ExperienceA proven track record of tackling tough community issues as both a city commissioner and citizen activist.
I’ve always focused on building bridges across divides.
When we problem-solve and work together, we can come up with
smart, cost-effective solutions to our community’s big challenges.
Public Service Accomplishments
Environment & Conservation
Protected our Water and Land
- I advocated for the establishment of the 1,000 acre Newnan’s Lake State Forest as a natural and recreational amenity in east Gainesville.
- I supported protecting our water conservation rates that reward wise use of water.
- I advocated having consistent water conservation rules and landscape ordinances between the city and county in order to protect water quality and reduce water usage.
- While a City Commissioner, we stopped polluting Paynes Prairie and our aquifer at Alachua Sink by completing the Sweetwater Wetlands Park.
Stopped and Cleaned up Pollution
- As a citizen and City Commissioner, I worked in close cooperation with the Stephen Foster neighborhood and Protect Gainesville Citizens to achieve a higher standard clean-up of the Koppers Superfund site and the surrounding neighborhood paid for by the polluter.
- While a City Commissioner, we halted the dumping of biosolids at Archer’s Whistling Pines.
- I supported the brownfield remediation of Depot Park to provide cost-effective stormwatermanagement for Gainesville’s downtown as well as a vibrant public park.
Created Spaces for New Jobs and Investment
- As Chair of the Economic Development University City Committee, I helped create a new vision for an Innovation District for the entire area between Downtown and the University of Florida (including the 16-acre Innovation Square). The plan provides a framework for UF, Santa Fe College, the local tech community, and the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to work collaboratively.
- As member and Chair of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) I voted to redevelop the Power District and promoted rapid re-use of the GRU warehouse and other city-owned buildings.
Supported Small Business Development
- As the chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee and member of the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), I worked to expand contracting and subcontracting opportunities for small, local, minority, veteran, and women-owned firms.
- As Chair of the Economic Development University City Committee, I supported a partnership with Santa Fe College to revitalize the Gainesville Technology & Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) and authorized a new master plan for expansion to house new private firms and Gainesville CRA office space.
Randy supports local entrepreneurs through Gainesville Homegrown: Businesses + Entrepreneurship
Reuse of the vacant U.S. Army Reserve building and creation of new Reserve Park
Championed Redevelopment in East Gainesville
- Starting as a citizen and later as City Commissioner, I championed the reuse of the vacant U.S. Army Reserve building to bring jobs and vitality to the area, including expansion of a thriving local business.
- As member and Chair of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), I authorized the creation of Heartwood, the first new neighborhood in East Gainesville in more than a decade, on the site of the former Kennedy Homes.
- As a City Plan Board member and City Commissioner, I supported the comprehensive rezoning and new master plan to redevelop the current fairgrounds as a major new business and industrial center with significant conservation and recreational amenities.
Efficient and Responsive Local Government
Improved Responsiveness to Citizen Issues
- As member and Chair of the Community Development Committee, I championed the creation of a City of Gainesville Special Magistrate “Livability Court” to improve the transparency and effectiveness of city codes enforcement.
- I introduced the use of SeeClickFixonline app for reporting and tracking service needs by citizens which has since been adopted and branded by the city as 311GNV.
Created a More Efficient Government
- Throughout my six years of services on the City Commission, I consistently advocated for improved cooperation between the city and the county in order to deliver higher quality and more cost-effective services such as roads and transportation, parks, recreation and cultural affairs, and homeless services.
Protected our Public Utility
- As the first City Commissioner elected after adoption of the biomass contract, I worked tirelessly for positive and proactive accountability on this critical issue. I successfully engaged all charter officers (especially city attorney, city manager, and city auditor) in helping the commission, GRU, and the community deal with thorny contract disputes and negotiations, and develop alternatives.
- I worked with now-mayor Lauren Poe to gain adoption of a new Utility Advisory Board, consolidating the Regional Utility Committee, Budget and Rate Oversight Board, and Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee.
- I was an important voice in selecting new leadership for five out of six charter officers during my six years on the City Commission, including City Attorney, GRU Manager, City Auditor, Equal Opportunity Director, and City Manager.
Ensured Regional Cooperation
- As a member of the Regional Planning Council, I built relationships with surrounding counties and elected officials on water conservation, tourism, and transportation.
Promoted Balanced Transportation Planning
- As a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO), I have been a consistent, long-standing voice for funding that balances road improvements, public transit, and pedestrian/bicycle safety.
- I was a key advocate for multi-modal (car, public transit, bicycle, and pedestrians) improvements to University Ave, 13th Street, and Waldo Road.
- As a member of the State of Florida Bicycle and Pedestrian Council, I helped drive an improved Complete Streets policy statewide.
Advocate for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure
- As a member of Community Development Committee and MTPO, I proposed the city commit to adding 100-miles of new off-road bicycle and pedestrian connections throughout the city. (Adopted by the city and is in progress.)
