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Our schools and community assets must be thoughtfully connected to the places where we live. Our community needs Safe, Well-lit pathways that bring our community together. How is the goal of connectivity accomplished? Think about our children and the schools, if they live less than 2 miles from the school, they can’t take the bus, and to get them to school, the need a safe pathway. Think about not having the need to get in a car to go to the grocery store or a restaurant or church a few blocks away because there is a safe route for you to make your commute.
It is my goal to resolve the pedestrian traffic issues of ward 6, to promote a diverse and safer transportation system that decreases motor vehicle traffic, and integrates safety for all road users; enhancing the ability for all, INCLUDING our children, our elderly, AND our visitors, to improve connectivity to places within our community.
Our responsibility as City Council goes beyond the Ward limits and the every day issues we encounter in our community. Proposing the evaluation of the policies and systems that operate the city, can enhance the workforce productivity to meet the demands of a growing City and alleviate ongoing issues that are not being treated at the root of the problem. As an example, the current policies allow for payment of sidewalks in lieu of building them by development (housing, commercial, etc.), the payment in lieu typically goes to the general fund and the sidewalk likely not be installed. This is an example of one system and policy issue that has not be updated and addressed.
As a business development director, I know, firsthand, the integration of sensible community design enhances our quality of life and environment. What does this mean? As Ward 6 continues to expand; we have the opportunity to create a sense of place beyond our gated communities with the goal of a happier, healthier, financially stable city. Current development codes control land use rather than shaping the physical form of our community generating our need to drive everywhere, and the way we connect as society becomes secondary. How we grow as a city and how we commute and connect as society cannot be separated, we are one city!
As Ward 6 expands, Citizens concerns should be supported by creating a web dashboard map where the community can visualize the challenges and resolutions in the ward and the City in general. If we have a concern conveyed to the City via Citizen Response System, the community can view the issue, location, and the resolution. This dashboard can also be a resource to the city’s workforce as they evaluate their operations and budgets.
As Ward 6 and the entire City grow, we have to address our future needs by evaluating what we have done, where we are and where we need to go regarding our natural resources and their management: this includes water quality, conservation and best management practices to protect our estuaries. As residents we should be involved in the process to ensure our natural preserves are being managed properly, our drinking water sources are safe, and that we do our part conserving the resources.
For City operations to be aligned with policy and services ensuring diversity and inclusion of residents, businesses and visitors are being honored and respected through measurables and actions. Currently the city does not have a specific direction or policy that addresses diversity and inclusion and for the implementation of any change in this regard, a baseline with measurable outcomes needs to be in place.
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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Diana Giraldo for Fort Myers City Council.
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