Meet the Candidate: Sam Henderson
Vice Mayor Sam Henderson wants to continue Council collaboration, tap into programs and grant funds, create a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly city and improve 49th St. and the Waterfront District.
In less than two weeks, Vice Mayor Sam Henderson and his wife, Laura, will entertain crowds at the So Classic Car Show. Their band, "Hot Tub Club," has been performing in the area for about seven months.
In addition to his talent and time spent teaching Environmental Science at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Henderson is involved in preserving Florida's environment and celebrating its diversity.
Henderson, 41, was elected Ward 4 representative in 2009, ran unopposed in 2011, and was voted Vice Mayor in April of this year.
Now, he's vying for your support at the polls on Tuesday, March 12. Henderson is running for Gulfport Mayor against former City Council member Bob Worthington.
Henderson's decision to run for the Council's top seat came after Mayor Mike Yakes announced his retirement. Henderson is passionate about the city's direction and believes his experience has prepared him to be the next Mayor.
In the three years Henderson has been on the Council he's become involved in other committees, including: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Pinellas Planning Council and Florida League of Cities Energy and Environmental Quality Committee. He also serves as an alternate representative on the Agency for Bay Management and Suncoast League of Cities.
Henderson says he has unfinished business that he wants to address.
"There’s things out there that I’d like to see come to fruition. I want to see our user-activated crosswalks going in on 22nd Ave where Beach Blvd and 22nd Ave meet. I'd like to see us do the same at 15th and 11th on 55th St. – that would also be the crosswalk that people coming off the trail spur going to downtown Gulfport."
He also wants to see improvements on the old trolley route greenway - such as walkways and lighting. And work on treating water at the end of 49th St. S.
At the top of his list - "maintaining the things we already do, keeping the fees and taxes as low as possible."
Henderson says he is not in favor of the city collecting more property tax revenue than last year.
“If people are recovering, I would like them to continue to recover. I just want to see us spend our money wisely.”
Henderson wants to continue to be part of a council willing to work together.
“I want to see us take some of the conflict driven stuff out of our meetings. I feel like we’ve been doing for the last 8 or 9 months – we don’t have to agree on council but we do have to be professional and collaborate and I think we’ve really stepped that up since last April," he said.
When Henderson is not at City Council, he's earning his Master's Degree in Public Policy and Ecology through the Florida Studies Program at USF St. Pete and currently working in the Special Collections Department of the USF library. He'll graduate in December this year.
For More Information:
The municipal elections are on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. The mayor serves a three-year term. The voter registration deadline is Monday, February 11, 2013 for the next city elections. For more information on how to register visit the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website.
Both candidates have set up Facebook Pages; here are the links:
Editor's Note: Jan. 25 4 p.m.: The previous article indicated that Henderson was currently teaching at USF. Henderson taught four semesters and is not currently teaching a course. The article has been edited to reflect that. Also, the current article stated that Henderson did not want to raise the millage rate. Henderson is not in favor of collecting more property tax revenue than last year. The article has been edited to reflect that.