Peter England is running for mayor of Palmetto Bay in the Nov. 2 election.
A longtime resident of the area, England has a wife, June, and three grown sons — Robert, Michael and Douglas — and one granddaughter, Kristen.
England said he has a clear view of why he wants to serve as mayor of Palmetto Bay.
“I have been a resident of the village for 25 years, and have enjoyed the benefits of our incorporation during the last eight,” England said. “Since I retired a year ago, I have been asked by a number of people to consider running for this office. I believe I have the experience, the vision, and the time to make Palmetto Bay an even better place to live, work, and play.
“Retired, I can live anywhere, and I choose to live in Palmetto Bay. With that as a background, I feel compelled to offer myself again for public service in the community which has done so much to improve my quality of life.”
England has a BBA in Marketing from St. John’s University in New York, and attended the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University in New York.
He is a retired director of Government Relations at Camillus House, and formerly served as director of Marketing and Energy Conservation for FPL, senior vice president of Marketing at Florida Federal Savings and as a marketing representative at National Airlines.
Community service positions include Deering Estate Foundation, trustee; Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors; member, Economic Development Council; Bread for the World, Washington, DC, board member, and St. Louis Catholic Church, ministry chair.
England believes that his prior experience in many areas will help him in the job of mayor.
“I have more on-the-job experience in government than any other candidate in the race, having previously served two terms as an elected member of the St. Petersburg City Council, including a term as vice mayor,” England said.
“In addition, for the last 15 years I worked as director of Government Relations for Camillus House. In that role, I worked daily with government at every level — county commission, our state legislative delegation, and the congressional delegation. My relationships with both elected officials and their staffs will be crucial to obtaining grant funding for the village during these tough economic times.”
England outlined what he hopes to accomplish if he is elected mayor.
“I have three primary goals: maintaining the current millage rate, keeping the level of village services at the current high levels, and adding to our financial reserves,” England said. “The only way we can accomplish this is by drawing on grants to offset expenses on our capital projects, and by a serious commitment to economic development along the US 1 corridor.
“Job creation, as well as new development, is critical to the financial success of the village. That process must begin by nurturing the businesses which have already chosen to locate here, and helping them grow.”
England thinks that Palmetto Bay’s primary need is a continued focus on public safety.
“If residents don’t feel safe, then no other issue really matters,” England stated. “We have made an excellent decision in contracting with the county for a dedicated unit of police for the village. Response times have improved and crime rates are down. It is incumbent on the council and administration to continue to improve upon this trend.
“An emphasis on fiscal responsibility, implementing the improvement plans that are already in place, and providing adequate services for our recently acquired assets is imperative. The next several years will be about maintaining our services, and not the growth and expansion which characterized the village startup.”
England said that he hopes to be a unifying force in the community and a bridge to those with differing views.
“We have managed to create a village which represents an island of peace and sanity, in a turbulent urban environment,” England said. “Palmetto Bay is more than a collection of single family homes. It is parks, schools, houses of worship and businesses, all of which contribute to the fabric of our village life.
“Going forward, a civil attitude must exist among all of us who make up this village, and controversies resolved through rational discourse and debate. If I am privileged to serve as your mayor, it is my commitment to set that tone from our Village Hall.”
For more information visit his website at www.democracy.com/PeterEngland