Signed: Molly Tasker, Former Candidate for Mayor of Melbourne, FL
Recovery from Covid-19
If there is a spike in Covid-19 cases, the City can require restaurant employees who greet, serve food or drinks, and bus tables to wear masks -- much as we do for other health and sanitation reasons require employee hair nets, handwashing, bug and rodent control. We can, even if only for temporary time periods, require employees to wear masks.
We, of course, have no such authority to similarly control the general public.
Economic Recovery -- Infrastructure
Rebuilding our infrastructure is the gateway to restoring our local economy. I would start with our water and sewer systems. We need to enlarge our capacity and modernize it. Working with the County we can clean up our methods of waste disposal including the possible end to the use of human waste from South Florida to fertilize lands close to our water source of Lake Washington. Again working hand-in-hand with the County, we can incentivize the conversion of all old septic systems within Melbourne to our City System. All of this also creates jobs, which puts money in our citizens' pockets, which is then spent locally on rents, restaurants, barbers/salons, entertainment, home maintenance, and child care among other things.
From improving our water and sewer systems I would move on a road and public transport improvement. Road work generally takes three to six or seven years to implement. Local residential streets are less procedurally lengthy. Improvement of residential streets and sidewalks would again bring jobs, and a small increase in employment and local spending at local businesses.
As part of our National recovery action I will seek to leverage Federal and State economic recovery funding into large scale building and rebuilding of public facilities. We would seek local developers to fulfill these needs and continue it for ongoing maintenance contracts, boosting the Melbourne economy.
Small Business Concerns
With the continuing help and suggestions of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce, I would have our City Staff work to improve city processing of zoning and other land use permitting processes. We would work with the Chamber and various other non-governmental entities to promote local businesses. I would continue programs such as the Small Business Facade Grants and my own Facebook efforts to 'Enjoy Local. Support Local.'
This is where we can thrive. The citizenry of Melbourne are concerned about the survival of our Indian River Lagoon. We here again need to work with other cities and the County to have a consistent and thusly effective result. One great side benefit is the increased employment needed (along with volunteers) to achieve and maintain the clean-up. It takes experts to lay out programs that will succeed and fortunately we have some terrific non-government entities (NGOs) to do just that. The City Council and City Staff will work to develop good programs and seek State, Federal and NGO funding.
By the way, I oppose offshore drilling and sonic testing along the coast of Brevard County.
Just as we must do all we can locally, we must frankly take advantage of and leverage utilization of Federal funds that will be available right now to facilitate the national economic recovery from the Covid-19 negative impact.
We must institute Public Works Projects resulting in long-term assets:
1) Build/repair public buildings, bridges, city-wide Wi-Fi, maintenance of roads, availability of electric charging stations, maintenance, cleanliness and beautification of Melbourne.
2) We're good at working together to attract big business, so we must be inviting and willing to incentivize companies to either start-up here or move here with high paying jobs which in turn increases local small business employment.
3) We've got to see to education at all levels including vocational and technical education with certification through our local Colleges and Universities, with some funding coming from large companies with technical requirements.
Regarding the homeless issue, we need to build on Mayor Meehan's efforts. I would seek to establish an Assessment Center not just to support Melbourne, but also all of South Brevard. A Center to which anyone in our area could go for help... and a place where law enforcement could bring troubled individuals with more than just housing or job loss troubles such as those with alcohol, drug use, mental or physical problems. I would also seek help from our State and National Representatives to have the Veterans' Administration re-institute "Soldiers' and Sailors' Home" program.