Voter Guide

Find Your Races

St. Pete City Council Dist. 3

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

Orlando A. Acosta (NP) Entrepreneur

Biographical Information

Phone (727) 249-4974
Education Regis High School (NYC) 1988, Bachelors Degree from the United States Air Force Academy 1992, Masters Degree in Business Administration from Touro University International 2005.
Professional Experience Currently the founder of UMD International, a military defense consultant. Previously a defense contractor and an active duty Air Force officer who served both overseas and at USCENTCOM.
Public Service Former President of the Rotary Club of St. Petersburg Sunset. Member of the St. Petersburg High School Advisory Committee and St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Boy Scout adult leader._

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 addition to economic incentives, we need to make serious investments in our public transportation system to address these issues. Making it easier to get to work, removing the need for a car, and connecting the different parts of our city and region would sustain economic growth and encouraging private investment in the kind of businesses that pay living wages.

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

We need to continue work on ending the wave of juvenile auto theft in Pinellas. I support increased after school and summer activities. These programs would also have a positive ripple effect in our neighborhoods and schools, cutting down other types of crime. We should also renew our focus on pedestrian safety by promoting complete streets and alternative transit methods.

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 have the tools to address this problem - economic incentives, direct investment, rehabbing homes, and grants to community organizations. We could change zoning laws to maximize use of already busy corridors and increase density without compromising the character of our quiet neighborhoods.

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)

The Complete Streets initiative is a great first step for St. Pete. I would ensure it includes all neighborhoods and mobility options, and seamlessly blends with our existing bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure and PSTA service. Facilitating those connections will create jobs and increase market access, promote economic development, and increase prosperity in all our neighborhoods.

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)

As a coastal city, we have everything on the line when storms hit. The City can take on larger projects such as sea wall renovation and stormwater routing through its new sustainability and resiliency division. I support our increased investment in water management utilizing stormwater revenue, and believe repair incentives to property owners are another important element to fixing the problem.

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)

District 3 is especially vulnerable to sea level rise. We should be building infrastructure to protect against damage while limiting our environmental impact so we aren't contributing to the problem either. We also need to connect District 3, and all of our districts with a comprehensive, multi-modal, public transportation investment policy.

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 first priority would be to fund renewable energy and resilient infrastructure. My second priority would be to reinforce our new campaign finance ordinance, ending legalized bribery and corruption which undermine our search for St. Pete-centered solutions to our transportation, housing, and climate challenges.

Voter Guide

Candidate picture Choose Chosen

John "Ed" Montanari (NP) Airline Pilot

Biographical Information

Campaign Website http://www.edforstpete.com
Email Address edmontanari@gmail.com
Phone (727) 201-5449
Education B.S. Aeronautical Science
Professional Experience Vice Chair, St. Petersburg City Council Chair, Budget, Finance, and Taxation Committee Chair, Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Committee Vice Chair, Public Services and Infrustructure Committee Alternate Health, Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability Committee Co-Sponsored Events Committee
Public Service Commissioner and former Chair of Planning and Community Preservation Commission Board Member, Pinellas Economic Development Council Chair Pier Task Force, St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Board Member, R'Club and Louise Graham Regeneration Center, Vice Chair, Pier Task Force Chair, Albert Whitted Task Force Committee Chair Baseball Task Force

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)

St. Petersburg needs to continue to work to be an attractive place to do business. We need to retain and recruit employers that provide high wage jobs to our City. The Chamber of Commerce and EDC have been a good start. We need to ensure that we have the workforce and infrastructure in place for businesses to grow or relocate to St. Petersburg.

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

Public safety is the first priority for government. I have been a strong advocate for the St. Petersburg Police Department and St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. My priorities include building the new police department headquarters and separate training center. We also have a new fire station in Fossil Park that was a significant accomplishment.

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)

Funding needs to be a priority, especially with the Sadowski Trust funds and ensure that they are not swept like they have been in the past for other state budget issues. The city has approved using Penny for Pinellas funds for land acquisition and is currently doing a nexus study to determine if linkage fees would be a suitable funding source.

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)

We need to work as a region to address transportation issues. The MPO’s are the logical organizations to work in this area. As our region continues to grow, so do our transportation challenges. We need to work with all levels of government, local, state, and federal to improve transportation options. We have to clear the way for new technologies to deal with the last mile of mass transit solutions

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 must protect our beautiful city and its waterfront. Growing up in St. Petersburg means you are connected to the environment, it's personal, and you instinctively want to protect and preserve it. I have been leading on sewer issues, both on the capacity side and with needed repairs to our collection system. Most of the funding is paid by the utility fees, along with some Penny for Pinellas funds

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)

The replacement of the 40th Avenue bridge is underway, I have been working on it since I was elected. I project will be completed in about a year. The second most important issue is the replacement of the Shore Acres Recreation Center. We expect construction to begin in 2020 and will take about a year and a half to complete.

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)

1. Protect and preserve the quality of life Starts with public safety. Protect our environment Focus on our neighborhoods. Protect our parks. Plant more trees. Invest in our infrastructure 2. Increase Economic Opportunity Continue to be an attractive place to do business. Retain and recruit employers. Enhance our workforce. Work on affordable housing, schools, transportation issues.