2017 Safety Harbor election candidate profile: Nancy Besore

Nancy Besore. Credit: Nancy Besore

Nancy Besore. Credit: Nancy Besore

2017 Safety Harbor election candidate profile: Nancy Besore (Seat 1):

  • Name: Nancy J. Besore
  • Age: 60
  • Place of birth: Aurora, IL
  • Moved to Florida/Safety Harbor: May, 1991
  • Professional background: Retired teacher – FL Bar certified lawyer
  • Civic background (organizations, volunteer work, boards, etc.…): Safety Harbor City Commission, 5 years – 2009 – 2014; Friends of the Library Volunteer 2009 to present; Safety Harbor Historical Society Volunteer since its inception; Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center Volunteer, 2009-2014; volunteer usher at Espiritu Santo Church
  • Campaign website/Facebook page: Facebook/Nancy Besore
  • Email/phone: (727) 799-1490

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

Prior Commission service led to a passion for service – also, recent national political climate propelled me to active citizenship

What do you think is the most important issue facing Safety Harbor today?

I think our most important issue is maintaining our fascinating connection with the past, in terms of charm and neighborly presence in an increasingly sterile world, while continuing to evolve in a sustainable fashion.

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)?

My belief is based on the current cache phrase, “start with what is good.” I love the excitement and action represented by our diverse business establishments. Safety Harbor gains mention in publications devoted to vibrant destinations. We have a few persistent vacancies, and some properties have hosted varying businesses. Still, what works, thrives. I am not a believer in densely crowding downtown, irreparably altering the wonderful charisma of Safety Harbor, in order to force a bustling business district. At the same time, I have approved various residential development projects in the past, which have increased our density in what I considered a thoughtful manner, amenable to residents and developers alike. I appreciate the call for a dedicated business development position, staff who could aid business owners through permitting processes and business development.

What is your position on the R2 lot setbacks issue?

I am in favor of the Commission majority’s decision on R2 lot setbacks. I think their decision constituted a well-considered compromise. They did not take the extreme position of rolling things back to pre-2013 status. They did listen to disappointed residents, who felt themselves increasingly losing city greenspace. This R-2 issue was not casually legislated on the fly. The Commission worked hours to come to a workable compromise.

What would you like to see happen with the Firmenich property?

I would appreciate seeing a mixed-use approach – some light industrial, some retail, some residential. Most importantly, I would love to see a dedicated city staff Economic Development liaison work with the Commission, regional development experts, and all interested residents to assist the property owner in finding a purchaser interested in bringing jobs, and property enhancement, to this prime Safety Harbor parcel.

What would you like to see happen with future development of the Waterfront Park?

I would appreciate future development unfolding in line with the unanimously, Commission approved, vision evolving from committee visioning meetings in 2013. Much effort went into the phased, development ideal. I like what I have seen to date. I feel no need to rush to tinker with the vision.

If you could do one thing to stimulate economic growth in the city, what would it be?

I would join the voices urging creation of a dedicated Economic Development liaison.

Name an issue you believe is not getting the attention it deserves or that is especially meaningful to you

I would like to see more attention paid to fundraising to facilitate the county/city partnership in widening the Phillippe Park footbridge, allowing runners, bikers, and walkers to pass, while still keeping vehicular traffic off the bridge. This will allow us to avoid closing off Phillippe Parkway for road races/events. I read a quick blurb in the paper about this; and I consider it a fantastic idea.

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?

My priorities for the city would be moving forward to fund the Economic Development liaison position. continuing to enhance what is terrific in our city, particularly building an addition to our astounding library, and continuing city support of arts, leisure, and recreation programs. I will work to ensure completion of the proposed footbridge project at Philippe Park. I will work toward beautification efforts east from our wonderful entry walls at McMullen, toward downtown, to tenth. I have a particular interest in what will become of our former trailer park on that stretch of Main.

Any final thoughts?

My mission is one of service. I do have a history of impassioned support for residents’ concerns. I do market myself as, “your voice; your choice.” This is my home. I, like you, moved here because of Safety Harbor’s quaint, diverse, nature. I know we will grow. I want to recognize our final product when we emerge from the growth process. I believe this will require thoughtful, considered, development, in keeping with the treasure to which we refer as, “the jewel of the Bay.” My final thought is enhance the setting. Do not irreparably alter the diamond we so cherish as our home.

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