With a nod to Bob Seger for his epic tale of life on the road in his song by this same name, this article marks a transition for me from public life back to private life. It is time for me to turn the page.
I’m pleased to leave the city in better shape than when I was elected mayor. It has been a group effort, but I’d like to think that I helped provide some direction. We’ve now got a vibrant downtown and full storefronts. Redevelopment is spreading out onto US 19 and into our residential neighborhoods.
Please join me in offering our new mayor, Chopper Davis, our full support as he steps into the position and prepares to guide the city to the next level.
As for me? I’ll have plenty to keep me busy.
I’m looking forward to having the chance to travel with my wife. We’re already scoping out trips, including getting an annual pass so we can check out the Florida State Park system and visiting some out of state destinations we’ve dreamed of visiting. Last night, before Chopper was sworn in, Ray Rossi and his wife suggested we also look at getting an annual pass to the National Park System. Thanks for the great suggestion.
I’m looking forward to having more time to spend spoiling our grand kids. Given that two of them live half way around the world, that will ALSO involve some travel.
I’m looking forward to spending more time riding my bike. Regular Tuesday meetings stopped my participation in the evening group rides I used to enjoy. I’ve already purchased a new saddle for my bike and I’m tweaking the other parts of the bike so I can get back in the saddle on a regular basis.
I plan to stay involved in New Port Richey, just not as an elected official.
I’m looking forward to volunteering with the city’s environmental committee. While I don’t consider myself particularly “green” and Del DeChant and I have a running joke about my ability to kill just about any tree I plant, it is clear that our climate is warming and we and our grand kids are going to face some significant challenges in the coming decades. I intend to be a voice advocating for preparing our community for those coming changes and doing what we can to minimize the risk that New Port Richey and other coastal communities are going to face.
I’m looking forward to enjoying the city’s centennial celebration in 2024. Additionally, I’ve already volunteered to help with the 2024 Chasco Fiesta.
I suspect my schedule will stay pretty full, just not with council meetings. This Saturday is a great example: I plan to start the day rebuilding an 83 year old Lionel locomotive with my oldest grandson, we’ll then hit the New Port Richey Earth Day program at the library at 11:30am, participate in the Drive Electric Earth Day event in Brandon, and be back in time for the Earth Day celebration and family movie in Sims Park.
You can count on future NPR notes addressing a variety of issues our community will face in the coming years. You can also count on periodic updates on the new adventures my wife and I enjoy as we turn the page on the past nine years of our lives.