Carlos Diaz. Credit: Carlos Diaz.
2017 Safety Harbor Candidate Profile: Carlos Diaz (i-Seat 4)
- Name: Carlos Diaz
- Age: 52
- Place of birth: Jersey City, NJ
- Moved to Florida/Safety Harbor: 1987/2002
- Professional background: Played professional baseball for nine years with the Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals; Arthur Andersen–worked as an auditor and passed the CPA; Lykes Lines/ CP Ships—ocean shipping business–Created a Global Business enterprise focused on maritime logistics for refrigerated cargo. I traveled globally coaching, managing and mentoring the commercial and operational members of my business unit on sales, service and operations; ASW-America–Worked for a Hong Kong-based logistics company managing their US and Latin American offices with more than 100 employees; In 2009, opened my own company—WWT America- dedicated to international logistics and business consulting to helping small businesses grow. Currently managing World Direct Shipping transports into Port Manatee and Elite Flowers into Miami and into New Jersey. Also continue to work with small business in Tampa Bay consulting and mentoring.
- Civic background (organizations, volunteer work, boards, etc.…): BOD on the JCS Foundation, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, American Heart Association, Federal Maritime Commission
- Campaign website: REELECTDIAZ.COM
- Email: email@example.com
What made you decide to run for Safety Harbor City Commission?
I decided to run back in 2013 because my family and I have a great love for Safety Harbor and only want to see the best for this community. Our belief that what makes this city great, is our vibrant community who is engaged in events. I want to maintain our community engaged and which is the city’s greatest asset. We need to keep this as our top objective.
What do you think is the most important issue facing Safety Harbor today?
I believe there are restrictions on businesses and residents that gives SH the reputation that it is not a friendly community to change. This perception discourages some businesses and residents.
What are your thoughts on the state of the downtown development in as it relates to businesses as well as residential properties (i.e. smart growth)?
Currently, the downtown area is suffering from critical empty parcels of land, lack of a “go to” venue and a lack of direction which gives potential new businesses the perception that SH is not open to new ideas. As far as residential, we have seen improvements, however there lacks clear direction for potential residents which once again gives the perception that SH is not open. The City needs to be proactive to increase business and residential development in downtown to encourage the implementation of the City’s vision plan.
What is your position on the R2 lot setbacks issue?
I was opposed to increasing setbacks on the front yard because it has no impact other than restricting and devaluing people’s property. This ordinance was based on aesthetic tastes and has no relevance or no value to the community. The ordinance basically is telling people to put bigger porches on their front yard or you cannot build on it.
What would you like to see happen with the Firmenich property?
I would like light industry or offices such as a Medical Arts complex. I believe that today, our cities are pushing more and more jobs away where residents are increasing commutes and congesting roadways. This property is an example of how we can maintain the diversity of SH by adding jobs in town.
What would you like to see happen with future development of the Waterfront Park?
The Waterfront Park needs to have spaces where people can gather. Whereas, the majority should be green space, I would propose to place a pavilion run by local vendors to sell coffee, hamburgers, hotdogs, and cold drinks and perhaps have a fish a bait shop. The pavilion would serve as a central place for people to gather and enjoy the beautiful scenery such as the sunrise or sit down and enjoy a light snack or drink while they socialize. I would also place spray stations for bikers, joggers and children to cool off.
If you could do one thing to stimulate economic growth in the city, what would it be?
I would like to see the Commission steer the City to play an active role in vitalizing and growing businesses in downtown, in the S2 and on the 590 corridor. This would encompass an active role in the development of underused properties in these areas and would also send a message to the community that SH is serious in promoting economic growth.
Name an issue you believe is not getting the attention it deserves or that is especially meaningful to you
I believe the culture and the perception that we are supporting is counter to basic values of the general community and our country. We need to make a stand and promote a welcoming atmosphere and one of the leading areas are the City’s leaders and the City.
If you were to be elected on March 14, what would your priorities be for the city, and what are your long-term goals for Safety Harbor’s future?
Economic growth in the business districts would be a priority. Long term goals are to maintain the City financially healthy and to maintain its investment in infrastructure and services to maintain a great quality of life for our community.
Any final thoughts?
My mission is to be committed to see the City maintain positive momentum so that the next generation can be as proud as I am of Safety Harbor today:
- Maintain the quality of services performed by the City
- Maintain the City’s diversity and unique distinction
- Support a balanced budget
- Progress the Waterfront Park to make it a destination location
- Ensure that the City is prepared and on pace to maintain its infrastructure
- Develop the Cedar Street land to make it into a sports recreation location
- Support the development of the 590 corridor to encompass industrial or office use
- Support the development of the SC-2 Character District
- Look to propose a City action plan for the continued development of Main Street’s, the SC-2 Character and the 590 corridor business