July 3, 2020
By: Deborah Childress
The Free Press inquired with Gwen Myers regarding her candidacy and platform, for Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners District 3.
Q: What would be first on your agenda if elected to replace Les Miller in District 3?
A: Transportation/Mass Transit. We need far better transit. Hillsborough County is the most under-funded metro area in the US for mass transit. I worked hard as a volunteer with “All for Transportation” because we needed to hugely improve our mass transit system with more buses, conversion of the CSX tracks to commuter rail, a ferry system, and BRT dedicated corridors for transit, as well as protected bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.
Q: Where would you carry the torch for Les Miller’s initiatives?
A: Better wages for county employees. Funding for training and programs for better-paying jobs like solar installing, as well as labor apprenticeships. Also, I’d advocate incentivizing higher wages in economic development benefits given to businesses that grow in Hillsborough County or move here.
Regarding water and sewer, I support replacing septic and well water with county water and wastewater in the areas of Clair Mel, Palm River and USF.
I would ensure that the Maydell Bridge project remains on the construction schedule since the project has been closed for three years. We need to replace the existing Maydell Bridge, which is currently a structurally deficient two-lane undivided facility with no shoulders and a four-foot sidewalk. The new bridge will have eight-foot shoulders for vehicular safety and enhanced pedestrian safety features, including a barrier, separated, five-foot-wide sidewalk, and a 10-foot trail.
I would continue to assist county residents of Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace and unincorporated who have seen a reduction in, or loss of wages from lay-off or lessening of hours due to COVID-19. I would support assistance in paying utilities, rent, and mortgage payments, based on eligibility; and continue to make testing sites available to county residents.
Q: What aspects of the Board of County Commissioners’ role in our communities would you like to see re-considered or emphasized?
I would like to see more emphasis on infrastructures, such as roads, schools, and fire stations to keep up with growth. This current County Commission is beginning to make important changes with a focus on infill and redevelopment and making sure that impact fees start to pay for more of the new growth. It’s the right thing to do. I’ll be working for a more balanced approach to making growth pay its own way.
Q: What will be your alternative to the All for Transportation plan if a Plan B is needed?
Lead the Hillsborough County Commission to add the All for Transportation plan to the 2022 ballot for voters to approve again. No matter what the decision from the high court, voters spoke loud and clear in 2018. I will fight tirelessly for their voices to be heard and their mandate for better transportation to be carried out.
For more information on Gwen Myers and her campaign, visit votegwenmyers.com
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