexes, mother in law suites, and decreased parking restrictions could lead to more affordable housing in traditional single family neighborhoods. I also want city condemned properties given to a non profit, or qualifying income families, giving them a home to renovate and live in, provided certain renovation benchmarks are met.

The goal of St. Petersburg’s “Complete Streets” plan is to provide more options for public transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. What is your position on this strategy? What, if anything, should the City do to further address local and regional transportation needs? (400 character limit)

Nothing is scarier to me than the incomplete sidewalk system currently in place in our city- it needs to be addressed, ASAP- some sidewalks end arbitrarily halfway through a block. As far as bicyclists, I am a proponent of separate bike “roads”, such as along 1st Street NE, where the existing sidewalk has been marginally widened so that bicycles can have a separate, two lane, off road path.

What actions should the City take to improve resiliency? (In the short term, that would mean the City’s ability to handle weather-related disasters. In the long term, that would mean covering the ongoing costs of repairing and maintaining the city’s sewer/stormwater management systems.) How would you fund these efforts? (400 character limit)

We should put as much money as possible towards improving our public works so that sewage spills never happen again, damaging our city's reputation, as well as our wildlife and ecosystem. Additionally, we need to work towards improving our score on FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), which gives insurance breaks to everyone within a city if the town collectively meets certain benchmarks.

What are the two most important issues affecting your district? If elected, what specific actions will you take to address them? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

Environment and infrastructure. Infrastructure and environment tie into each other often: Expansion + improvement on the Northwest plant is a must. Continued monitoring of the Raytheon site and protecting our natural resources + environment, are key to keeping our district pristine and beautiful. Also retiming of existing traffic lights to reduce congestion would help commercial hub + cohesivness

If elected, what will be your top two priorities for the city, and what would you do to address them within your first six months in office? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

Improve upon current conditions. I would like to see environmental, and housing issues focused on. I have frequent conversations on the topic of environment w/ my good friends (who have also endorsed my campaign) Councilmembers Gina Driscoll and Darden Rice. Environmentalism means quality of life, protecting our natural resources, and ensuring that we keep our city beautiful for future generations

Voter Guide

Candidate picture Choose Chosen

John Hornbeck (NP) Attorney at Law

Biographical Information

Campaign Website http://VoteHornbeck.com
Email Address John@727lawyer.com
Phone (727) 742-3355
Education Law School- Stetson Law College- University of South Florida High School- Keswick Christian
Professional Experience President at The Law Office of John M. Hornbeck, P.A.
Public Service 2003 City of St. Pete "Volunteer of the Year Award." 250 hours volunteered at Walter Fuller Community Center. Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Northwest Presbyterian

Do you support using additional city resources to make it more attractive for the Tampa Bay Rays to stay in St. Petersburg? (Multiple choice)

Strongly oppose
Oppose
Neither support nor oppose
Support
Strongly support

What policies and programs do you think the City should implement, or improve, to attract living wage jobs, support small businesses and generate sustainable economic development? (400 character limit)

I am in total support of the new Tampa Bay Innovation Center. I think this is a very positive investment to not just create more jobs, but to create better jobs. As a small business owner myself, I am committed to keeping St. Pete an economically prosperous city, with special emphasis on small and local businesses. I firmly believe what makes St. Pete unique is our focus on local businesses.

What are the City’s most important public safety priorities? How do you intend to address them? (400 character limit)

Keeping Youth Crime down would be a huge benefit to Public Safety. My "Youth First Initiative" on VoteHornbeck.com discusses how we can achieve this through Youth Intervention, and Affordable Youth Programs by taking kids who are just getting involved in the criminal justice system and put them back on the proper path. Also we need to take kids off the street by putting them in youth programs.

Rate how well the City is balancing resource allocation between downtown and the neighborhoods and business districts in outlying communities. (Multiple choice)

Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent

How would you work with city departments, businesses and the community to create more affordable housing and limit the displacement of residents? Where would funding for these efforts come from? (400 character limit)

First, we need to understand that this crisis in St. Pete does not just affect low-income families, but also middle-income families. There are no easy solutions, but I pledge that I am committed to fighting hard for this issue and uniquely qualified as an attorney to battle tough problems, and work to find good solutions. St. Pete needs to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable homes.

The goal of St. Petersburg’s “Complete Streets” plan is to provide more options for public transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. What is your position on this strategy? What, if anything, should the City do to further address local and regional transportation needs? (400 character limit)

With Complete Streets and also the BRT, St. Pete has implemented actions to address local and regional transportation needs. I do not think any additional actions need to be done.

What actions should the City take to improve resiliency? (In the short term, that would mean the City’s ability to handle weather-related disasters. In the long term, that would mean covering the ongoing costs of repairing and maintaining the city’s sewer/stormwater management systems.) How would you fund these efforts? (400 character limit)

I will prioritize the continue implementation of the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan which works to reduce emissions, and increase energy efficiency and tree plantings. We need to understand that preserving our environment is not just the ethical thing to do, but it is also a positive financial decision. Please see my "Clean Bay Initiative" on VoteHornbeck.com for information.

What are the two most important issues affecting your district? If elected, what specific actions will you take to address them? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

1. Residents in District One have stressed their concern to me for keeping car thefts and youth crime down, and I firmly believe I have great solution by my Youth First Initiative.

2. One of the other biggest issues is what is going to happen to the Science Center property as well as the Raytheon property.

If elected, what will be your top two priorities for the city, and what would you do to address them within your first six months in office? (Your response may expand on a previous answer or relate to a new topic) (400 character limit)

My number one priority is investing in Youth through Youth Intervention and Affordable Youth Programs.

My number two is Environmental Accountability.

Please visit VoteHornbeck.com for how I would like to address these and other issues.