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Know Your Candidates

Redington Shores: Candidates draw up plans to shape town

Jody Armstrong and Gail Conroy offer strong views about the future of Redington Shores.

By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
Published February 29, 2004

REDINGTON SHORES - The winner of the District 3 commission seat will face such issues as hiring the town's first administrator, how to accommodate parking needs on the town's back streets and what the town will look like in 10 or 20 years.

Candidates Jody Armstrong and Gail Conroy have lived in the town for more than 10 years each and have strong views about the town's future and how its residents need to be involved in decisions affecting that future.

Armstrong, 44, was appointed to the seat last year. Her opponent, Conroy, 53, is a self-described environmental activist.

The winning candidate's first decision, which could come the day after the March 9 election, will be choosing one of five people interviewed in the next two weeks as the new town administrator.

In the coming year, commissioners will focus on development and parking regulations, beautification and burying utility lines.

Armstrong said she strongly supports the proposed overlay zoning that would control redevelopment of Gulf Boulevard and is working with residents to solve parking issues on the town's back streets.

During her short time on the commission, Armstrong said, she re-energized the town's park board, which had not had a meeting in eight months.

"I have lots of ideas. The demographics of the town has changed. I want to make this a community where people want to bring their children, a real community rather than a resort they just happen to live in," Armstrong said.

Conroy said she decided to run to try to make the commission more responsive to residents. "When I attended commission meetings, it seemed like they were lecturing, telling the residents what was going to happen, rather than asking we they wanted. I just felt it was time to step forward and do something."

Conroy immediately wants a townwide referendum on changing the form of government before, not after, hiring a town administrator.

She wants more trees in the public parks and more plantings to create a homey atmosphere.

Both candidates support burying utility lines throughout town.

[Last modified February 29, 2004, 01:15:11]


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