The Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged has named Pinellas Park City Council member Patti Johnson elected official of the year for 2016.
The honor goes to the local, state, and/or federal elected official who has demonstrated his/her support to those who are transportation disadvantaged. This official, the CTD says, has supported his or her constituents by working to ensure mobility options remain available to those who depend on them. This elected official has demonstrated a commitment to assisting individuals maintain independence and quality of life.
Johnson, who has served on the Pinellas Park City Council since 2012, serves on both the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Local Coordinating boards. She was nominated by Forward Pinellas. Forward Pinellas is the county agency formed by the merger of the Pinellas Planning Council and Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“Johnson is a strong advocate of the transportation disadvantaged through her work as an elected official and as a court-appointed guardian and elder care consultant,” the nomination says.
It also recognizes, among her other accomplishments for the transportation disadvantaged, Johnson’s success in convincing the Legislature to allot more funds to programs for the transportation disadvantaged:
“Upon learning of the need for more transportation disadvantaged funding in Pinellas County, council member Johnson met with other elected officials to try to secure additional funding.
“When she learned that some (agencies) had returned over a million dollars in TD funds unused to the TD Commission which went back to the state, council member Johnson went to TD Day in Tallahassee in 2016. She was the first Pinellas County LCB member in many years to participate in TD Day.
“While there, and after her return, Councilmember Johnson advocated for the needs of the transportation disadvantaged and informed the Legislators of these returned funds and Pinellas’ need for them. At the end of the session, the Legislature had allocated additional funds to serve the transportation disadvantaged.”