Home / Government / 2015 Safety Harbor Candidate Profile: Joe Ayoub (Seat 3)

2015 Safety Harbor Candidate Profile: Joe Ayoub (Seat 3)

Safety Harbor City Commission Seat 3 candidate Joe Ayoub
Safety Harbor City Commission Seat 3 candidate Joe Ayoub

Name:  Joe Ayoub

Age:  38

Family:  1 brother, 2 sisters, parents and step-parents

Professional Background:  

  • Chief Financial Officer, Data Blue, LLC (Technology Solutions Company)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Civic Background (commissions, boards, organizations, volunteer, etc…)

  • Mayor, City of Safety Harbor (January 2013 to March 2014)
  • City Commissioner, Safety Harbor (March 2007 to January 2013)
  • Pinellas Planning Council (past member)
  • Pinellas County School Transportation Safety Committee (past member)
  • Florida League of Mayors (past member)
  • School Advisory Council, Safety Harbor Middle School (past member)
  • Chairman of the Board, Plato Charter School Academy (past member)
  • Vice President of the Budget Advisory Committee, Safety Harbor (past member)
  • PSTA Board Member (past member)

What made you decide to run for the Safety Harbor City Commission? 

From 2007 to the beginning of 2014 I had the honor and privilege of serving as both a Commissioner and Mayor of Safety Harbor. We accomplished lot in that time frame and I’m proud to have a solid record of results. As I watched this current commission since the change in leadership a year ago it has become apparent that they have been spinning their wheels and have been stuck in the mud focused solely on one issue while neglecting other important quality of life issues for our residents, such as moving forward with the Waterfront Park behind the Safety Harbor Spa. It is time to expect results from our elected leaders and time to get things done.

What do you believe is the most important issue affecting Safety Harbor today? 

The most important issue affecting Safety Harbor is moving forward with improvements to our new Waterfront Park behind the Safety Harbor Spa. When I left office in March of 2014 there was a solid plan in place to begin improvements to the park by that summer.

Due to the lack of leadership and lack of focus on this issue combined with the current commission spending all their time and energy on a flawed process to implement a new tree ordinance, the improvements to the park have been ignored and delayed by at least a year. In fact the last time the park was even discussed in a public meeting was last summer. In addition, the current plan has been so watered down that it does not include basic amenities such as park benches or picnic tables. If elected I will make moving forward on this project a priority and restore the plan to what our residents asked for.

What is one issue you would like to see the City Commission address?

I would like to see the City Commission implement a more efficient process for addressing issues. This commission has had more meetings, spent more time, had more workshops and spent more of staff’s time trying to pass a tree ordinance over the last year and has nothing to show for it. The commission never clearly defined the problem they are trying to address, never outlined their goal and has failed to adopt basic principles that are necessary to solve problems. In addition, the commission has failed to engage an independent expert to give professional advice on how to draft an ordinance that is right for Safety Harbor. Whether it be addressing our tree canopy or any other issue the city faces, we need better leadership and a better process so important quality of life issues are not neglected.

If you were to be elected, what are your priorities for the City?

New Waterfront Park Improvements – our community has spoken and provided us with a vision with this park, so it is now a priority of mine to move forward in a steady and deliberate manner on a plan that the residents asked for, not a watered down version that lacks basic amenities.

Passing a Tree Ordinance – The current commission has been working on a new tree ordinance for nearly a year. If elected I will work to pass an ordinance within the first 60 days of taking office.

Focus on Quality of Life issues – We need to start planning for improvements and expansions to our library and community center. We also need to implement a long term plan to create more parking for the downtown during our popular events. In addition, I will continue working with the owner of the proposed condo building on the corner of S. Bayshore and Main St to have it reduced in size.

Maintaining Responsible Budgets – After getting elected in 2007 I was laser focused on watching every dollar that your city government spent.  When I took office we were on an unsustainable course of spending significantly more money than we were taking in.  As your Mayor I passed the first budget in 7 years that resulted in the city spending less money than it took in.

Final thoughts? 

Safety Harbor is and always will be a great city but there is room for improvement. This election is too important to elect leaders that will be stuck in the mud for the next several years. If elected I will put a renewed focus on important quality of life issues that have been neglected over the past year. Results matter, which is why I am asking you for your support and your vote!

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