- While commissioner, I initiated the creation of bicycle boulevards on low traffic roads that parallel high traffic corridors.
- I supported a region-wide pedestrian safety improvement plan that is currently being implemented.
Equity and Human Services
Fought Childhood Poverty
- As member and Chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee, I worked to improve children’s education and health outcomes by improving data collection, increasing funding for child care, and improving collaboration between police, sheriff, recreation, schools, health, and other agencies through the Children’s Services Council.
Established GRACE Marketplace
- I personally reached out to community leaders to garner early support for the establishment of GRACE Marketplace at its current site, ending an 8-year impasse on identifying a location as dictated in the 10-year Plan to End Homelessness.
- I helped attract a $250,000 private grant to support training and empowerment activities at the new GRACE Marketplace.
- I continue to advocate for the development of GRACE Marketplace as an innovative community campus for human empowerment, job skill training, organic farming, outdoor recreation, and environmental protection.
- As Chair of the City Affordable Housing Advisory Board and City Commissioner, I advocated for public-private partnerships to create high quality, integrated housing and job training opportunities to help low-income residents rise from poverty.
Honored our Veterans
- As someone with veteran family members, I feel it is important to honor the sacrifices all veterans have made. I crafted a community inspired plan for honoring thousands of reservists that have served at the U.S. Army Reserve Center for 50+ years. The City of Gainesville is now in the design process for implementing this new park to include a memorial to citizen soldiers.
Supported our Arts & Parks
- As chair of the City Public Works and Parks Committee, I advocated for and succeeded in placing the 352 Arts Roadmap and the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Master Plan on the 2016 Wild Spaces & Public Places referendum.
Established Gainesville as a Welcoming City
- As an elected official, I led the effort to establish Gainesville as the first Welcoming City in Florida in order to recognize our community’s longstanding spirit of inclusiveness of people from all countries and backgrounds and engaging faith, business, and academic communities.
Randy is a founder of the organization Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County that distributes these yard signs
Volunteer Community Activism
In addition to my public service, I have always been active as a volunteer citizen. The following are some of the leadership roles I have taken in each of these efforts.
- Take Stock in Children, Mentor – I’m proud to have served as a mentor for a Take Stock in Children student from 7thgrade through Santa Fe College.
- Welcoming Gainesville and Alachua County, Treasurer, Founding Board Member – I helped lead the effort to brand our community as a “Welcoming” community through the distribution of 100’s of “We’re glad you’re our neighbor” yard signs. I support the establishment of an international center as an economic hub for the city and county.
- Bike Florida, Vice President of Board – I advocate for statewide bicycle and pedestrian safety as well as economic development from bicycle tourism.
- Waldo Main Street, Inc., Founding Board Member – I have partnered with the citizens and officials of Waldo to establish an official main street organization to revitalize the historic main street of Waldo. Helped develop a plan for re-using the vacant Waldo School to include the Town Hall, local business start-ups, and community programs.
- Friends of Little Orange Creek(FLOC), Volunteer–Worked with FLOC to include Williams Elementary non-magnet 4th graders (predominantly low-income) in a 3-part environment education program to explore the natural world at Little Orange Creek Park and Preserve in Hawthorne. In 2017 FLOC took 800 students from eastern Alachua County to the Preserve at no cost.
Florida Community Design Center (FCDC), Executive Director (unpaid) – I revived a 15-year old grassroots non-profit organization for the purpose of bringing talented students to work on charitable community design projects. Projects have included:
- Provided opportunities for undergraduate and graduate interns in architecture and landscape architecture to work on local design projects at no cost to the community.
- Providing free gallery space for community artists including AnArtistas a part of the monthly Artwalk
- Incubation of Gainesville Homegrown Businesses and Entrepreneurship (GHBE)in conjunction with the Cultural Arts Coalition, the Greater Duval Neighborhood, the UF business school, and Santa Fe College CIED (Center for Innovation and Economic Development).
- Friends of Reserve Park, Founding Member – I initiated the effort to engage residents in the visioning and design process for a unique neighborhood park to honor veterans and support the reuse of the U.S. Army Reserve Center.
Previous Volunteer Activism
- Sister City Program of Gainesville, Board (2011-2013)
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Council (BPPC), (2015-2016) Council Member of a statewide council focused on policy recommendations to the FDOT
- Waldo Road Corridor Study Steering Committee, Vice Chair (2008)
- City of Gainesville Plan Board, Member (2007-2010)
- City of Gainesville Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board, Member (2006-2010)
- League of Women Voters of Alachua County, Outstanding Elected Official, May 12, 2016
- Business in Greater Gainesville, Impact Award, December 5, 2016
- GRACE Marketplace, Citizen of Grace Award, November 14, 2015