From a political standpoint — especially when talking to City Councilwoman Doreen DiPolito — the past four years in Clearwater have gone pretty well.
“Four years ago we started this journey together,” DiPolito said last night to a crowd of supporters. “[And] together we have accomplished our goals of enhancing the quality of life for our citizens, and energizing the character of our community.”
DiPolito, a business executive and longtime advocate of women in city government, was speaking at a banquet room at Island Way Grill, on Clearwater Beach. The gathering marked the formal beginning of her 2016 Clearwater City Council re-election campaign.
“I am ready, willing and able to continue to provide the vision and the leadership we need on our City Council to achieve our goals in economic development, common-sense transportation solutions, and improved infrastructure for the citizens of Clearwater,” DiPolito said.
It was the city’s accomplishments over the past four years, though, that DiPolito chose to primarily focus her comments.
“We’ve enjoyed investing in our critical infrastructure, including libraries, parks, and recreation centers,” said DiPolito. “[And] we have worked with the Urban Land Institute to develop a plan to revitalize and energize downtown Clearwater.”
DiPolito pointed to the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Clearwater’s Capital Theater as the “foundational element of downtown’s growing success.”
She also highlighted the work City Council has done to identify and invest in parking and transportation solutions for the city’s beaches, which has included expanding the use of taxis, water-ferries and jolly trolleys, as well as adding new parking garages to the area.
“We also continue to invest in first responders,” DiPolito added, “[such as] law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs, to ensure […] the necessary tools [are available] to provide the best service possible for our citizens.”
Perhaps the most memorable moment of DiPolito’s speech came when she shared a story about being approached by state Rep. Kathleen Peters six years ago. It had to do with the development of Clearwater Beach.
“‘I need to see cranes out on that beach,'” DiPolito quoted Peters.
Today, six years later, cranes dot the Clearwater Beach skyline with as much prominence as they ever have.
“The numerous cranes and new world-class developments emerging on Clearwater Beach is a direct result of […] hard work and [a] vision,” DiPolito concluded.
DiPolito, who has lived in Clearwater since 1972, won Seat 2 on City Council in February 2012 after running unopposed to replace term-limited John Doran.
In addition to her role on Clearwater City Council, DiPolito has been the owner and president of D-Mar General Contracting and Development since 2001. The contracting business specializes in commercial development, construction management, large-scale interior build-outs and site development. She became a Florida State Certified General Contractor in 2006. DiPolito graduated from St. Petersburg College with an Associate of Arts in Engineering.
“The highest honor of my professional life is to serve your Clearwater City Council,” DiPolito said. “I look forward to finishing the important work we started together four years ago, in leading Clearwater into the future as a world-class city.”
Clearwater City Council Seats 2 and 3, as well as the mayoral post, will all be up for grabs during the municipal election on March 15.
For Doreen DiPolito’s full bio, visit myclearwater.com.