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BREVARD COUNTY — As the Nov. 3 General Elections approach, it’s time to start thinking about who to cast your ballot for.

Below are the candidate profiles for those interested in filling the seats of your Viera East Community Development District.

Seat 3

Hometown News was not able to reach Jeanne Brown or Trisha Dutton at this time.

Peter Carnesale

Number of years as resident: 13 years

Occupation and company you work for: Retired U.S. Army Officer; Current Real Estate Broker/ Owner

Education: BS from the University of New York with double major Business and Psychology (Magna Cum Laude), Albany, New York;

AS from Rockland Community College majoring in Business Management. (Phi Sigma Omicron honors) Suffern, New York

Marital status: Married to Louise

Number of children: 13 children

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “I am the only candidate in my race to qualify by petitions signed by voters, all others paid. Others and I canvassed 3,500 resident homes in Viera East which established District priorities.

“I will work in the best interests of the residents and maintain my connection to them. The incumbent for this seat voted twice for a misguided multi-million dollar bond I did not support. I will be fiscally responsible, transparent in governing, take action on recent fish kills in the VECDD, make lifestyle enhancements, improve trails and sidewalks, and establish fairness in distribution of funds for VECDD residents.”

Melinda Thomsen, Incumbent

Number of years as resident: 15 years

Occupation and company you work for: Retired

Education: Associate’s degree from Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington, D.C.

Marital status: Widow

Number of children: Four grandchildren

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “During my service, I have been committed to the well-being of the community to the best of my ability with no self-interest. I believe in maintaining, and when possible, making improvements in this beautiful area. I have an open mind and am most willing to listen to all ideas. It is my hope that through all the controversies of the past year, that the voters will realize that my colleagues and I were able to listen to their concerns and make adjustments that will still improve our area but at a cost that is fair to all.”

Tony Volpe

Number of years as resident: 34 years

Occupation and company you work for: Retired

Education: MBA Management/Project Management-Focus on Business, Technology, Manufacturing and Construction from University of Management & Technology; Bachelor of Business from University of Central Florida; Associate of Business from Brevard Community College

Marital status: N/A

Number of children: N/A

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “There are many CDD issues that will require strong business management skills in order to move the community in a positive direction. I have been actively engaged in this pursuit, attending numerous CDD meetings and presenting more positive and equitable actions as opposed to the bond promoted by the current board.

“My communications to the board have stressed the need to generate revenue to cover necessary repairs and, perhaps, desired upgrades. The board has listened to me and is now talking about implementation of several revenue streams such as increasing the rounds fees.”

Seat 4

Steve Colasinki

Number of years as resident: 12 years

Occupation and company you work for: Retired Engineering Executive - Experience at General Electric, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Tellabs, and Consulting

Education: Lake Superior State University, Sault Set. Marie, MI Bachelor of Science Electronics Engineering Technology and Associate in Computer Engineering Technology

Marital status: Married

Number of children: Two children

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “I am the only candidate in my race to qualify by voter signed petitions. We canvassed 3,500 homes in Viera East to better understand voter needs.

“With over 18 years of professional Management experience, I have the tools to provide fiscal responsibility. My collaborative management style recognizes that the people of the district are more important than my opinion and I will provide transparency to all.

“I want to make Viera East more than just a Golf Course by providing additional recreational infrastructure and activities. I will take preventative environmental actions and be responsible for clean-up (fish kills).”

William Oakley, Incumbent

Number of years as resident: 10 years

Occupation and company you work for: Technical Education Instructor and Department Head for the Broward County School System for 35 years, also owned and managed Commercial Real Estate investor for 20 years in Deerfield Beach

Education: Degree Rank II Florida Teaching Certification with both basic and advance incentives

Marital status: Married to Joan

Number of children: Three children and five grandchildren

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “During the time I have been a board member of the Viera East Community District, I have worked with VECA, and the homeowners to improve their neighborhoods and overall environment. I am committed to following through with projects currently in progress.

“In the past three years, I have saved CDD homeowners thousands of dollars in video editing, repairs, maintenance, and design costs. I’m looking forward to adding to that savings.

“Future plans should include expanded use of Woodside Park, upgrading sidewalks, extending the nature trail, preserve area tours, adding a dog park, and restructuring several things at the golf course.”

Seat 5

Rob Dale

Number of years as resident: 24 years in Viera, born and raised in Brevard County

Occupation and company you work for: Certified Financial Planner, LPL Financial, former U.S. Army Commanding Officer

Education: B.S. Business Management, Florida Institute of Technology, Certified Financial Planner Designation (CFP®)

Marital status: Engaged

Number of children: Five (including fiancée’s children)

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “I am the only candidate in my race to qualify by voter signed petitions, my opponent paid to qualify. My team and I canvassed 3,500 homes in Viera East to better understand voter needs.

“I will work in all the residents best interests, not just the golf course. My opponent twice voted for a misguided multi-million dollar luxury Golf Course bond I did not support. I will be fiscally responsible, transparent in governing, take action on recent fish kills in VECDD, make lifestyle enhancements, improve trails and sidewalks, and insure VECDD is about more than just the Golf Course.”

Jo Walsh

Number of years as resident: 18 years

Occupation and company you work for: Retired

Education: Broward Community College, Margate Florida, no degree; Banking and Accounting courses

Marital status: Married

Number of children: Two children, three grandchildren

What makes you the best candidate for this seat?: “I am offering to continue to serve the residents of the Viera East CDD. Ten years ago, I was selected by the Board to serve an unexpired term left vacant by Mr. Robert Dale. I was elected by the CDD Residents in 2012 & 2016.

“My resume includes Lawn and Landscaping Maintenance, Banking, and grew up in Automotive repair, which have been helpful in this position. You may have met me when I worked at Mailman Joeys. We have some large projects in the next few years and I would like to see them through for our communities continued success.”

Associate Managing Editor

I have been a Viera resident for 15 years and a writer my whole life. I love to travel when the opportunity presents itself, as well as try new things.

(1) comment

Icefreezen

Bye to all the incumbents, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Look forward to seeing new leadership.

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